Watercress Line

Another chance to ride behind two of our guest engines

*Ride behind two of our guest engines running this week only!*

Tuesday 11th - Thursday 13th July 35006 - Merchant Navy Class - Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company

Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th July 80078  BR Standard 4 Tank


35006 - Merchant Navy Class - Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company

The 'Merchant Navy' class was designed by O. V. S. Bulleid and introduced in 1941, ostensibly as a mixed-traffic type but once initial teething problems were overcome the very large majority of their work was on express passenger trains on the main lines from Waterloo to Exeter and Bournemouth and Weymouth and until Summer, 1959, on boat trains between Victoria and the Kentish Channel Ports. Being the premier passenger power of the Southern Railway and Region, the 'Merchant Navies' were assigned to the prestige trains such as the 'Golden Arrow' and 'Bournemouth Belle' Pullmans and the 'Atlantic Coast Express' in addition to other important but un-named services on the routes mentioned.


80078  BR Standard 4 Tank

British Railways built twelve different standardised designs under the supervision of Chief Mechanical Engineer R. A. Riddles.  One of the most successful of these Riddles designs were the Class 4MT, 2-6-4 Tank locomotives, represented at our gala by 80078.  Many of the class were based and used extensively in southern England up until the end of steam, fifty years ago.  80078 was built in 1954 at Brighton Works, and worked for just eleven years for British Railways before being withdrawn from service.  Saved from Woodham’s scrapyard in Barry, South Wales, 80078 is enjoying the beginning of its second stint of running in preservation, after being purchased and overhauled by Stewart Robinson and his team.   

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