Southern Locomotives Limited
Southern Locomotives Limited (SLL) is an unlisted Company number 02479435 which was first incorporated on 12 March 1990, and is "dedicated to restoring, operating and maintaining Southern's steam heritage."
SLL is the product of several mergers of locomotive owning groups and locomotive acquisitions since the inception of the 'Port Line Locomotive Project' in 1983, and has over 800 shareholders. It owns former SVRSevern Valley Railway resident SRSouthern Railway BulleidOliver Vaughan Snell Bulleid, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Southern Railway 1937-1948 Battle of Britain class locomotive 34053 Sir Keith Park, which entered service on the Railway in August 2012, plus several more locomotives. Its operational locomotives are based at the Swanage and Spa Valley Railways, and visit other railways on loan or for galas.
SLL's works are at Herston on the Swanage Railway, where restoration of 34053 was completed, and it has a base at Sellindge in Kent. It also utilises space at Tyseley Locomotive Works, and contract work is undertaken at other locations.
Once a year SLL offers its shareholders the opportunity to 'Drive & Fire' a locomotive. On 29 and 30 September 2016 this was held at the SVRSevern Valley Railway with 34053 and 34027 Taw Valley.
Other SLL locomotives that have visited the SVRSevern Valley Railway are 34072 257 Squadron (Spring 1992), BRBritish Rail or British Railways Standard 4MTThe British Railways system of classifying steam locomotives by power using a number from 0, least powerful, to 9, most powerful, followed by either F for freight, P for Passenger or MT for Mixed Traffic. 2-6-4T 80104 (Autumn 1999) and 34070 Manston (August 2010). For several years a large boiler was to be seen in Bridgnorth yard from another of SLL's locomotives, 34010 Sidmouth. This departed in October 2017.
In August 2017 it was announced that SLL and the SVRSevern Valley Railway had mutually agreed not to renew the agreement for operating 34053 and the locomotive would move to Swanage after the end of season services in January 2018. This agreement leaves every opportunity for further locos from the SLL fleet to visit in future years. A long term hire agreement at Swanage was preferable to SLL than the shorter terms available at SVRSevern Valley Railway, and the overhaul of the loco at Swanage would be more assured and viable than if it stayed at SVRSevern Valley Railway. SKP left on 10 January 2018.