This is an easy-to-use program which runs on PCs, and lets you make simple profile drawings of locomotives based on the Great Western principles of locomotive design.
In the course of development of the steam locomotive, designers tried out a vast range of possible designs to make the locomotives more efficient, to be able to pull heavier loads, at higher speed and/or at less cost per mile. In the drawing offices of every locomotive manufactory, many designs were drawn up and examined to see, which, if any, could offer any advantages over the existing locomotive stock. This approach was true even for a railway which had a current stock of efficient - and relatively modern - steam locomotive designs.
The GWR Locomotive Sketchpad is designed to allow you see what these projected locomotives might have looked like. You can use a graphical interface in which you manipulate the size and position of wheels, boiler, cabs and so on, or you can enter the locomotive’s critical dimensions and options in a form-based interface.
In either case, the program also doubles as a very simple entry-level design program, as internal sanity-checking attempts to prevent impossible engineering.
Price: £14:00 (including UK postage) - or £12:50 if purchased from Didcot Railway Centre shop, and is available on CD_ROM or USB Memory Stick (please state required media at time of ordering!). This product is exclusive to the Great Western Society.
Release 5.0.0 of the program runs on 64-bit Windows 10, and a 32-bit version runs on 32 bit Windows, for example MS Windows NT 4 to Windows 8. Updates for release 5 include the correct placement of the locomotive knuckle joints and better livery and “theme” handling.
If you would rather not install the GWR Locomotive Sketchpad, you can run the application directly from the CD_ROM or USB Memory Stick.
If you have a Linux machine, the installation media includes program release 4.0.2 (the previous release) for Debian and SUSE distros of Linux running on i386 architectures, and for Raspberry Pi Raspbian on ARM.
More information is available as a .pdf file or as a videoclip:
GWR Locomotive Sketchpad Quick Tour (7.16Mb .pdf file)
You can see samples of locomotives that you can draw with this program.
This item is available from the shop when the Centre is open, or by post from: Great Western Retail Sales, Didcot Railway Centre, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 7NJ.
You can telephone the shop, when the centre is open, on: +44 (0) 1235-817200 or e-mail Didcot Railway Centre Shop.
We can accept payment by cheque, payable to ‘Great Western Retail Sales’, or by credit card.