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Posts Tagged ‘35006 Locomotive Society’

This week saw the first of the new Hornby ‘Original’ Merchant Navy Pacifics hitting  the retailers, see my Talking Stock #35 post here for more details and also the full size ‘Rebuilt’ Merchant Navy Pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. steaming in public service for the first time in 2017 on the  Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway (GWSR) for the week of services allied with the Cheltenham Races Festival. With this in mind I thought it was time that firstly I finished my model of 35006 in her as preserved guise (being a shareholder), and also that I mentioned the Rebuilt Merchant Navy Pacifics on this blog, although they are of course out of my usual 1946-49 modelling period.

Rebuilding the Merchant Navy’s

21C6 in original condition on Fisherton Sarum

Although in general the Merchant Navy class as introduced were a success, proving to be powerful and very free steaming, one of the outcomes of the less than scientifically carried out Locomotive Exchange trails in 1948 and further performance and efficiency tests carried out at the Rugby Stationary Test Plant between March 1952 and January 1952, showed them to be costing a lot in: coal, water, oil and secondly maintenance when compared to other classes. These costs along with issues of leakage of oil from the enclosed motion oil baths and the reliability and accuracy of the steam reverser / cut off setting led to the Southern Region looking at options to improve the engines.  The option chosen as opposed to trying to overcome the individual issues was to rebuild the engines with more ‘standard parts’.

Rebuilt 35006 in the sunshine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway.

The task was given, in 1954, to R.G. Jarvis of the Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer’s Department at Brighton, his new design replaced the encased oil bath and chain driven valve gear with three sets of  more traditional Walschaerts valve gear, new style piston heads and rods, regulator and a screw-link type reverser. The ashpan and grate were also replaced and included hopper bottom doors and front and rear dampers. A new fabricated smokebox, superheater header and steam pipes were also fitted.
The frames, outside cylinders, boilers were retained along with the: Bullied-Firth-Brown wheels (although now needing balance weights to be fitted), axleboxes, the efficient ‘clasp’ locomotive brakes and the ‘Stones’ steam generator for electric lighting both for the engine headsignals and in cab lighting. The same tenders were utilised, albeit with the side raves cut down to ease water filling access and reverse running view. The drawbar between the loco and tender however was replaced.

Reflecting on  superb standard of external finish on 35006.

Externally the ‘Air Smoothed’ casing was removed giving the look common to the recently introduced BR standard classes, although the characteristic oval shaped smokebox door was kept. Sanding, from replacement sandboxes, was also added to the leading driving axle, whilst rearward application was incorporated to the middle driving axle and new mechanical lubricators were accessibly mounted on the running plate alongside the boiler.
In 1955 the British Railways Board gave authority for fifteen of the class to be modified and authority for rebuilding the remainder swiftly followed. In February 1956 Eastleigh works released 35018 British India Line in its newly modified form (35018 as the prototype rebuild remained unique to the rest of the class as the front sandbox filler position and injector pipework differed), by October 1959 all the class had been rebuilt.
Performance of the rebuilt engines was indeed successful, solving most of the maintenance issues, although one drawback was that they put greater loads on the track, than the largely self balanced originals, as a result of increased hammerblow, caused by the balance weights required for the Walschaerts valve gear.

My model of rebuilt 35006 as preserved

The release by Hornby in the year 2000 of the rebuilt Merchant Navy locomotive heralded a new generation of model steam locomotives by Hornby and was a step change of standard of models reactive to competition in the market place and gave us a new super detail standard featuring blackened finish handrails and wheels with etched brass valve gear, detailed cab interior, and a five pole motor housed and driving within the locomotive itself. Over the years a number of the class have been released with a few modifications to the tooling along the way, although as yet none of the first series engines as rebuilt have been released as the 5000 gallon style tenders they were paired with have not been tooled.

My model of 35006 in as preserved condition

As 35006 in preservation has been paired to a brand new built larger 5100 style tender I have used a Hornby R1038 35012 United States Lines (split from a train pack) locomotive as the basis for my model.
Firstly I removed the cabside number numbers via my usual method of soaking the Hornby printing in enamel thinners and rubbing off with a cotton bud and replacing with HMRS Pressfix decals.

A front 3/4 view of 35006 based on the Hornby Rebuilt Merchant Navy with detailing parts and etched plates from RT Models and Fox Transfers

New nameplates and smokebox door number plates were fitted along with an extched 72B Salisbury shedcode plate on the smokebox in the slightly higher position than usual, level with the lower smokebox  hinge, on 35006 which was a charactoristic of her when in service. All the plates were obtained from Fox Transfers.
I replaced the front steps as supplied by Hornby by the more robust lost wax cast versions, along with a set of the cylinder drain pipes to complete the front end look, obtained through RT Models, from his excellent Albert Goodall range.
As I am modelling 35006 in her preserved condition I want to to also represent her superb external paintwork finish with a reflective and classic oily rag polished hue and have therefore given the model a coat of Kleer floor polish to give a such a finish to the paintwork (and also seal in the decals).

More details of 35006 and the locomotive Society can be found on my dedicated page here.  Also it is worth mentioning the 35011 The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society that was formed last year with the intention of not only restoring 35011 back to working order but doing so back in original air smoothed condition condition complete with Bulleid’s oil bath encased valve gear incorporating chain drive elements to fill the gap in preserved examples left by the entire class having been rebuilt.

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For those of us as either members and, like myself, shareholders of the 35006 Locomotive Society yesterday 16th May 2016, was a very special day. Following restoration from an ex Barry condition, at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, that has taken over 30 years Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. (the longest name of any locomotive in preservation) was officially renamed and hauled her first passenger train for over 50 years comprising of members and shareholders of the 35006 Locomotive Society along with a small number of invited honoured guests.

35006 in the sunshine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway folowing her first passenger run on 16th May 2016 for Society Members and Shareholders

35006 in the sunshine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway following her first passenger run on 16th May 2016 for Society Members and Shareholders

35006 was withdrawn in her prime in August 1964, before languishing in the infamous Dia Woodham Barry scrapyard for over 18 years. A small band of dedicated early pioneers of the 35006 Locomotive Society managed to scrape together the purchase price of just over £7000 which resulted in 35006 finally leaving for Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway in March 1983.

My Dad films 35006 moving into place prior to renaming ceremony

My Dad records 35006 moving into place prior to renaming ceremony

Over 30 years of dedication, hard work and fundraising by members of the growing  35006 Locomotive Society finally saw 35006 steam again, albeit on 2 cylinders, on 10th August 2015. Following completion of the final list of works required, further steaming and running in, the date was set for her renaming and first passenger run on Monday 16th May 2016.

The first 35006 Locomotive Society Chairman Bill Trite reflects on the very early days of obtaining 35006

The first 35006 Locomotive Society Chairman Bill Trite reflects on the very early days of obtaining 35006

The unveiling / renaming of Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. was carried out by Pete Waterman the President of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway following short speeches by current Society Chairman, Jon McMillan, who introduced the first Society Chairman and pioneer Bill Trite (who subsequently went on to be Chairman of the Swanage Railway and Southern Locomotives Ltd.),

Ex Fireman David Brown fired 35006 on her final turn in 1964

Ex Fireman David Brown fired 35006 on her final turn in 1964

Bill described to the audience those early days of making the necessary small but important steps of raising the initial funds to both purchase and secure a base for and moving 35006 to Toddington and therefore reaching where the Society is at today.

Pete Waterman unveils the nameplate of Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co.

Pete Waterman unveils the nameplate of Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co.

The final speaker before Pete Waterman unveiled the nameplate was former Southern Region Fireman, David Brown who was based at Yeovil.
David described how, as a 18 year old, he fired 35006, in August 1964 on the night mail coming off the train at Salisbury before going onto shed, 35006 was unusual in that she spent her entire career at Salisbury 72B shed, to be told that she was now to be withdrawn and he had just fired her final turn in service. David was then invited to be on the footplate, along with Pete Waterman on the first run of the day.

35006 then completed two runs between Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse with an impressive twelve coach rake (unfortunately not in Southern Region green but you cant have everything!), not often seen on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway as they usually only run seven coach trains, which she handled with ease.

35006 runs around the 12 coach train at Cheltenham Racecourse

35006 runs around the 12 coach train at Cheltenham Racecourse

A very nice complimentary lunch was served on board the first run, which was quite an achievement in itself by the catering team from the Flag and Whistle franchised café run by Lynne Tidddy and her enthusiastic team.

It was certainly a fantastic day, the sun shone, 35006  looked, performed and sounded great.
35006 also carried a small plaque on the middle bufferbeam lamp bracket to mark the Society having received, earlier this year, the Heritage Railway Association’s John Coiley Award for the restoration of 35006.

The 35006 Locomotive Society should be duly proud of their achievement in all aspects of the restoration, fundraising and also the organisation of the day itself.

35006 pulls away from Cheltenham Racecourse in the sunshine

35006 pulls away from Cheltenham Racecourse in the sunshine

I would like to take this opportunity thank the 35006 Locomotive Society on behalf of all its members and  shareholders for such a great day. A further note of thanks should be made for the wonderful complimentary full colour commemoration booklet charting the three decades of restoration.

If reading about this achievement has, and I hope so, made you feel like you would like to be a part of keeping 35006 in steam, then information on how to join the Society can be found here.

35006 will be making her first appearance hauling trains for the public at the Cotswold Festival of Steam on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway over the May 28th to 30th Bank Holiday weekend. 

 

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