Watercress Line

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Home » Rolling Stock » Steam locomotives

34007 - SR West Country Class ‘Wadebridge’

Status Not Operational


Completed at Brighton in August 1945 No.34007 is one of the "West Country” class engines designed by O.V. S Bulleid as a lighter version of his "Merchant Navy” locomotives offering better route availability. Note the original numbering using the notation 21C where the "2” refers to the axles in the leading bogie, the "1” to the trailing wheels and "C” to the three pairs of coupled wheels, the "West Country” class numbers starting at 101. This was derived from a French style of numbering.

Wadebridge is one of its class that was not rebuilt and has retained its original air-smoothed casing and chain driven valve gear. The locomotives that retained their casing were known as ‘Spam Cans’ due to their shape.

Another of Bulleids innovations was the introduction of steam assisted reversing gear to this class. Instead of the manual screw mechanisms that were widely used, Bulleid saw an improvement through steam gear. These were removed when the locomotives were rebuilt.

No.21C107 began its mainline career at Exmouth Junction moving to Nine Elms in 1951 and re-numbered 34007. Its last allocation was to Salisbury in August 1964 being withdrawn in October 1965 and arriving at Barry scrap yard in May 1966. It had clocked up 823,193 miles in service.

Rescued for preservation in 1981 by the Plym Valley Railway, Wadebridge was later restored at the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.

The MHRPS bought the Bodmin and Wenford Railway Trust’s 73% share holding in Wadebridge (34007) Locomotive Ltd. in Autumn 2008.

West Countrys could often be seen on famous express trains to the west such as the Devon Belle and that pictured, probably the most famous of them all, the ACE - Atlantic Coast Express.

You can find out more about Wadebridge here on the official website.


Built at
Brighton Works
Build year
7 passenger, 5 freight
Entered service
1 September 1945
O.V.S Bulleid
Wadebridge 34007 Locomotive Ltd
Shed allocation
Exmouth Junction (from New), Nine Elms 11 April 1951, Salisbury 14 September 1964
Total built of class
7 October 1965


Cylinder size
16.375" x 24"
Driving wheel diameter
6' 2"
Fire grate
38.25 sq ft
Max boiler pressure
250 ibs sq in
Total length
67' 4.75"
Tractive effort
31000 ibs at 85% boiler pressure
Tender coal capacity
5 tons
Tender water capacity
6000 gallons
Wheel arrangament
Working order weight
128 tons
Valve gear
Chain Driven