Southern Pacifics Dvd: Bulleid’s Best


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Steam Locomotive Profile No. 2:

The Southern Pacifics –Bulleid’s Best Dvd

Designed by O.V.S. Bulleid for the Southern Railway, the first batch of Merchant Navy class locomotives appeared on the scene during the Second World War.

Complete with what Bulleid termed as an air smoothed casing, the pacifics were quite different in many respects from any class of locomotive ever seen on the railways of Britain.

Shortly after the war the smaller Light Pacifics referred to as the West Country class were introduced.

They were similar in most major design features but in order to increase route availability they were of lighter construction.

As the number of West Country pacifics grew a second naming system was adopted dedicated to the heroics of the RAF in the Second World War, as opposed to West of England locations.

From the word go the Bulleid Pacifics proved rather enigmatic to say the least.

They were free running, excellent at producing steam and were well capable of keeping to prescribed journey times but were unreliable and spent excessive amounts of time out of service for maintenance.

Following nationalization of the railways, in an attempt to remedy their short falls, British Railways engaged in a programme that resulted in all 30 Merchant Navies and 60 of the 110 Light Pacifics being re-built.

Using cine archive footage along with footage of preserved locomotives on the mainline and at heritage railways, this programme discusses the development of the Bulleid Pacifics that over the years have been the subject of mixed emotions.

Some have loved them, welcoming them with open arms, whilst others have scorned them.

Regardless of feelings however they were a huge part of railway history in the South and South West of England.

Today there are more surviving Bulleid Pacifics than any other type of British Railway locomotive.

Eleven Merchant Navies and twenty Light Pacifics remain.

Today eleven ‘Lights’ and three of their larger cousins have been re-steamed in preservation and all can be seen in this programme.

Approx. 90 minutes.

This dvd is being sold on behalf and with full permission of the copyright holder – Cinerail.