Locomotive Biographies

(All built at Brighton Locomotive Works)

Royal Observer Corps


Built December 1946 as 21C150 as part of order No.3213, for 25 locomotives, 21C146 to 21C170 inclusive. Average cost of engines in this batch was £20,200 each; Allocated new to Salisbury shed. Nameplates attached February 1948, the name having been one of several suggested by members of the public. Renumbered 34050 29 January 1949. Collided with a Z class goods engine at Exmouth Junction in 1955 and repaired at Eastleigh Works. Rebuilt at Eastleigh August 1958; Presented with Royal Observer Corps’ ribbon’ 2nd July 1961 in a ceremony at Waterloo station by Air Commodore C M Wight-Boycott, Commandant ROC. These plaques in the colours of the long service medal ribbon were mounted below the painted loco number on the cabside.

Withdrawn from 70D Eastleigh shed 29th August 1965 having run 796,814 miles, 287,494 of them since rebuilding; stored there until November 1965 and scrapped by Birds, Morriston, Swansea December 1965.

Sir Keith Park


Completed January 1947. One of three ‘Battle of Britain’s’ lined up at Brighton station on 19th September 1947 for a joint naming ceremony, the others being Fighter Pilot and Tangmere. Air Chief Marshal Park himself named ‘his’ loco. Initially allocated to Salisbury, and loaned to Stewarts Lane, London in September 1948, followed by spells at Nine Elms and Exmouth Junction sheds until returning to Salisbury in June 1951 for express work between London and Exeter. Renumbered 34053 10th June 1949. Rebuilt November 1958; final transfer to Bournemouth March 1960. From 1962, often worked the Oxford to Bournemouth section of the famous Pines Express. Withdrawn from 70F Bournemouth shed 17th October 1965 with a mileage of 825,317, of which 296,188 was since rebuilding, and stored there until 11 January 1966, when it was towed to Woodham Bros yard at Barry Docks, Glamorgan, arriving March 1966, where it lay with some 200 other ex BR steam locos until rescued for preservation in June 1984, moving initially to Hull;Â later stored at Hope Farm, Sellindge, Kent, with tender running with 35027 Port Line on the Swanage Railway. Locomotive now under restoration under the auspices of Southern Locomotives Ltd in Dorset, with restoration due to continue at the Swanage Railway.



Built February 1947; allocated new to Stewarts Lane shed, London; Renumbered 34056 29th May 1948. Rebuilt December 1960, at a cost of some £12,800; unusually, the engine still retained its nameplates as late as March 1967; withdrawn 7th May 1967 from 70E Salisbury shed, being stored there until August 1967 and scrapped by Cashmores at Newport the following month. Final mileage 957,081, of which 322,902 as a rebuild.

229 Squadron


Built May 1947; New to Ramsgate shed. Unrebuilt; Renumbered 34063 January 1949. Withdrawn from Salisbury shed 15th August 1965, stored there until November 1965, then at Eastleigh works until April 1966. Final mileage 736,984. Scrapped by Birds at Bridgend May 1966 as one of the last engines scrapped there.

Salisbury based engines worked passenger and freight turns to both London and Exeter.

Fighter Command


The 1000th locomotive built at Brighton locomotive works since 1852, new to traffic 14th July 1947. After trials, fitted with first of the modified ‘V’ wedge shaped cabs, with two side windows (three became standard later). New to Ramsgate shed. Formally named at Waterloo Station by Sir James Robb 11 September 1947, along with Winston Churchill and Lord Dowding. Renumbered 34064 3rd June 1948. Unrebuilt; fitted with Giesl oblong Ejector and chimney April 1962, but this had no particular effect on the Bulleid’s already excellent steaming abilities. Standby engine for Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral train in January 1965; held in steam at Staines, but not needed. Withdrawn from Salisbury shed 22nd May 1966, stored in Basingstoke yard September 1966 and scrapped by Birds at Bridgend November 1966. Final mileage 759,666.



Built July 1947; New to Ramsgate shed. Unrebuilt; Named at Waterloo station 16th September 1947 together with Lord Beaverbrook and Spitfire. Renumbered 34065 12th June 1948. Temporarily transferred to Stratford shed on the Eastern Region in May 1951 to supplement resident ‘B1s’ on secondary duties and proved valuable when the new standard design ‘Britannia’ pacifics had to be withdrawn from service on the Great Eastern Lines out of Liverpool Street for modification, returning to the Southern by May 1952. Withdrawn from 83D Exmouth Junction shed April 1964 as the Western Region began dieselisation of the main line to Exeter; stored at Eastleigh Works from withdrawal until November 1964 and despatched to Birds, Llanelly that month, where it lingered until early 1965.

Exmouth Junction shed – part of the Western Region from September 1963 – provided locos for working portions of the Atlantic Coast Express onwards from nearby Exeter to destinations such as Barnstaple and Ilfracombe in North Devon and Cornwall on the ‘Withered Arm ‘ – the enthusiast’s name for the heavily graded Southern lines west of Exeter, plus Waterloo bound expresses in the opposite direction and stopping trains from Exeter to Yeovil and Salisbury, together with, in later years, fast goods trains. Its engines had a reputation with spotters for scruffiness, in contrast to the immaculate turnout of Salisbury engines.



Bulleid Pacific 21C166 was built by the former Southern Railway in September 1947, and received its name, commemorating the famous fighter aircraft, at Waterloo Station on 16th September 1947. Renumbered 34066 by British Railways, it was not rebuilt. Involved in the Lewisham crash on 4 December 1957 which killed 90 people and seriously injured 108 others; it was hauling the 4.56 Cannon St – Dover service when it collided with the rear of a local electric train and also demolished the bridge carrying the electrified Nunhead – Lewisham Line. The driver of 34066 admitted passing a signal at danger, but was also worried about fog and a lack of sufficient water to complete the journey. Due to dieselisation it was withdrawn from Salisbury shed in September 1966, later being scrapped at Buttigiegs, Newport, in January 1967. The loco nameplate and a commemorative plaque (X004-1284) were mounted together on a varnished wooden board. The nameplate was recovered from Bentley Priory in October 2006 due to the impending closure of that RAF station.

249 Squadron


Unrebuilt; Built at Brighton May 1948 as part of order No.3383 for loco nos.34071-34090. Initially worked from Ramsgate from 6 May 1948, but soon re-allocated to Stewarts Lane, Battersea, and then to Dover by early January 1949 to work Continental trains and other services to the coast such as the Man of Kent business express from Charing Cross to Margate. In March 1952 it took part in haulage trials between Dover and Chislehurst to compare the performance of Battle of Britain, Merchant Navy and the new Britannia class pacifics; Completion of the Kent coast electrification in June 1961 saw a move to Nine Elms, London on 26 May that year to work expresses on the Waterloo-Southampton – Weymouth route. Moved to 70D Eastleigh shed 6th January 1964 and withdrawn from there 28th June 1964, final mileage 684,325; stored there until 2 April 1965 when it was towed by ‘West Country’ loco 34006 via Bath to Woodham Bros at Barry Docks in a convoy with three other Bulleid Battle of Britain class light Pacifics (34058 Sir Frederick Pile, 34067 Tangmere, and 34081 92 Squadron), leaving for preservation in February 1988 as the last Battle of Britain class (and light Pacific) loco at Barry, moving to Brighton; later on the Watercress (Mid-Hants) line at Ropley and undergoing restoration, and in May 2006 moved to the East Lancs Railway, awaiting restoration, being latterly up for sale. Original BR smokebox numberplate auctioned in Sheffield June 2002, and other set of nameplate and crest auctioned July 2010 for £40,500.

46 Squadron


Built May 1948; New to Ramsgate shed. Unrebuilt. Withdrawn from Exmouth Junction shed 15th June 1963 as one of the first batch of four light pacifics to be withdrawn, and stored at Eastleigh Works July 1963 – April 1964, being scrapped there week ending 30th May 1964. Final mileage 639,592.

264 Squadron


Built June 1948; New to Ramsgate shed. Unrebuilt. Withdrawn from 83D Exmouth Junction shed April 1964 and stored at Exeter St. Davids Motive Power Depot until c. October 1964. Final mileage 643,241. It was stored by Birds at Bridgend between May 1965 and June 1966 – unusually long for any private scrapyard other than Woodham’s – and then scrapped.

603 Squadron


Built July 1948; New to Ramsgate shed. Rebuilt July 1960, including new firebox. Withdrawn from Eastleigh shed 26th March 1967, stored there until 30th July, arriving at Cashmores at Newport by 6th August 1967, being scrapped there that month. Final mileage 745,642, with 267,480 miles as a rebuild.

When the nameplate and badge were auctioned for £25,000 in 1996 they set a new world record for a loco nameplate (now surpassed), and were placed on the landing wall at the Edinburgh headquarters of the long -disbanded Royal Auxiliary Air Force Squadron, now the base of No.2 (City of Edinburgh) Maritime Headquarters Unit.

222 Squadron


Built July 1948; New to Ramsgate shed. Unrebuilt. Withdrawn from Exmouth Junction shed September 1964 as one of eleven Bulleid pacifics condemned with the end of steam express workings on the Waterloo to Exeter line that month, stored there until November, and scrapped by Birds at Morriston, Swansea December 1964. Final mileage 779,643.

141 Squadron


Built July 1948; New to Ramsgate shed. Unrebuilt. Withdrawn from Eastleigh shed 27th February 1966, stored there until June; taken in diesel hauled convoy via Gloucester with three other steam locos, and scrapped by Cashmores at Newport July 1966. Final mileage 765,302.

615 Squadron


Built September 1948; New to Ramsgate shed. Officially named at Guildford by Sir Malcolm Fraser 8th October 1948, the name having previously been carried by 34071 between April and August 1948. This was the last official BR naming of the BoB class. New to Ramsgate shed. Rebuilt April 1960. Withdrawn from Eastleigh shed 24th April 1966, stored there until August, and scrapped by Cashmores at Newport September 1966. Final mileage 697,386,of which 272,980 as a rebuild.

In December 2002 the other pair of plate and crest from this loco were sold by Sheffield Railwayana Auctions for £45 800.

253 Squadron


Built November 1948; New to Stewarts Lane shed. Unrebuilt. Rolled down an embankment at Hither Green on February 20, 1960, having overrun a red signal while in charge of an early-morning Dover Marine – Bricklayer’s Arms van train. Repaired at Eastleigh. Worked the last steam hauled weekday up Atlantic Coast Express on Friday August 14th 1964 from Bude to Exeter. Withdrawn from Eastleigh shed 3rd October 1965, stored there until February 1966, and scrapped by Buttigiegs at Newport March 1966. Final mileage 663,249.

501 Squadron


Built November 1948; New to Stewarts Lane shed. Rebuilt June 1960. Withdrawn from 70F Bournemouth shed 26th September 1965 and stored there until 29 November 1965, and scrapped by Buttigiegs at Newport April 1966. Final mileage 661,415, of which 219,806 were as a rebuild.

219 Squadron


Built December 1948; New to Ramsgate shed in experimental apple green livery. Unrebuilt. Withdrawn from Eastleigh shed 25th June 1966, stored there until October, and scrapped by Buttigiegs at Newport November 1966. It had been an early candidate for preservation (by a group of Nine Elms Drivers who wanted either 34066 or 34086, but funds could not be raised quickly enough for its preservation. (The same group eventually purchased 34023 Blackmore Vale) Final mileage 700,982. In November 2007 the other No 219 Squadron plate and badge set was due to be auctioned by Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railwayana auctions.

602 Squadron


Built December 1948; New to Ramsgate shed. Another light Pacific temporarily transferred to Stratford Shed in May 1951 to cover for withdrawn ‘Britannia’ pacifics. New firebox fitted September 1954. Rebuilt November 1960. One of the last light pacifics in service; received last official classified locomotive repair at Eastleigh works, with ceremonial return to service 6th October 1966. Worked the last enthusiast society ‘special’ on the Southern region, the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society’s ‘Farewell To Southern Steam’ run on 18th June 1967, taking the train on a last steam run from Southampton onto the Swanage branch and on to Weymouth. Ran on the 08.20 Waterloo- Southampton East Docks boat train on Friday 7th July; Went ‘light engine’ from Eastleigh shed to Salisbury shed on Saturday 8th July together with 34024, its last run ‘in steam’. Withdrawn 9th July 1967, stored at Salisbury shed until March 1968 – one of the last steam locos on the Southern Region – and stored by Cashmores at Newport April 1968 – September 1968, then scrapped. Final mileage 661,252, of which 258,418 were as a rebuild.

Sir Trafford Leigh Mallory


Built May 1950 as part of order No. 3486 for loco nos.34091 – 34110 at a cost of £24,784 per loco; New to Bournemouth shed. One of the last four engines rebuilt (March 1961). Another of the engines withdrawn from Exmouth Junction shed September 1964, stored there until November 1964, and scrapped by Birds at Morriston, Swansea in December 1964. Final mileage 719,818, of which 162,601 were as a rebuild.