Caledonian Railway 956 Class

The latest title to be published by the Caledonian Railway Association and Lightmoor Press analyses the failings of this Class of locomotives, the probable causes and the potential modifications which could have been implemented.

Designed at St Rollox to work, without assistance, the heaviest passenger trains on the company’s principal routes of Glasgow to Carlisle and Aberdeen, the ‘956’ Class would be required to haul 425 ton loads, as well as operating at 75-80 mph to maintain the booked timetable.
For the class of four locomotives, out-shopped in 1921, three cylinder propulsion, using a novel 2:1 derived motion for the centre cylinder was chosen, this being associated with a large boiler, where unaccountably, a number of recognised technical imperatives, well established with earlier classes were neglected. Initial trials results were disappointing, difficulties being found with both the steaming capabilities and with the novel valve gear, which was subject to two major redesigns, with little obvious improvement.
Unfortunately, the class being incapable of meeting the initial objectives and unable to match the performance achieved by the ‘49’ and ‘903’ Class locomotives, the ‘956’ locomotives were consequently largely used on goods workings and the last of the class was withdrawn at the early date of 1935.

The book comprises 168 pages of text and illustrations, 275 mm. by 215 mm., printed on gloss art paper with colour laminated printed board covers and is lavishly illustrated with some 80 photographs and 70 drawings, many published for the first time. Appendices reproduce the Trial Data graphs, which recorded the engine’s performance on each official trial. The extensive sources of information accessed during the research for the book are fully referenced.  

The book is available by Mail Order, from the CRA Stand at Exhibitions and at our Glasgow meetings.

Publishers' usual price for the book only : £25.00 + £5.00 p&p to a UK address.

Caledonian Railway Association members enjoy a special discount price of £22.00 for the Book plus £5.00 p&p to a UK address.

Mail orders can be placed using the button below for online payments or by post using the order form here.

Overseas buyers - Postage to non-UK addresses can be significant.  Please contact the Sales Officer for Postage and Packing Costs before ordering.


Caledonian Railway 956 Class




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