The eight Dido class locomotives were 0-6-0 saddle tank broad gauge locomotives operated on the South Devon Railway and Cornwall Railway and associated other adjacent railways. They were designed for goods trains but were also used on passenger trains when required.
The locomotives were ordered by Evans, Walker and Gooch who were now contracted to operate the locomotives for both the railways. They were built by Stothert, Slaughter, Grunning and Company.
The locomotives of both railways were operated as a combined fleet by the South Devon Railway after 1 July 1866. On 1 February 1876 the South Devon Railway was amalgamated with the Great Western Railway, the locomotives were given numbers by their new owners but continued to carry their names too.
Four similar locomotives were built for the Vale of Neath Railway in 1861. Some of these could be found working on the South Devon lines after the 1876 amalgamation.
South Devon Railway
- Ajax (1860 - 1884) GWR no. 2149
- The locomotive was named after Ajax, a Greek hero.
- Brutus (1862 - 1884) GWR no. 2150
- Although a South Devon Railway locomotive, it was originally delivered to work on the Cornwall Railway. On 13 September 1866 Brutus failed while working a goods train. It was left at Plympton while another locomotive took the train on. The mail train failed to stop at the signal and collided with the locomotive standing there, after which it ran away down the line, running through the buffer stop at the Plymouth terminus and ending up in the cloakroom.
- The original Brutus was one of Julius Caesar's assassins.
- Hebe (1860 - 1877) GWR no. 2148
- Hebe was at Brent on 22 November 1873 when its boiler blew up. It got its name from Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth.
- Juno (1864 - 1884) GWR no. 2153
- The Roman Juno was worshipped as the queen of their gods.
- Argo (1863 - 1892) GWR no. 2151
- The original Argo was the ship that carried Jason and the Argonauts on their adventures.
- Atlas (1863 - 1885) GWR no. 2152
- The original Atlas was a Greek Titan.
- Dido (1860 - 1877) GWR no. 2143
- The name of this locomotive comes from Dido, the Queen of Carthage.
- Hero (1860 - 1887) GWR no. 2144
- A hero can be an idealized character in mythology or folklore but in this case probably refers to Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite.
- The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, Part 2: Broad Gauge. The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. ISBN 0-906867-90-8.
- Beck, Keith; Copsey, John The Great Western in South Devon. Didcot: Wild Swan Publications. ISBN 0-901115-32-0.
- Gregory, R H The South Devon Railway. Salisbury: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-286-2.
- Waters, Laurence The Great Western Broad Gauge. Hersham: Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 0-906867-90-8.
- Railway company records at The National Archives