The SR West Country and Battle of Britain classes, collectively known as Light Pacifics or informally as Spam Cans, are air-smoothed 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotives designed for the Southern Railway by its Chief Mechanical Engineer Oliver Bulleid. Incorporating a number of new developments in British steam locomotive technology, they were amongst the first British designs to use welding in the construction process, and to use steel fireboxes, which meant that components could be more easily constructed under wartime austerity and post-war economy.
They were designed to be lighter in weight than their sister locomotives, the Merchant Navy class, to permit use on a wider variety of routes, including in the south-west of England and the Kent coast. They were a mixed-traffic design, being equally adept at hauling passenger and freight trains, and were used on all types of services, frequently far below their capabilities. A total of 110 locomotives were constructed between 1945 and 1950, named after West Country resorts and Royal Air Force (RAF) and other subjects associated with the Battle of Britain.
Due to problems with some of the new features, such as the Bulleid chain-driven valve gear, sixty locomotives were rebuilt by British Railways during the late 1950s. This produced a design highly similar to the rebuilt Merchant Navy class. The classes operated until July 1967, when the last steam locomotives on the Southern Region were withdrawn. Although most were scrapped, twenty locomotives found new homes on heritage railways in Britain.
Read more about SR West Country And Battle Of Britain Classes: Background, Design, Construction, Numbering and Naming The Locomotives, Operational Details, Rebuilding, Withdrawal, Preservation, Operational Assessment, Models
Famous quotes containing the words britain, battle, classes, west and/or country:
“When Britain first, at Heavens command,
Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of her land,
And guardian angels sung the strain:
Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves!
Britons never shall be slaves.”
—James Thomson (17001748)
“The Battle of Waterloo is a work of art with tension and drama with its unceasing change from hope to fear and back again, change which suddenly dissolves into a moment of extreme catastrophe, a model tragedy because the fate of Europe was determined within this individual fate.”
—Stefan Zweig (18811942)
“There are four classes of idols which beset mens minds. To these for distinctions sake I have assigned namescalling the first class Idols of the Tribe; the second, Idols of the Cave; the third, Idols of the Market-Place; the fourth, Idols of the Theatre.”
—Francis Bacon (15611626)
“You know how you smoke out a sniper? You send a guy out in the open, and you see if he gets shot. They thought that one up at West Point.”
—Samuel Fuller, U.S. screenwriter. Zab (Robert Carradine)
“Such poverty as we have today in all our great cities degrades the poor, and infects with its degradation the whole neighborhood in which they live. And whatever can degrade a neighborhood can degrade a country and a continent and finally the whole civilized world, which is only a large neighborhood.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)