Legendary locomotives and the regions they served have been reimagined in Great Western Railway’s (GWR) first colouring book, featuring locomotives built in Swindon’s famed GWR works.
‘Iron Horses of the West’ has been created in partnership by Bristol-based urban street artist Andy Council, with help from train enthusiasts and celebrates the art of ‘ferroequinology’ – the study of railways, and the locomotives ‘Iron Horses’ that traversed them.
Each of the designs illustrated by Andy was inspired by the top locomotives that travelled the GWR tracks and should be on the bucket list of every rail fan. Some were chosen for their timeless appeal, like the GWR King Class, and others for their speed, such as the GWR City Class – the first engine ever to travel at more than 100mph.
Both are famed products of Swindon.
The book also features the forthcoming Super Express Train from Hitachi, due to come into service with the company in 2017.
Andy commented: “It’s been really therapeutic designing a book inspired by the routes and trains I travelled through growing up in Bristol. I always gain creative influence from my surroundings and to craft something which heroes the West is something I’m really passionate about.”
Dan Panes, Head of Communications at GWR, commented: “Train enthusiasts are the ‘super fans’ of our business yet their passion is often maligned. Using a renowned and celebrated Bristol artist, this new book adds to the on-board experience, and offers passengers young and old, the chance to re-engage with their railway.”
Building on the popularity, and zeitgeist, for adult colouring books, ‘Iron Horses of the West’ champions not only the creativity of the South West but also the trains that serve it. The locomotives and artwork featured in the ‘Iron Horses of the West’ colouring book are:
• ‘Up and Away!’ featuring the King Class Locomotive (1927): ‘King’ Class was the ultimate in GWR steam engines – being the largest and most powerful ever designed for the company. The design was used on the heaviest, fastest services out of Paddington, right up until the introduction of diesels in the early 1960s. The most famous of them all is now on display as part of the Swindon 175 anniversary events at STEAM, Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon.
• ‘The Star that Lit the Way’ featuring the Star Class Locomotive (1838): The first steam locomotives built for the GWR – The first of the ‘Star’ class arrived in 1837, and worked the first ever GWR service on 31 May 1838.
• ‘Thunder at the Cliff Face’ featuring the Western Diesel Hydraulic (1961): Commonly known as ‘Westerns’, these large and attractive locomotives, with their distinctive cabs and clean lines, were the backbone of the region’s express trains in the 1960s and early 1970s.
• ‘The Golden Spires of Truro’ featuring the City Class Locomotive (1902): Iconic and built in the early 1900s. The City Class trains became the first engine ever to travel at more than 100mph, reaching a reputed speed of 102.3mph between Exeter and Taunton in 1904. This train can presently be also be seen at STEAM, the Museum of the Great Western Railway.
• ‘The Sea View’ featuring the High Speed Train (1976): One of the fastest diesel trains in the world and the backbone of the UK’s long distance train travel for over 40 years.
• ‘London’s Calling’ featuring the Super Express Train (Coming next year): The fastest ever GWR train, manufactured by Hitachi – the suppliers of the famous Japanese bullet train – and set to arrive on the Great Western network in 2017. Capable of running on electric or diesel, the engineered work of art will be transporting passengers in style on long distance journeys from Paddington.
Anthony Coulls, Senior Curator of Rail Transport and Technology at the National Railway Museum, said: “It’s great to hear about interesting, creative initiatives to celebrate our railways and engage people in Britain’s fascinating railway history.
“The National Railway Museum is the proud owner of several iconic Great Western Railway locomotives. Visitors can currently see the fantastic 1907 steam locomotive Lode Star and a beautiful 1930s GWR diesel railcar on display in our Great Hall at our museum in York, and we also have two other well-known GWR steam engines, King George V and City of Truro, temporarily on loan to STEAM, the Museum of the Great Western Railway, in Swindon.”
The ‘Iron Horses of The West’ reignites GWR’s much loved legacy of producing iconic and collectible memorabilia and is now available on selected services (while stocks last).