SR Merchant Navy Class 35028 Clan Line
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35028 was built at Eastleigh Works in 1948. After a few weeks running in, it was allocated first to Dover and then to Stewarts Lane shed in London, from where it worked heavy trains on the trunk routes to the South East Channel ports, frequently working the prestige expresses, Golden Arrow and The Night Ferry. After rebuilding in 1959, it was initially allocated to Nine Elms shed, from where it headed such trains as the Bournemouth Belle and the Atlantic Coast Express. While working the A.C.E. in 1961, it was unofficially timed at 104 mph (167 km/h) passing Axminster. On 2 July 1967, Clan Line hauled a 'farewell special' from Waterloo to Bournemouth and back and thus ended its BR career.
One month after finishing the 'farewell special', Clan Line was bought by the Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society from BR for the sum of £3,850. The Group had wanted 35022 Holland America Line but it was sent to Barry to be scrapped before they could purchase it, so the Group purchased Clan Line instead. (35022 Holland America Line would eventually be preserved and is now owned by Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust.) Clan Line was one of the first preserved locomotives to participate in steam specials and in 1974 hauled its first revenue-earning train in preservation from Basingstoke to Westbury.
In the 1990s, 35028 Clan Line was chosen as the locomotive to haul the UK-based Venice Simplon Orient Express (VSOE) using preserved Pullman carriages, with tours around Kent, the Surrey Hills, Oxford and Bath and Bristol. In the early 2000s, when the loco went for overhaul, LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman took over those trains.
As of January 2015, Clan Line is based at Stewarts Lane TMD, Battersea. It returned to main line operation in October 2006, when it resumed VSOE duties and hauling the occasional enthusiast specials, although in 2012 the loco was used on a number of Cathedrals Express trips, filling in for locos that were not available for the tours.
35028 Clan Line was the first Merchant Navy class locomotive to operate on the main line in preservation. It has also visited the 2009 Eastleigh open day with 35005 Canadian Pacific.
Since the loco was based at the Longmoor Military Railway in the 1970s, Clan Line has not yet hauled any trains on preserved railways but has made visits to two preserved railways. In 2010, the loco visited Ropley on the Mid-Hants Railway for some minor work to be undertaken, and whilst on a mainline railtour in 2012 the loco travelled to Swanage on the Swanage Railway. In March 2014, the locomotive attended the Spring Gala at the Mid-Hants Railway and hauled its first-ever preserved railway passenger trains.
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