The class was designed by Oliver Bulleid for use on the intensive freight turns experienced during wartime on the Southern Railway network. Bulleid incorporated many innovations and weight-saving concepts to produce a highly functional design. The class lasted in service until July 1966, and the first member of the class, number C1, has been list of preserved bulleid pacifics by the National Railway Museum. Although the Merchant Navy class and the similar but smaller West country and Battle of Britain classes proved to be fast, free running and powerful they were beset with a host of irksome maintenance problems. For example, the oil bath proved impossible to keep oil tight; the chains were prone to stretching and wear which affected valve timing and the steam reverser could be difficult to set accurately. The air-smoothed casing, while easy to keep clean the engines were designed to go through carriage washers proved a nightmare for access when things went wrong. They spent much more time in the works than they should. However, the boiler was a triumph - it was free steaming and, if a little heavy on coal, would deliver whatever the driver demanded of it - provided the fireman could keep up!
merchant navy class 35006
A large number of the nameplates two per engine have been preserved, many in the hands of the RAF, and these are now objects of great interest and value. There was a strong lobby during the war for the compiling of a list of the airmen who had flown in the Battle — and arguably played the leading role in saving the country from invasion — as well as for a special award for them. The official report of the Battle in 1941 had given its dates as August 8-October 31 1940.
merchant navy class locomotive model
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