As small mixed traffic branch locomotives, the Great Western Railway’s Prairies were diminutive workhorses of the railway network, and are now available for Train Simulator from Victory Works.
The 2-6-2 tank engines were introduced to the GWR in 1904 with the 4400 Class, primarily for use on the railway’s numerous hilly branch lines. Only 11 of the class were built before the production of its successor, the 4500 Class – the same in design but with larger driving wheels, giving the locomotive extra speed and therefore more widely used on the GWR network.
Between 1927 and 1929, a further 100 small Prairies were built with larger 1,300 gallon water tanks, and were allocated the Class number 4575. A number of these locomotives were fitted with equipment to run push-pull trains with autocoaches, which saw them pressed into service on lines through South Wales.
Withdrawal of the Prairies began in the late 1950s and by the mid-1960s all had been assigned to the scrapyard. However, three 45xx Class and 11 4575 Class locomotives were saved and many run today on preserved railways around the UK.
The GWR Small Prairies for Train Simulator, developed by Victory Works, are available in a variety of GWR and BR liveries – GWR Green and BR Black, plus BR Green (45xx Class and 4575 Class) and a fictional red livery for the 4575 Class.
Three operating modes await drivers – simple, standard and advanced – each with their own style of driving and features for the novice and expert drivers. An abundance of detailing can also be found on each locomotive, including realistic wheel slip, simulated steam chest, operable cab doors, windows and hatches and 3D fireboxes. The 4575 Class can also be set with optional auto-gear to make it fully compatible with Victory Works’ GWR Class 14xx autocoaches.
A number of freight wagons are also included with the locomotives, including fruit vans, covered goods vans, standard vans, banana vans, iron minks, milk siphons and toad brake vans.
The locomotives are also Quick Drive compatible, giving you the freedom to drive the GWR Small Prairies on any Quick Drive enabled route for Train Simulator, such as those available through Steam. Also included are scenarios specifically for the Falmouth Branch route (available separately and required to play these scenarios).