Click to visit GAUGEMASTER's home page.
Click to visit RIGHT LINES home page.

The GWR Class 2301 Dean Goods Locomotive

Image of TERRY SMITHTERRY SMITH explores the history of this locomotive.


The GWR built 260 of these goods locomotives between 1883 and 1899 at their locomotive works in Swindon. Designed by William Dean, the 2301 Class broke with previous GWR tradition in having inside frames only, and the first twenty engines were originally fitted with dome-less boilers - although all the class were eventually fitted with domed boilers. They were numbered 2301–2360 and 2381–2580. The locos were used across the GWR network as a goods locomotive which is why it ended up being known as the ‘Dean Goods’.

2301 Class Dean Goods Locomotive.

Service Overseas

During the First World War, sixty-two engines were taken over by the Railway Operating Division (ROD) and sent to France in 1917. Most of these engines returned to England in the early summer of 1919, however sixteen had been sent out to Salonika in Greece at the beginning of 1918. Two of these engines were sold to the Ottoman Railways in Aiden where one of them survived until the 1950s. Of the fourteen engines remaining in Salonika, six were written-off and the other eight returned to England in April 1921.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, the War Department requisitioned 100 of these engines from the GWR who had to hastily reinstate some engines that had been recently withdrawn. The requisitioned engines were fitted with Westinghouse brakes and were painted black and allocated with WD numbers. In December 1940 a further eight engines were requisitioned by the War Department.

At the time of the German invasion of France in 1940, seventy-nine Dean Goods had been shipped to France. Some of the engines were destroyed in the retreat to Dunkirk while the remainder were used on the French railways by the German occupation forces. After the war, around twenty-five engines were sent to China under the control of the United Nations, and thirty were returned to the UK, but were deemed unfit for service and scrapped. Some of the remaining locomotives ended up in the hands of the Russians and were used across Eastern Europe and the Balkan States. Of the engines that remained in England, most of them worked at War Department and Ordnance depots around the country, though in 1943 six were shipped to Tunisia and then onto to Italy.

British Railways

A total of fifty-four locomotives were passed to BR in 1948, mostly being used on Welsh branch-lines due to their light axle loading. They all ran in plain black with the early BR crest on the tender. They were progressively replaced by BR Standard Moguls, and 2538 was the last to be withdrawn in May 1957. One locomotive, no. 2516 (built 1897), survived into preservation. It is currently a static exhibit at the Steam Museum in Swindon.

Go Back To Top

The Dean Goods as a Model

The Mainline version of the Dean Goods.
The Mainline version of the Dean Goods

The first OO Scale ready to run Dean Goods first appeared in the Airfix Railway catalogue in the late 1970s, however the company hit problems, and the tooling was passed to Mainline who released it in the early 1980s shortly before they themselves ceased trading. It then, like so many other Airfix/Mainline models, found its way into the Hornby range and has been available in both GWR Green and BR Black over the years. All this time the model has retained its tender drive, and while a nice model to look at was often quoted as being very noisy in operation and has not been available now for some time.

2301 Class Dean Goods Locomotive Model.

Oxford Rail announced in January this year that they are to produce the Dean Goods as the follow up to the Adams Radial Tank that they introduced during the latter part of 2015, and we are hoping to see the model version during the summer.

Oxford Rails 2301 Class Dean Goods Locomotive Model.

We managed to see a prototype at the Nuremberg Toy Fair and we are pleased to share a picture of it with you.


OR76DG001 Dean Goods Steam Locomotive - GWR 2309.
Dean Goods Steam Locomotive - GWR 2309

OR76DG002 Dean Goods Steam Locomotive - BR Early 2409.
Dean Goods Steam Locomotive - BR Early 2409

OR76DG003 Dean Goods Steam Locomotive - Great Western.
Dean Goods Steam Locomotive - Great Western

Click Here to view all the available Dean Goods locomotives.

Go Back To Top