28XX/38XX 2-8-0s update 20 December 2016
The three 28XX/38XX pre-production samples are currently being assessed in detail by our technical experts. When this work is complete we will prepare a detailed report showing all the required production changes and send it to the builders. The main problem with this build is that it comprises three different types of 28XX: the original square drop footplate, the later curved footplate with locomotives with and without outside steam pipes, followed by the 2884/38XX type with the side window cab and other significant differences. So there are three locomotive types in a single build of 60 engines.
Our expectation was that the 28XX in both its forms would be by far the most popular type, but this has not been the situation with orders so far. It seems that most of our customers prefer the later side window cab 2884/38XX version. We did receive a couple of requests for the very early saturated steam boiler version, which had no top feed and a completely boiler different shape from the other engines, but for economic reasons we will not be offering that type.
We plan to offer both the early parallel and later cast iron taper chimneys on the 28XX and only the cast iron taper chimney on the 2884/38XX type side window cab locomotives. We still have to get the builder to get the taper cast iron chimney pattern absolutely correct!
As on the other GWR tender engines, customers will theoretically be able to have the choice of the four tender types: Churchward 3500 gallon, Collett 3500 gallon, Collet 4000 gallon0 or Hawksworth 4000 gallon tenders. However, we believe that most of the engines had the Churchward 3500 gallon tender for most, if not all, of their lives, although some may have had the Collet 3500 version. Some engines (in preservation at least) have used Collett 4000 gallon tenders, so if you want this combination we could offer it providing you order a locomotive well before the production is fixed.
Our current thoughts on 28XX/38XX 2-8-0 production are not yet fixed. It seems most likely that it will be come after the 47XX and ‘Grange’, probably arriving in late 2017.