'Great Western Eight-Coupled Heavy Freight Locomotives' is the first of a series of 'Locomotive Profiles' to be published by Pen & Sword. It will describe the conception, design, building and operation of the fleet of powerful locomotives built in the first half of the twentieth century to meet the demands of the growing South Wales coal and steel industries and the West Midlands area served by the Great Western Railway. Whilst concentrating mainly on the standard designs of the great locomotive engineer, George Jackson Churchward, the 28XX and 47XX 2-8-0 locomotives, it will also cover the 2-8-0 and 2-8-2 tank engines designed for the South Wales Valleys mining areas and coal exports through Newport, Cardiff, Barry and Swansea Docks, and other 2-8-0 locomotives acquired by the Great Western to cope with the increased industrial needs during both world wars - the RODs, Swindon built 8Fs, WDs and American S160s. It will also cover the earliest designs of the Barry and Port Talbot Railways intended to cope with the valley coal traffic.The book will be copiously illustrated with 150 black and white and 50 coloured photographs and is a comprehensive record of some outstanding freight locomotives, many of the oldest engines still operating to the end of steam on British Railways in the mid 1960s, sixty years after they were designed.
David Maidment was born in 1938. He began his railway career in 1961 and although he retired from the railway industry over eighteen years ago, he is still busy as a writer, activist in the voluntary sector and as a speaker in schools, church groups and general interest clubs. In 1966, David received an OBE for services to the railway industry and, in 2012, he received a Life Achievement Award at the National Rail Awards. His published works include articles on railway history, safety, practice, performance and nostalgia, and several books including The Other Railway Children and Lives on the Line, among other publications.