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The 7F 2-8-0 was produced by the Midland Railway at Derby for the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway in which it had a fifty percent share with the London & South Western Railway. The main line from Bath to Bournemouth included the Mendip Hills and it was essential for a heavy freight locomotive to be built to avoid costly double heading of less powerful types over the demanding terrain. Six locomotives were delivered in 1914 (No’s 80 – 85) with a further five being delivered in 1925 which had larger boilers, with construction sub-contracted to Robert Stephenson & Co. Ltd becoming No’s 86-90. All were taken into LMS stock in 1928 and in British Railways days after 1948 were numbered 53800 - 53810.
The 7F’s became synonymous with the route and could often be seen on passenger trains, particularly taking holidaymakers to Bournemouth during the Summer. The first locomotive was withdrawn in 1959 and the last in 1964. Two examples have been preserved, both having languished in the famous Barry scrap yard. No. 53808 was the first to be rescued by The Somerset & Dorset Trust in 1968 and the second No. 53809 privately in 1975. Both are active on Heritage Lines, 53808 being based on the West Somerset Railway and 53809 from the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley is currently at work on loan to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
Three versions will initially be available in BR livery 53806 with early emblem (31-010), the preserved example 53809 with late crest (31-011) and 53808 with late crest and weathered (31-012). All feature the smaller boiler and S & D Fowler tender without water pick up apparatus.
7 March 2010
For further information please contact :
Dennis Lovett, Public Relations Manager,
Bachmann Europe PLC, Moat Way, Barwell, Leicestershire, LE9 8EY
Telephone: +44 (0) 1455 841756