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Southern Region

Southern Region

Speeding through Brookwood on the Southern region’s West of England main line rebuilt Merchant Navy 4.6.2 No 35022 “Holland America Line” is at the head of a Waterloo-Bournemouth express.

The thirty strong Merchant Navy class was introduced during the Second World War on the Southern Railway by O V S Bullied and originally carried an overall air smoothed casing with chain driven valve gear, which earned them the nickname “Spamcans” by footplatemen unimpressed by these innovations.

Due to various problems it was decided to rebuild the entire class to the handsome form seen here in the 1950s, doing away with the air-smoothed casing, fitting coventional Walschaerts valve gear, relocating the lubricators and fitting efficent smoke deflectors and in this form they lasted to the end of steam on the Southern Region in 1967.

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