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West Country / Battle of Britain Pacifics

With the Merchant Navy pacifics well established, Bulleid set out to provide a locomotive for lighter duties but with a wider route availability. The result was the West Country pacifics, a scaled down version of the Merchant Navy class, that could operate on over 90% of the Southern Railways route mileage. The following table contrasts the two classes ...

The West Country class was equally blessed with the good qualities and damned with bad features of their larger sisters. Some early members were further handicapped by having narrow cabs with very restricted vision for working the highly restricted Hastings line. Unsurprisingly a rebuilding scheme similar to that applied to the Merchant Navies was put in place but only just over half the class was modified.

During the 1948 interchange trials the West Countries really shone as the following table of power outputs shows ...

Photos to go here.

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