BR Rebuilt ‘West Country’ Class
Power type : Steam
Designer : Oliver Bulleid
Builder: SR/BR Brighton Works
Build date: 1946
Configuration : 4-6-2 (Pacific)
No. 34046 Braunton is a ‘Bulleid Pacific’ design express passenger engine, a member of the ‘West Country’ Class. Mr. O.V.S. Bulleid became the Chief Mechanical Engineer to the Southern Railway in 1937 and in answering a call for a new, modern, powerful steam locomotive to help replace the ageing locomotive fleet at that time.
He initially designed the Merchant Navy class of locomotives of which 30 were built, subsequently producing a slightly smaller and lighter version of his pacific design in order to give better route availability. These ‘Light Pacifics’, being named after locations in the west of England became known as the ‘West Country’ class..
In 1948, the railway system in Britain was nationalised, becoming British Railways. Renumbering of locos took place at this time, with Braunton becoming No. 34046. Braunton was officially named in January 1949. Some of the class were named at with ceremony at their ‘home’ town stations, but Braunton was not, the nameplates being applied without ceremony at Eastleigh Works.
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