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Godred, named after the famous King of Sodor, Godred MacHarold, was a mountain-climbing tank engine, and was the original No. 1 engine of the Culdee Fell Railway until he was scrapped.

Biography

The Railway Series

Godred was built in Switzerland with the first four engines of the Culdee Fell Railway, and was delivered to the railway in time for the inspection before its opening in 1900. [1]

Godred was a reckless and haughty engine; he took no advice from anyone and put too much faith in his automatic brakes, which he believed would save him from any situation no matter how perilous. No matter what his crew and the Manager did, he still carried on in his same old way.

On June 4th, just over a month after the railway had been opened, Godred was coming down the line with his coach, when he derailed at Devil's Back and tumbled down the mountain. The fall was so bad that he was smashed to pieces, and when he was recovered, he was beyond repair. Godred was scrapped, and his parts were used to repair the other engines. The Culdee Fell Railway never replaced him with another engine.

Culdee told the story of Godred to the Skarloey Railway engines during his brief visit to Crovan's Gate. His story was so shocking that Sir Handel and Duncan were left speechless; Skarloey and Rheneas never told them that Culdee had made the story up. Culdee later told Lord Harry about Godred when he was stripped of his name after his bad behaviour. [2]

Personality and Traits

Godred was arrogant, pompous and highly reckless; Culdee speculated that this was due to the nature of his naming. Godred believed that his automatic brakes would save him from any dangerous situation and put too much faith in them, resulting in his downfall.

Technical Details

Basis

Godred is based on the Snowdon Mountain Railway's original No. 1 engine, "L.A.D.A.S.". Like Godred, L.A.D.A.S. was destroyed when it derailed and came down the mountain, and was never replaced with another engine carrying its number.

L.A.D.A.S.'s accident was caused by subsidence of the track, leading to the pinion wheel disengaging; this was amended by fitting guard-bars to the rack-rail. As the Culdee Fell Railway opened four years after L.A.D.A.S.'s accident, it seems likely that the guard-rails would have been required by the Board of Trade from the outset, meaning that a different chain of events would have had to occur to cause the derailment, somehow disengaging both the pinion wheels and the gripper connecting to the engine, which connects with the guard-bars to prevent such an accident.

Livery

Godred was painted in the Culdee Fell Railway's purple livery with orange lining. His number was painted in yellow on the sides of his cab, and he carried two red nameplates with his name written on in gold lining.

In a magazine story, Godred was painted red with yellow lining. His bufferbeam was painted grey, and he sported buffers and arched cab windows.

Existence

Godred's actual existence on the Culdee Fell Railway was left uncertain in Mountain Engines; it is said near the end of Bad Look-Out that Culdee had made up both the story and Godred, yet there are no other engines on the railway that carry Godred's number. Furthermore, The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways and Sodor: Reading Between the Lines both confirm that Godred's accident was an event that actually happened.

The most likely explanation is that the Reverend W. Awdry wanted his fictional railway to mirror its real-life counterpart as close as possible, but as this would involve the "death" of a character, he chose to end Bad Look-Out the way he did so as to not upset any young readers.

Appearances

The Railway Series

Merchandise

References

  1. The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways
  2. Mountain Engines