a view of the Swanage railway. On Flickr you can probably see that the locomotive in the background is a Bullied Pacific. I think it was Manston a Battle of Britain class. These were a lighter version of the Merchant navy class locomotives. The latter were all modified during their lifetime. The most obvious visual sign being the removal of the air smoothing casing. Very few of the smaller WC and BB class engines were modified and retained their casing throughout their life.
When I was a trainspotting kid the WC and BB engines were often seen at Exeter St David's Station but the Merchan Navy only ever came into Central station. They were too heavy (so I was told) to come down the incline between the two stations.
For the princely sum of sixpence (21/2p) we could travel up the incline from St David's to Exeter Central and wait in the hope of seeing a Merchant Navy come in.
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