SR 34053 Sir Keith Park
|SRSouthern Railway 34053 Sir Keith Park
34053 at Highley in 2016
|SRSouthern Railway Brighton Works
|BRBritish Rail or British Railways rating
|Left the SVRSevern Valley Railway
|SRSouthern Railway 21C153
|Oliver BulleidOliver Vaughan Snell Bulleid, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Southern Railway 1937-1948
|SRSouthern Railway Battle Of Britain Class
|Withdrawn by BRBritish Rail or British Railways
|Left BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation.
|Entered service on SVRSevern Valley Railway
|Moved to Swanage Railway
|250 lb/sq in
The SRSouthern Railway 'West Country' and 'Battle of Britain' classes were designed by Oliver BulleidOliver Vaughan Snell Bulleid, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Southern Railway 1937-1948, the CMEChief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway (SRSouthern Railway). Lighter than their sister locomotives, the Merchant Navy class, they could be used on a wider variety of routes including in the south-west of England and the Kent coast. They were a mixed-traffic design, being used for both passenger and freight trains, and were classified 7P6F by British Railways.
Originally built with innovative features including air-smoothed casings and chainAs a unit of measurement, 22 yards or 1/80th of a mile-driven valve gear, many of the locomotives including 34053 were rebuilt by British Railways in the late 1950s.
34053 Sir Keith Park in service
34053 was built in 1946 at the SRSouthern Railway’s Brighton Works and entered service as SRSouthern Railway no 21C153. It was originally allocated to Salisbury MPDMotive Power Depot but also worked from the Stewarts Lane depot, where it hauled prestige services such as the Golden Arrow on many occasions. In 1960 it was transferred to Bournemouth, where it often hauled the Pines Express on the Somerset & Dorset Railway.
34053 was withdrawn from service by BRBritish Rail or British Railways in October 1966 and towed to Woodham's scrapyard at BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation. the following March.
34053 in preservation
34053 left BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation. in 1984. Evidence of her time spent there can still be seen today in the form of the words "Sold Mr Woodham" which are visible on the lower left slide bar. After various owners and lengthy periods in store, restoration was finally completed by Southern Locomotives Limited (SLL) in May 2012 at a cost of £773,000. Having no need of the locomotive at Swanage, agreement was reached for 34053 to come to the SVRSevern Valley Railway, with the agreement carrying a break clause every two years. The locomotive arrived at Bridgnorth on 10 May and during running-in pulled its first passenger train in 47 years on 31 July by assisting a struggling GWR 5700 Class 3650. It entered service on 24 August.
On 31 August 2013 a recommissioning ceremony was held at Kidderminster attended by three aircrew who served during the Battle of Britain and the New Zealand High Commissioner, Sir Lockwood Smith. The return to Kidderminster saw the New Zealand High Commissioner on the footplate. The ceremony welcome pack can be viewed here.
In August 2017 the SVRSevern Valley Railway announced it had mutually agreed with SLL that the option to renew would not be actioned at the end of 2017, with 34053 moving to the Swanage Railway for the rest of the locomotive's certificate. SKP ran her last SVRSevern Valley Railway services on 2 January before winter maintenance works and her move to Swanage on 10 January 2018. 34053 recorded a total of 41,405 miles in preservation on the SVRSevern Valley Railway. The reported total may include mileage on hire to other railways while resident here
34027 moved to the Spa Valley Railway in September 2020, remaining in service there until the end of the locomotive's boiler ticket in 2022. SLL intended to carry out a 'fast track' overhaul which will incorporate the replacement of its current boiler by that of its classmate 34010 Sidmouth, with an intended return to service on the Spa Valley Railway in 2023. By coincidence, Sidmouth's boiler spent some years at Bridgnorth MPD where it was used as a 'template' during the overhaul of Taw Valley.
- SVR Forum
- SVRLive 23 August 2017
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 200
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 210, SVRSevern Valley Railway-based Steam Locomotive Mileage 2017-2019, Duncan Ballard.
- SLL Website News, May 2022 34053 Sir Keith Park (retrieved 17 August 2022)
- Southern Locomotives Limited website
- SR West Country and Battle of Britain class locomotives on Wikipedia