35005 Canadian Pacific, 'Merchant Navy' class
Photographed at Ropley MPD, Mid-Hants Railway, on 12 February 2009.
Built as 21C5 in December 1941, named on 27 March 1943, renumbered to 35005 in April 1948, cab modified in February 1950, painted wartime black in March 1942, painted Southern Railway malachite green in January 1946, painted British Railways dark blue in February 1950, painted BR green in February 1954, rebuilt in May 1959 after running 632,322 miles, withdrawn in October 1965 after running 976,806 miles, sold to Woodham Bros., Barry, South Wales.
Incorporating a number of new developments in British steam locomotive technology, the design of the "Merchant Navy" Class was among the first to use welding in the construction process; this enabled easier fabrication of components during the austerity of the war and post-war economies.
The locomotives featured thermic syphons and Bulleid's innovative, but controversial, chain-driven valve gear. As an aid to the fireman, a steam-operated treadle was provided that used steam pressure to open the firehole doors (where the coal is shovelled into the firebox). Other innovations provided on the footplate included electric lighting and gauges lit by ultra-violet light. This enabled clearer night-time vision of the boiler steam pressure gauge and the brake pipe vacuum pressure gauge whilst eliminating dazzle, making it easier for the crew to see signals along the track.. The footplate was also entirely enclosed, improving crew working conditions in winter, and the supporting rear trailing truck gave the smoothest of rides; the design was utilised in the future BR Standard Class 7.
The class members were named after the Merchant Navy shipping lines involved in the Battle of the Atlantic, and latterly those which used Southampton Docks.
Due to problems with some of the more novel features of Bulleid's design, all members of the class were rebuilt by British Railways during the late 1950s, losing their air-smoothed casings in the process.
Picture added on 28 February 2009