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Lord Dowding rides again

Discussion in 'Steam Railway' started by Thomas Bright, May 21, 2016.

    'West Country' No. 34046 Braunton, posing as 'Battle of Britain' No. 34052 Lord Dowding, approaches Portchester with the Clapham-Southampton football special on May 15. Credit: Mervyn Turvey

    ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34046 Braunton made its public debut in the guise of long-scrapped classmate No. 34052 Lord Dowding, hauling a football special from Clapham Junction to Southampton on May 15.

    It is believed to be the first main line steam-hauled football special since 1967.

    The locomotive, which is owned by Jeremy Hosking, was taking Crystal Palace F.C. supporters to their final league game of the season. Mr Hosking also co-owns the south London football club.

    It was planned for Braunton to be renamed and numbered as Lord Dowding to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, however the locomotive’s overhaul ran behind schedule.

    The Bulleid ‘Pacific’ will make its next main line outing on May 22, hauling ‘The Peak Forrester’ from King’s Cross to Rowsley, in place of No. 61306 ‘Mayflower’.

    No. 34052 Lord Dowding made its first test run following overhaul on April 20, with a loaded test run taking place five days later.

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