Star class

GWR Star Class

The Great Western Railway Star Class 2-2-2 broad gauge steam locomotives for passenger train work. This class was introduced into service between November 1838 and November 1841, and withdrawn between April 1864 and September 1871.

By the time the last of the Star Class locomotives had been delivered, Daniel Gooch had designed and taken delivery of his Fire Fly Class.

North Star and Morning Star

  • North Star (1837 - 1871)

North Star arrived at Maidenhead Bridge by barge on 28 November 1837; on 31 May 1838 it worked the inaugural train for the company's directors. In 1854 it was rebuilt with 16in × 18in cylinders and the wheelbase lengthened by a foot. It was withdrawn in 1871 but kept at Swindon, along with Lord of the Isles, until 1906.

The North Star, otherwise known as Polaris, is used in navigation.

  • Morning Star (1839 - 1869)

This, the second Star Class, was not delivered until 14 months after the North Star. It had smaller 6ft 6in wheels, as had been intended when it was constructed for the New Orleans Railway; the wheelbase was 12ft 6in.

The Morning Star is also the planet Venus, which is the brightest object in the sky in the morning.

Later locomotives

  • Bright Star (1841 - 1864)

The Bright Star is an object clearly visible in the night sky.

  • Dog Star (1839 -1869)

After withdrawal, the Dog Star was used as a stationary boiler at Paddington. The Dog Star, otherwise known as Sirius, is the brightest star in the sky.

  • Evening Star (1839 - 1871)

The Evening Star is the planet Venus, which is the brightest object in the sky in the evening..

  • Lode Star (1841 - 1870)

A Lode Star is one used to aid navigation, such as Polaris.

  • Polar Star (1840 - 1870)

This locomotive was built with 15½ × 18in cylinders. It was rebuilt as a 4-2-2T tank locomotive. A polar star is one that appears over the North (i.e. Polaris) or South Pole and is thus used in navigation.

  • Red Star (1840 - 1865)

This locomotive was rebuilt as a 4-2-2T tank locomotive. A red star could be a red dwarf or a red giant.

  • Rising Star (1840 -1871)

This locomotive had a 14ft 6in wheelbase; at some time it was rebuilt as a 4-2-2T tank locomotive. On 7 September 1841 it ran over an earthslip near Chippenham, but the rest of the train, including Tiger was derailed.
A Rising Star is one that is climbing the sky, and is often used metaphorically to mean someone who is rising above evryone else.

  • Royal Star (1841 - 1871)

This locomotive was built with 15½ × 19in cylinders and a 12ft 7in wheelbase. The four Persian royal stars are Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares, and Fomalhaut, guarding the four sides of the sky.

  • Shooting Star (1841 - 1871)

This locomotive was rebuilt as a 4-2-2T tank locomotive. A Shooting Star is otherwise known as a meteor.

  • Western Star (1841 - 1866)

This locomotive was built with 15½ × 19in cylinders and a 12ft 7in wheelbase. After withdrawal it was used as a stationary boiler at Oxford. The Western Star is Antares.

Replica

A non-working replica of North Star was constructed for the 1923 Cavalcade, and is now housed at Swindon Steam Railway Museum.

It made use of some of the parts of the original North Star, scrapped as recently as 1906, but is not capable of being steamed. Although it featured in the railway's centenary film in 1935, it was pushed by another locomotive.

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