Port Line

A member of the Southern Railway 'Merchant Navy' class, built in 1948.

One of 30 'Merchant Navy' class locomotives, Port Line was built to haul the fastest express passenger trains on the Southern Railway. They were somewhat unique locomotives, featuring chain driven valve gear inside the frames, giving their wheels a clean outside appearance.

Designed by Oliver Bullied, she looked somewhat different when built to the way she does now! In the 1930's streamlining was all the rage and the Merchant Navy's featured an 'air-smoothed' casing which gave them a streamlined look and also allowed them to go through carriage washers!

During her career Port Line was based in London and Bournemouth, working prestigious trains such as the Golden Arrow or Flèche d’Or on the continent. Port Line never visited the continent but pulled the train as far as Dover!

In May 1957 Port Line was rebuilt by British Railways to feature the more common Walschaerts valve gear and removed the 'air-smoothed' casing. Shortly after this in April 1959, Port Line hauled the Royal Train from Windsor to Hamworthy.

In September 1956 Port Line was retired by British Railways and sent to Barry Scrapyard in South Wales. She was purchased in 1982 and work to overhaul the locomotive began. She ran for a period in the 1990's at the Bluebell Railway and then at the Swanage Railway before being withdrawn from service.

Port Line is now owned by the Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust and is awaiting its turn in the overhaul queue.

What Port Line will look like. Clan Line shot by Andrew Shapland.
Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust

The Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust are the proud owners of Port Line and will be restoring her to running condition.

Icons Of Steam will operate Port Line on behalf of the Royal Scot Trust when she returns to steam.

Learn more about the Royal Scot Trust

Facts & Figures

The Basics
Designer Oliver Bulleid
Company British Railways
formerly Southern Railway
Class Rebuilt Merchant Navy
Built At Eastleigh Works
Entered Service December 1948
Number of Class 30
B.R. Number 35027
Power Class 8P
Wheel Arrangement 4-6-2
Boiler Pressure 250psi
Cylinders 3: 2 outside, 1 inside
18 in x 24 in
Driving Wheels 188cm diameter
Tractive Effort 37,515 lbf
Valve Gear Walschaerts
originally Bulleid chain driven
In Service
Loco Weight 95 tons
Max Speed Over 100mph
Coal Capacity 4,500 kilograms
Water Capacity 22,000 litres
Range 100+ miles
Withdrawn May 1966
Max Speed 75mph
Range 100 miles
Last Overhaul N/A
Owner Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust
Current Status Awaiting overhaul