Braunton, An Express Passenger Locomotive

Picture of Braunton, a steam locomotive from The Olden Days
Braunton


Built: Designed for the Southern Railway by its Chief Mechanical Engineer Oliver Bulleid, and built in 1946 at Brighton Works.


Description: Braunton is a Bulleid Pacific design express passenger engine, a member of the West Country Class (4-6-2). These were powerful engines, capable of speeds in excess of 100mph. She was named Braunton in 1949, for the town of Braunton through which she passed. Tractive effort 40,430 lbf.


Duties: It was first allocated to Exmouth Junction Shed, running on the Barnstaple to Ilfracombe line passing through the town of Braunton.
In 1951 it was re-allocated to Salisbury and then Brighton, working services between London, Brighton, Salisbury, Exeter, Plymouth and Ilfracombe.
After being re-designed and rebuilt in 1959, Braunton was transferred to Bournemouth Shed and ran services mostly between Waterloo and Weymouth and also over the Somerset and Dorset line between Bath and Bournemouth.


Significant Events: Braunton was extensively redesigned at Eastleigh in January 1959, losing its air-smoothed casing and internal chain drive.
During its career it hauled many famous trains such as the Atlantic Coast Express and the Pines Express, and on one occasion in 1959, a Royal Train to Portland.


Retirement: Braunton was withdrawn from service in late 1965 and sent to a scrapyard in South Wales. In 1996 it was purchased by the West Somerset Railway Association and moved to their base at Williton on the West Somerset Railway for restoration. In July 2007, the locomotive was steamed for the first time since 1965.


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