A massive thank you to Ann & Steve for the first of the interviews with staff at Didcot Railway Centre. Although Staff isn't the right word to use though. From my experiences so far everyone involved loves this old rolling industry and it shows! Like I said before thanks to Ann & Steve for a really great start.
"When I was young,
I always wanted a trainset, my father never bought me a trainset...
I've got one now!"
Ann's Train Choices
In the 19th and early 20th century, railway companies were fiercely competitive. Speed meant revenue and speed was dependent on engineering. Churchward delivered to the GWR from Swindon a series of class-leading and innovative locomotives. Arguably, from the early 1900s to the 1920s the Great Western's 2-cylinder and 4-cylinder 4-6-0 designs were substantially superior to any class of locomotive of the other British railway companies. On one occasion, the GWR's directors confronted Churchward, and demanded to know why the London and North Western Railway were able to build three 4-6-0 locomotives for the price of two of Churchward's "Stars". Churchward allegedly gave a terse response: "Because one of mine could pull two of their bloody things backwards!"