Locomotive Performance

Review: Bulleid Pacifics

My first experience of a Bulleid pacific was in the summer of 1952, when I returned to Weymouth from Bournemouth Central on 34105 Swanage. 1n 1954 a day trip from Victoria to Margate brought pacifics each way, and in fact I did note the start, stop, and station passing times. So a sort of log was produced. But in 1955, it all happened. A trip on the Atlantic Coast Express at Easter, and Bulleids east and west of Exeter in July of the same year, whilst holidaying at Dawlish Warren. A holiday in Hampshire in 1956, a short break at Eastleigh in 1960, then railtours in the mid 1960's meant that I amassed a total of 54 runs on Bulleid pacifics in the BR Steam era. So here are a selection of the best runs from that period, together with a few from more recent times on what we now know as Main Line Steam, and several on our Heritage railways.

The picture to the left shows Rebuilt West Country 4-6-2's at Oxford on, and awaiting, inter regional services in the summer of 1964. A third West Country is about to appear from the left on a northbound working. In 1964, I spent three summer Saturday afternoons at Oxford, and saw four or five Bulleids each time. One of them, 34103 Calstock, worked northwards through Oxford, presumably at least to Banbury. 
11th April 1955: 35023 Holland-Afrika Line: Exeter Central to Salisbury on the Atlantic Coast Express, 12.30pm Exeter Central to Waterloo  [view log of 35023]
4th September 1957: 35007 Aberdeen Commonwealth: Exeter Central to Salisbury on the Atlantic Coast Express, 12.30pm Exeter Central to Waterloo  [view log of 35007]
7th June 1960: 35011 General Steam Navigation: Bournemouth Central to Waterloo on the 11.30am Weymouth to Waterloo [view log of 35011]
28th March 1965: 35023 Holland-Afrika Line: Templecombe to Wimbledon on the SCTS Southern Wanderer Railtour [view log of 35023]
3rd October 1965: 35022 Holland-America Line: Waterloo to Exeter Central [view log of 35022] and Exeter Central to Waterloo [view log of 35022]  And some excellent running on the the SCTS Exeter Flyer Railtour. 
21st June 1980: 35028 Clan Line:  Chester to Shrewsbury and Hereford on the Clan Line Farewell Railtour [view log of 35028]

27th April 1985: 35028 Clan Line: Marylebone to Stratford on Avon, and Stratford on Avon to Marylebone, on the SLOA Thames Avon Express Railtour  [view log of 35028]

9th October 1999: 35005 Canadian Pacific: Crewe to Blackpool North and Blackpool North to Crewe on the Vintage Trains Blackpool Belle Railtour  [view log of 35005]

12th April 1955: 34037 Clovelly: Plymouth to Exeter St Davids via Okehampton, on the 3.50pm Plymouth Friary to Waterloo  [view log of 34037]
22nd June 1955: 34083 605 Squadron: Ashford to Waterloo East on the 3.25pm Margate to Charing Cross, via Folkestone  [view log of 34083]
2nd July 1956: 34040 Crewkerne: Bath Green Park to Evercreech Jc and Poole, on the 10.10am Sheffield to Bournemouth West, a Mondays and Fridays only service, which ran as a relief to the Pines Express:  A class 2P 4-4-0 piloted to Evercreech [view log of 34040]
11th July 1956: 34093 Saunton: Waterloo to Southampton Central on the 6.30pm Waterloo to Weymouth [view log of 34093]
13th July 1956: 34106 Lydford: Southampton Central to Waterloo on the 1.25pm Weymouth to Waterloo [view log of 34106]
31st August 1958: 34079 141 Squadron: Exeter St Davids to Barnstaple Junction on the Sunday 10.45am Waterloo to Ilfracombe [view log of 34079]
31st August 1958: 34062 17 Squadron: Barnstaple Junction to Exeter St Davids on the Sunday 2.45pm Ilfracombe to Waterloo [view log of 34062]
2nd September 1958: 34056 Croydon: Exeter St Davids to Devonport on the 11.30am Brighton to Plymouth Friary [view log of 34056]
4th June 1960: 34043 Combe Martin: Basingstoke to Christchurch on the 9.20am Birkenhead to Bournemouth West [view log of 34043]
4th April 1965: 34051 Winston Churchill: Bournemouth Central to Waterloo on the L.C.G.B Wessex Downsman railtour  [view log of 34051]
28th July 1982: 34092 City of Wells: Maryport to Carnforth on the Southbound leg of the Cumbrian Coast Express [view log of 34092]
18th August 1982: 34092 City of Wells: Leeds to Carnforth on the White Rose railtour. And a spot of bother at the Level crossing at Cononley   [view log of 34092]
2nd May 1983: 34092 City of Wells: Carlisle to Garsdale on the Southbound leg of the SLOA Cumbrian Mountain Express. The loco worked to Hellifield  [view log of 34092]
3rd December 1983: 34092 City of Wells: Leeds to Carlisle on the Northbound SLOA Cumbrian Mountain Express [view log of 34092]
26th August 1985: 34092 City of Wells: Carnforth to Maryport on the Northbound leg of the SLOA  Cumbrian Coast Express [view log of 34092]
16th November 1985: 34092 City of Wells: Marylebone to Tyseley on the South Yorkshireman. The loco was working back to her home base in Yorkshire [view log of 34092]
6th October 1991: 34072 257 Squadron on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway during the Autumn Steam Gala  [view log of 34072]
3rd February 1996: 34105 Swanage on the Mid Hants Railway [view log of 34105]

22nd November 1962: 34050 Royal Observer Corps: Paddington to Westbury and Weymouth on Ian Allan railtour  [view log of 34050]

12th June 1965: 34097 Holsworthy from Bournemouth Central to Oxford on the Warwickshire Railway Society, Eastleigh via the S & D, railtour [view log of 34097]

24th October 1987: 34027 Taw Valley on the Severn Valley Railway  [view log of 34027]

29th May 1989: 34016 Bodmin on the Mid Hants Railway  [view log of 34016]
8th August 1990: 34027 Taw Valley: Crewe to Holyhead and return, on the North Wales Coast Express. At the time of this run, steam traction was still officially limited to 60 mph on BR lines, and there was a fire risk alert in operation  [view log of 34027]
23rd February 1994: 34027 Taw Valley: Banbury to Sheffield on the Yorkshireman railtour. Excellent running from Banbury to Leamington, and later on, a storming run from Chesterfield up to Bradway Tunnel in a blizzard  [view log of 34027] 
2nd July 1995: 34101 Hartland on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway [view log of 34101] 
HIGHLIGHTS of the above are (1) The running of 35022 from Waterloo to Exeter and back on the Exeter Flyer in 1965 (2) My run on 35023 at Easter 1955 on the up Atlantic Coast Express from Exeter to Salisbury, the 89 mph reached was my best to date. (3) 34072 storming the 1 in 49 from Grosmont to Goathland in 1991 (4) 34027 climbing up to Bradway Tunnel in a blizzard in 1990, and (5) the Clan Line Farewell in 1980, particularly 35028's time of 57 min 12 secs from Shrewsbury to Hereford.
RECOMMENDED READING: BULLEID PACIFICS (D W Winkworth-1974 George Allen & Unwin)