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SR West Country Class 4-6-2 - 34016 Bodmin
In 1945 O V Bulleid introduced a series of lightweight pacific locomotives which shared most of the novel features of the larger Merchant Navy class introduced four years earlier. The latter were restricted to the main lines from Waterloo to Exmouth and Weymouth, but the 18 ¾ ton axles loading of the smaller class enabled them to work over most of the lines of the Southern Railway. By 1951 110 of these engines had been built, 66 named after places in the West Country served by the Southern Railway, and the remainder after people, places, etc. connected with the Battle of Britain. Bodmin was the sixteenth to be built, entering service at Exmouth Junction shed in November 1945 under the number 21C116. The name Bodmin was bestowed in August 1946, and the number changed to 34016 on the formation of British Railways.
Increased maintenance difficulties, especially with the chain driven valve gear, led to a decision to rebuild the class to a more conventional layout, and in April 1958 Bodmin emerged from Eastleigh works with Walschaerts motion and a modified tender. The characteristic "air smoothed" boiler casing which gave rise to the nickname "Spam-can" was also removed at this time. Bodmin then saw service at Ramsgate until June 1959, Bricklayers Arms until June 1961, and Eastleigh until withdrawn in June 1964. The next few months were spent at Eastleigh Works yard supplying steam for safety valve testing, but in the October Bodmin was sold for scrap to Woodham Brothers and towed dead to their yard at Barry on South Wales.
While at Barry numerous fittings were removed but the engine was still basically complete when purchased by Mr J S Bunch in 1971. Bodmin was moved to Quainton on 29th July 1972, and the task of replacing missing parts and restoring the engine to working order was started. On 31st October 1976 Bodmin was moved to the Mid Hants Railway, where restoration was completed, and where Bodmin was frequently in operation. In 1993 Bodmin was dismantled for her 10-year overhaul, returning to service in 2000. The loco operated on some of the Mid-Hants Railtours on the mainline, but was withdrawn from mainline service in January 2005, and is unlikely to see mainline service for the foreseeable future. Bodmin continued to operate on the Mid Hants Railway until recently, though is now awaiting its next overhaul. In 2014 Bodmin moved to Carnforth, presumably for restoration.
Current Location - Carnforth
|Builder :-||Southern Railway||Date Built :-||1945||Number :-||34016|
|Alternate Numbers :-||Works No. 2561||Name :-||Bodmin||Wheel Arrangement :-||4-6-2|
|Tractive Effort :-||27,715 lb||Boiler Pressure :-||250 psi||Cylinder Dimensions :-||16⅜" x 24"|
|Weight :-||90t 1c||Driving Wheel Dia. :-||6' 2"|
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 29 September 2017