SR West Country Class

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File:SR West Country Class 21C123 'Blackmore Vale' at York Railfest.JPG
Preserved Unrebuilt West Country Class 21C213 Blackmoor Vale.
File:SR West Coutry Class 34045 'Ottery St. Mary' at Crewe Works.jpg
Preserved Rebuilt West Country Class 34027 Taw Valley masquerading as 34045 Ottery St. Mary.
34072 257 Squadron, as preserved.

The Southern Railway (SR) West Country and Battle of Britain Classes, also known as Bulleid Light Pacifics, are classes of streamlined 4-6-2 steam locomotive. Designed for express passenger and semi-fast work in South-East and South-West England, 110 of them were built.

Contents

The two classes are identical: only the themes of their names are different. They were designed by the Southern Railway's Chief Mechanical Engineer Oliver Bulleid as a lighter version of his SR Merchant Navy Class. They incorporated many of the innovations found in that class, such as chain-driven valve gear driven via an oil-filled gearbox. 66 of the class were named after places in the West Country served by the Southern Railway, and the rest took their names from RAF squadrons, airfields, commanders and aircraft from the Battle of Britain.

The SR number followed an adaptation of the UIC classification system where "2" and "1" refer to the number of unpowered leading and trailing axles respectively, and "C" refers to the number of driving axles – in this case three. However, since "21C" was the prefix already used by the Merchant Navy class, the suffix "1" was added; all these locomotives therefore carried numbers which started "21C1" followed by the individual two-digit identifier.

The final 40 engines were built after the railways were nationalised in 1948, and so never carried SR numbers.

Between 1957 and 1961, British Railways rebuilt 60 of the class as more conventional engines, adopting many features from the BR Standard locomotives that had been introduced since 1950. The streamlined casing was removed and replaced with conventional boiler cladding, and the chain-driven valve gear was replaced with Walschaerts valve gear.

The locomotives were successful. Their light driving axle loading meant that they were often prone to wheelslip, requiring very careful driving when starting a heavy train from rest, but once into their stride they were noted for excellent steam production and speedy running.

On 30 January 1965 No.34051 "Winston Churchill" hauled the funeral train of its namesake from London's Waterloo station to his final resting place, close to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, where he was born.

No fewer than 20 of these useful locomotives escaped the cutting torch and still exist in varying states of preservation.

List of Engines and their names

Key to notes: (Surviving locos are marked with an asterisk '*')

  • C – Complete
  • UR – Under Restoration
  • S – ex-Scrapyard, and awaiting future restoration
BR No. SR No. Name Builder Built Withdrawn Scrapped? Preserved/location? Notes
34001 21C101 Exeter
34002 21C102 Salisbury
34003 21C103 Plymouth
34004 21C104 Yeovil
34005 21C105 Barnstaple
34006 21C106 Bude
34007* 21C107 Wadebridge Brighton Aug 1945 Oct 1965 Y C
34008 21C108 Padstow
34009 21C109 Lyme Regis
34010* 21C110 Sidmouth Y S
34011 21C111 Tavistock
34012 21C112 Launceston
34013 21C113 Okehampton
34014 21C114 Budleigh Salterton
34015 21C115 Exmouth
34016* 21C116 Bodmin Y UR
34017 21C117 Ilfracombe
34018 21C118 Axminster
34019 21C119 Bideford
34020 21C120 Seaton
34021 21C121 Dartmoor
34022 21C122 Exmoor
34023* 21C123 Blackmoor Vale/Blackmore Vale Bluebell Railway C
34024 21C124 Tamar Valley
34025 21C125 Whimple
34026 21C126 Yes Tor
34027* 21C127 Taw Valley Y C
34028* 21C128 Eddystone Bluebell Railway C
34029 21C129 Lundy
34030 21C130 Watersmeet
34031 21C131 Torrington
34032 21C132 Camelford
34033 21C133 Chard
34034 21C134 Honiton
34035 21C135 Shaftesbury
34036 21C136 Westward Ho
34037 21C137 Clovelly
34038 21C138 Lynton
34039* 21C139 Boscastle Y UR
34040 21C140 Crewkerne
34041 21C141 Wilton
34042 21C142 Dorchester
34043 21C143 Combe Martin
34044 21C144 Woolacombe
34045 21C145 Ottery St Mary
34046* 21C146 Braunton Y UR
34047 21C147 Callington
34048 21C148 Crediton
34049 21C149 Anti-Aircraft Command
34050 21C150 Royal Observer Corps
34051* 21C151 Winston Churchill National Railway Museum C
34052 21C152 Lord Dowding
34053* 21C153 Sir Keith Park Y UR
34054 21C154 Lord Beaverbrook
34055 21C155 Fighter Pilot
34056 21C156 Croydon
34057 21C157 Biggin Hill
34058* 21C158 Sir Frederick Pile Y UR
34059* 21C159 Sir Archibald Sinclair Bluebell Railway UR
34060 21C160 25 Squadron
34061 21C161 73 Squadron
34062 21C162 17 Squadron
34063 21C163 229 Squadron
34064 21C164 Fighter Command
34065 21C165 Hurricane
34066 21C166 Spitfire
34067* 21C167 Tangmere Y C
34068 21C168 Kenley
34069 21C169 Hawkinge
34070* 21C170 Manston Y S
34071 - 601 Squadron
34072* - 257 Squadron Y C
34073* - 249 Squadron Y S
34074 - 46 Squadron
34075 - 264 Squadron
34076 - 41 Squadron
34077 - 603 Squadron
34078 - 222 Squadron
34079 - 141 Squadron
34080 - 74 Squadron
34081* - 92 Squadron Y C
34082 - 615 Squadron
34083 - 605 Squadron
34084 - 253 Squadron
34085 - 501 Squadron
34086 - 219 Squadron
34087 - 145 Squadron
34088 - 213 Squadron
34089 - 602 Squadron
34090 - Sir Eustace Missenden, Southern Railway
34091 - Weymouth
34092* - City of Wells Y C
34093 - Saunton
34094 - Morthoe
34095 - Brentor
34096 - Trevone
34097 - Holsworthy
34098 - Templecombe
34099 - Lynmouth
34100 - Appledore
34101* - Hartland Y C
34102 - Lapford
34103 - Calsock
34104 - Bere Alston
34105* - Swanage Y C
34106 - Lydford
34107 - Blandford Forum
34108 - Wincanton
34109 - Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory
34110 - 66 Squadron

Gallery

External links


Locomotives of the Southern Railway
Maunsell: H15 - Lord Nelson - N15 (King Arthur) - N15X - Q - V (Schools) - U - U1 - W - Z
Bulleid: Leader - Merchant Navy - Q1 - USA - West Country/Battle of Britain
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