With this weekend being a bank holiday, with so far some typical overcast weather (at least it’s not raining yet…), I thought I would provide some light reading based on my trip away, with the 35011 General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society last weekend, to some of Yorkshire’s railway attractions where I was able to find a Southern Railway related connection.
A Bulleid coach far from home
It was a pleasant surprise, seeing this excellently restored Bulleid Open Third at the wonderful Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, looking so great and nice to see in the BR Crimson & Cream livery that she carried when first introduced.
Coach number S1469 is a Diagram 2017 Open Third built at Eastleigh between October and December 1950 with the deeper 15″ window vents rather than the 10″ vents fitted to the SR built versions. They were introduced as loose vehicles, i.e. not allocated into a coach set.
Whilst many like to see the preserved Bulleid coaches in green livery, I think she does look very smart in the immaculate Crimson and Cream livery.
A Southern / Bulleid connection to a BR standard 4MT tank
A trip on the splendidly scenic North Yorkshire Moors Railway saw a a BR Standard 4MT tank at the head of the service in a splendid LNER teak bodied Tourist Open Third. An SR / Bulleid connection to a BR standard 4MT tank… you might ask?
The design, although based on the LMS Fowler / Fairburn tanks, of these locomotives, introduced from 1951 was completed and the first batch built at Brighton. The design was required to meet the the L1 loading gauge to give them a great route availability (such as working between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells West). They therefore have a continuous curved profile to the tanks and cab sides, (not to be confused with the overall loading gauge), that also matched the curve of the Bulleid locos and stock. There was even a discussion at the time about them being built with Bulleid-Firth-Brown style wheels.
Even the LNER coach has Bulleid connection as before he left the LNER to become CME of the Southern Railway he had modernised the interiors of such open coaches with the use of the new synthetic leathercloth ‘Rexine’.
We did see some proper traction on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway as Maunsell S15 4-6-0 Number 825 was also on services. 825 was built in April 1927 at Eastleigh works near Southampton and along with most of the class was allocated to Feltham. By the time of nationalisation she was based at Exeter Junction before moving to Salisbury in 1951 and remaining there until withdrawn in January 1964. No. 825 is one of three S15 locomotives owned by the Essex Locomotive Society, all of which are stabled at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
What’s in a name…
There are two Merchant Navy Class names plates on display at the National Railway Museum. With the Merchant Navy’s four plates were cast (the centre part disc was enamelled), two for the loco, one presented to the relevant shipping company and one circular part turned into a coffee table and also presented to the shipping company at the time of the official naming ceremonies (I have not yet managed to see any of the coffee tables, I wonder if any any survive and if so do the owners know the significance?)
The first is Channel Packet the first member of the Merchant Navy class loco, that also gave rise to one of the nicknames of the class as being ‘Packets’, this is one of the plates that was ceremonially given to the namesake shipping co. at the time of the loco naming
The Orient Line name plate is from the actual 21c8 loco, you can compare the difference in the wear and tear including the remaining thickness of the raised cast letters to tell the difference. The boiler currently being restored by the 35011 General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society, is coincidently the one that was first fitted to 21c8 when built.
The centre enamelled discs usually illustrated the shipping company flag and the plates were handed so that the flag always flew towards the rear of the loco, the only Merchant Navy plate that has a flag that flies forwards is 21c6/35006 Peninsular & Oriental S.N.Co as it’s flag is part of the whole P&O company logo on the enamel plate so could not be flown the other way around on the right hand side so flies forwards.
We didn’t remove any parts honest…
Merchant Navy 35029 Ellerman Lines although preserved is displayed as a sectioned exhibit, originally she was mounted on rollers so that wheels and motion could be rotated to see it in action but she now resides on a section of plain track.
Whilst neatly sectioned and painted to show the inner workings of a steam locomotive I feel the Museum have missed a trick as there are no actual information board to explain the how it works part of the exhibit to visitors. Whilst photographing I did spend time to actually explain how it works to many visitors.
I’m sure it doesn’t need it’s crank axle really… with 35011 General Steam Navigation needing a new crank axle it would be nice to swap this now static exhibit with a plain axle to help get 21c11 / 35011 back in steam but I think the museum staff would have noticed if I tried to borrow it… The tender would be handy too…
Duck à le bleu…
The Bulleid connection to the well known steam speed record holder LNER A4 pacific 4468 ‘Mallard’ is his work with the French firm Bugatti on behalf of Sir Nigel Gresley, Bulleid spoke fluent French, after his spell working early in his career for the French Westinghouse Company as a test engineer. Initially he was investigating their ‘The Flying Hamburger’ that was a high-speed diesel twin-coach railcar introduced in 1932 that was used for express passenger services between Berlin and Hamburg.
Developed using wind-tunnels, the train could travel the 178 miles between the two station in 138 minutes, at an average of 77mph.
This was considered to be an expensive option but led to Bugatti assisting Bulleid and Gresley with the A4 front styling and overall streamlining.
Mallard was also a visitor to the Southern Region a couple of times the first being for the 1948 Locomotive Exchange trails, where she failed at Salisbury with a hot middle big end, and again later in the 1960s on rail tour duty.
Doesn’t need a key… (sorry Stanier…)
The sole surviving austerity good looking* / ugly* (*delete as per your view) Bulleid Q1 class No. C1 built in 1942 has been an exhibit within the National Railway Museum since 2004 before which she had been restored and running on the Bluebell Railway. It is my understanding that she is not on the list for possible restorations to working order in the future.
When the class were first introduced under wartime austerity conditions in 1942 William Stanier was reported to have said “Where do you put the key” in response to the look of the loco.
I hope you enjoyed the read and the SR connections.