SR Merchant Navy Class 35028 Clan Line

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35028 'Clan Line' in 2013

35028 Clan Line is a Southern Railway rebuilt Merchant Navy 4-6-2 class locomotive.


35028 Clan Line at Clapham Junction in 1966

British Rail[edit]

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 London 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.

35028 Clan Line hauling the VSOE British Pullman in 2013, west of Bath

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 locomotive 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 locomotive was used on a number of Cathedrals Express trips, filling in for locomotives 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.

On 7 December 2018 Clan Line hauled the royal train taking the Prince of Wales to Cardiff.[1][2]


  1. ^ Prince Charles arrives at Cardiff Central
  2. ^ Prince Charles arrives in Cardiff by steam locomotive

External links[edit]