Thomas the Tank Engine, Chuggington, Ivor the Engine, The Railway Children, to name but a few ... generations of children have been fascinated by the excitement and adventure of railway travel but, despite being a part of British culture for centuries, the nation’s interest in ‘ferroequinology’ - the study of railways - is apparently dwindling. To help encourage new audiences to discover more about the past and future of the iconic trains that travel on its tracks, GWR has launched a colouring book for adults featuring the Iron Horses of the West.
We were sent one of the limited edition colouring books and Pierre was very keen to colour in the pictures, especially as he had some very cool colouring pencils in a matching GWR tin to use ! The illustrations, created by Bristol-based urban artist Andy Council, are very detailed and realistic. They feature several of GWR’s legendary locomotives, set on a backdrop of south west scenery, allowing you to explore the timeless beauty of the region while learning about the engineering excellence of the trains that connect it to the rest of Britain.
Some of the trains were chosen for their timeless appeal, like the GWR King Class, or their impressive speed, such as the GWR City Class which was the first engine ever to travel at more than 100mph, but the book also features the forthcoming Super Express Train from Hitachi, due to join the company in 2017.
The designs in the book are:
• ‘Up and Away!’ featuring the King Class Locomotive (1927). It was was the ultimate in GWR steam engines - the largest and most powerful ever designed for the company, so it was used on the heaviest, fastest services out of Paddington, right up until the introduction of diesels in the early 1960s.
• ‘The Star that Lit the Way’ featuring the Star Class Locomotive (1838). The first steam locomotives built for the GWR, the first of which arrived in 1837 and worked the first ever GWR service on 31st 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): Built in the early 1900s, the iconic City Class trains were the first to travel at more than 100mph, reaching a reputed speed of 102.3mph between Exeter and Taunton in 1904.
• ‘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.
The ‘Iron Horses of The West’ reignites GWR’s much loved legacy of producing iconic and collectible memorabilia and they are being handed out on selected services while stocks last.
We loved learning more about the past and future of the railways and the colouring books are also ideal for helping to while away a long train journey with the kids !
Disclosure : We received the colouring book and pencils.