I have a bit of a soft spot for all large tank locomotives and a number of classes of large tanks existed on the Southern Railway such as the H16 4-6-2T, W 2-6-4T, the Z class 0-8-0T that I featured in my Talking Stock# 19 post here and the topic of this post the G16 4-8-0T. The H16 and W classes will I am sure be the subject of future posts.
The ex London and Southern Western (LSWR) Urie G16 class of four 4-8-0tanks were introduced in 1921, the same year as the larger H16 4-6-2T. The two classes shared many common parts such as boilers and fireboxes.
Having eight-coupled wheels of 5′ 1″ diameter, they were clearly intended mainly for hump shunting duties at Feltham yard and spent most of their lives to the shed there. Weighing in at 95 tons they were certainly heavy tanks and with a Tractive Effort of 34,000 were the most powerful locomotives on the LSWR. In common with the T14 4-6-0 ‘Paddleboxes’ and H16 class were the widest steam locomotives in Britain.
At one stage Maunsell was considering building more G16 class locomotives, as only four were originally built, but instead opted for his Z class 0-8-0T. With the introduction of the 0-6-0 diesel shunters in the 1950’s one was withdrawn in 1959, another in 1960 and the final two in December 1962.
My model of the G16 makes the odd occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum which must be a running in turn from Eastleigh works, as Salisbury would have been a bit far for a trip working! It has been constructed from a Golden Arrow Products resin kit mounted on a modified Hornby 8F chassis. This is somewhat of a compromise as the G16s had an evenly spaced 5’1″ driving wheels on 6′ centres whereas the 8F has 4’8″ drivers on unequal spacing. The kit correctly requires the cylinders and valve gear to be relocated further forward and the cylinders inclined. The main connecting rod is therefore relocated to be driven off the second rather than the third axle, this in itself creates another compromise as the large balance weight remaining on the third wheel set is incorrect and not easily rectified (it is not possible to simply swap the second and third wheel sets over as the chassis is driven via the third axle which therefore has the driving gear mounted on it).
As the kit only comprising of the resin body and chassis extension components for the detail items I used: Alan Gibson turned brass handrail knobs; Craftsman Models white metal Drummond style buffers and Urie whistle; brass clack valves, smoke box dart, etched rear spectacle protection bars and injectors from Mainly Trains; various pieces of copper wire for pipe work, plastic section for the bunker rear steps and lamp irons from Bambi staples.
Overall this is a relatively simple body kit, although the chassis modifications might not be for the faint hearted, resulting in a nice model, with a little care.