‘HOLLAND AMERICA LINE’ : BR 35022
MERCHANT NAVY CLASS : 4-6-2
One of 30 Merchant Navy Class locomotives, ‘Holland America Line’ was built to haul the fastest express passenger trains on the Southern Railway. They were somewhat unique locomotives, featuring chain driven valve gear inside the frames, giving their wheels a clean outside appearance. In 1952 ‘Holland America Line’ was sent by British Railways to a test facility at Rugby, to try and find ways of improving the class. As part of her visit to the north she travelled over the Settle & Carlisle railway and visited other parts of the country where a Merchant Navy would never normally have been seen. In June 1956 ‘Holland America Line’ was rebuilt by British Railways as a result of this testing. She emerged looking very different, with traditional Walschaerts valve gear on the outside and without ‘air-smoothed’ casing.
She was retired in May 1966, as British Railways withdrew steam from service, and was moved to Barry scrapyard in South Wales, where she remained until 1983. The Southern Steam Trust purchased the engine and moved her to Swanage, however restoration was never started. She is currently owned by the Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust and based at Crewe.
Photo by: Steph Gillet