Watercress Line

Coronavirus / Covid-19 Update

Our priority during the Coronavirus / Covid-19 outbreak, and the railway's closure, is on meeting our running costs. We need around £75,000 per month. Without this income, within a relatively short period we will exhaust our reserves which are so important us for our long term plans.

Although these are difficult times for all of us, we are asking you to consider providing financial support to the railway. With your support, ideally through a monthly standing order, the railway can be in a safe and good position to move forward rapidly when circumstances allow.

The amount is up to you as everyone’s circumstances are different, but please give as generously as you can. One-off donations would also be welcomed.

Thank you.

Visit our donation page to make a monthly gift or donate a single amount.

You can also text WATERCRESS to 70085 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message.

Home » Rolling Stock » Steam locomotives

35005 - SR Merchant Navy Class ‘Canadian Pacific’

Status Under Overhaul


Merchant Navies were known for their excellent steaming ability, largely thanks to the Bulleid boiler, and ran very smoothly at high speeds. The innovations originally applied to the class, such as chain driven drives and air smoothed casing, were removed during rebuilding and this cured many ills. However, the locomotives did suffer from a number of issues throughout their careers such as being prone to wheel slip, so careful handling was often required.

Nick named 'Can Pac', she took part in the Rugby trials of 1952.

In the last days of steam on the Southern region, Merchant Navies regularly broke the magical 100mph. It is also said that 'unofficially', a Merchant Navy went faster than 126.5mph, therefore beating the world steam record held by A4 'Mallard', but this has never been proven. However, it is fair to say that crews did push the envelope in the final years of steam and the Merchant Navy class leant themselves well to very fast running.

Can Pac moved to Eastleigh Works via rail on Thursday 22nd September 2011, where she was stripped for assessment of works and costing. Since this time and following a successful bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund the overhaul has been started alongside a large outreach project.

Watch a short film about Canadian Pacific here

More information and pictures can be found here and to find out ways to donate funds to help us restore CanPac into running order, please click here.

Visit our Canadian Pacific Project website for more information, films and pictures of the restoration. 


Built at
Eastleigh Works
Build year
December 1941, rebuilt May 1959
8 passenger
Entered service
O.V.S Bulleid
Total built of class
October 1965


Cylinder size
18" x 24"
Driving wheel diameter
6' 2"
Fire grate
48.5 sg ft
Max boiler pressure
250 psi
Total length
71' 7"
Tractive effort
33495 ibf at 85% boiler pressure
Tender coal capacity
5 tons
Tender water capacity
6000 gallons
Wheel arrangament
Valve gear