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The class was designed by Oliver Bulleid and named after the shipping lines of the docks served by the Southern Railway. In all 30 Merchant Navy class locomotives were built and in their original form exhibited many innovations. These included a steel boiler which used the latest welding technology, thermal siphons to improve water circulation, and American style disk wheels to eliminate hammer blow to the track. However the most revolutionary feature of the design was the chain driven valve gear enclosed in an oil bath.
Built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Doncaster Works to a design of H.N. Gresley, it was employed on long-distance express trains on the LNER and its successors, British Railways Eastern and North-Eastern Regions, notably on the London to Edinburgh Flying Scotsman train service after which it was named.
First steamed in 2008, after a 19 year project to fund and build the locomotive, Tornado was built to be not a replica, but the 50th A1. The original 49 A1s were built for the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) between 1948 and 1949.
The B1's were designed as mixed traffic locomotives capable of hauling express passenger trains as well as freight traffic. As powerful, go anywhere engines, the B1's worked across most of the UK rail network from East Anglia to Scotland.
45596 Bahamas was built in 1934 by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow for the London Midland & Scottish Railway. 45596 was designed by Sir William Stanier and entered service in 1935. 45596 is the only 'double chimney' Jubilee locomotive after being fitted with it in 1961 as part of a trial. This trial was the final attempt by British Railways to improve the performance of its steam fleet.
35018 British India Line was one of the first batch of twenty SR Merchant Navy Class steam locomotives to be built by the Southern Railway in 1945.
Built in 1938 in Crewe Works as a high speed express passenger locomotive, 46233 hauled passenger services such as 'The Royal Scot' and 'The Mid-Day Scot' between London Euston and Glasgow Central as well as other expresses to Liverpool.
LMS Jubilee Class 45699 Galatea was built at Crewe in April 1936.
The engine was named Galatea after HMS Galatea, which in turn was named after the Galatea of mythology, the Goddess of Calm Seas. After nationalisation in 1948, it was renumbered 45699 by British Railways.
She was rescued in 1972 and restored into operation. Pictured here in LMS Crimson Lake livery, she returned into operation in October 2014 after spending 18 months being lovingly restored and now runs in British Railways Black Livery.
This pool of locomotives normally includes 35018 British India Line, 45699 Galatea, 45690 Leander, 34067 Tangmere and 46115 Scots Guardsman, but may vary throughout the year.
This tour is likely to be hauled by one of three locomotives: No
18 Black Fives survived into preservation with several examples still working on the mainline railway. Members of the class that have feature on previous tours with The Steam Dreams Rail Co. include 45212, 44871, 45407, 45305 & 44932.
The locomotive was completed in 1947 at Brighton Works and was for use across the entire Southern Railway.