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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 30 - Winter 1976

SR West Country Class 4-6-2 - 34016 Bodmin

Bodmin moves to Hampshire

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J R Fairman - Motorists please note

Not without a struggle, Bodmin made its departure from Quainton on 31st October and eventually arrived at Alresford station where it is hoped it will be restored for active service on the Mid-Hants Railway.

It was on 29th July, 1972 when the West Country class 4-6-2 locomotive, 34016 Bodmin arrived in our up yard from Woodhams scrapyard at Barry and for the past 4½ years the impressive size of the Pacific has been one of the attractions for our visitors.

Unfortunately the early promise of continuous and active restoration did not continue and in the later years of its sojourn at Quainton it was often difficult to detect any advance having been made between consecutive Open Days. Consequently the interest in its presence has tended to wane and it was no surprise when rumours of its likely transfer to the Winchester and Alton scheme became commonplace.

Now that the move has been carried out we miss seeing the bulky shape of Bodmin in our midst and we wish John Bunch and Richard Heather and Jayne all success in their efforts to prepare their locomotive for steaming.

An article on Bodmin appeared in Quainton News No. 13, September 1972 and a progress report was given in the No. 16 Issue, June 1973.

The problems of loading Bodmin and transporting it were entrusted to Leicester Heavy Haulage but the operation was not carried out smoothly, partly because there was inadequate planning and partly because the police were not able to give the low loader a clear route to its destination. Members will recollect the position of 34016 before it left. It was not in a good place for easy end-loading and many of you will have commented on the awkward task facing the firm who had the job of taking the locomotive out of the up yard. Suffice it to say that the haulage firm were not willing to drive over the adjacent railway line to get at Bodmin and a special delivery of stone chippings was made to Quainton on 30th October which were then spread to make a 'level crossing'. The Saturday was spent in trying to draw the Pacific, smokebox leading, onto the trailer and when the 70 ton hulk was on board it was noticeable that it was at an angle and sitting too high. That, at least, was the impression it gave to an observer. The weight appeared to be unduly heavy on the front bogie and the vehicle supplied for the journey was of such a length that about six feet of the cab end of 34016 was hanging over the tail.

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J R Fairman - On the Move - 29th July 1972

On Sunday 31st October, quite early, Bodmin left our site and embarked on a very circuitous route to its latest home. It spent the first night in a layby after having travelled as far as Beaconsfield where it had been stopped by the police and refused further movement to Alresford because they considered the load was too high to clear certain motorway bridges enroute.

The Monday movements were started by an abortive attempt to journey via Reading but this idea was thwarted by British Rail who declared that the weight of the trailer and its load were excessive for an over line bridge, so the cavalcade returned to Beaconsfield for another attempt!

Monday evening might have witnessed the arrival of 34016 at its destination but the shades of night were falling fast and the Hampshire police decided they would prefer motorists not to be faced with the shock of seeing a railway engine in their headlights. So Bodmin spent a second night in a lay-by, and this one was only ten miles short of Alresford!

The unloading at the siding prepared for road deliveries at the Mid Hants headquarters was apparently done without incident on 2nd November. Likewise the tender which had preceded the engine on another vehicle had been handled without difficulty.

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J R Fairman - Work at Quainton - 18th March 1973

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1976 and so does not reflect events in the 39+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Bodmin moves to Hampshire - Quainton News No. 30 - Winter 1976

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 11 November 2017