Bulleid pacific returns from the dead



The Viscount John Thurso, MP, grandson of Sir Archibald Sinclair, unveils the new nameplate of 34059 on Friday 24 April 2009 at Horsted Keynes station, prior to the locomotive’s return to traffic after a 30 year restoration. Photo The Bulleid Society.

(Click the picture to see a complete photo report of the event – and photos of the last 6 years of the loco’s restoration – on the Bulleid Society’s website.)

A newly restored ‘Battle of Britain’ class pacific, 34059, was rededicated with the name the engine was given when she was first built in 1947. Sir Archibald Sinclair, Liberal MP for Caithness and Sutherland from 1922 to 1945, was Secretary of State for Air in Sir Winston Churchill’s War Cabinet during World War II, and was present when it was originally named after him at London’s Waterloo Station. Now his grandson, Viscount John Thurso, has rededicated the locomotive named after his grandfather.

34059 was withdrawn from service by the Southern Region of British Railways and bought by Woodham Brothers in 1966. Here it languished for thirteen years, gradually being stripped from ‘useful’ parts, until it was rescued and brought to the Bluebell Railway in 1979. Now after a 30-year restoration it has been completely restored to working order. There is only one word for its present condition – magnificent!


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