Merchant Navy No. 35011 project is making progress

THE General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society has made further progress in filling a sizeable hole in Britain’s heritage fleet by the back-conversion of a rebuilt Merchant Navy Pacific to its as-built form, complete with air smooth casing and Bulleid’s unique chain-driven valve gear.

The society has bought a set of nameplates for its engine, No. 35011 General Steam Navigation, thanks to sponsorship from members.

Members of the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society with No. 35011’s new nameplate at Sellindge. GSNLRS

Chairman Simon Shutt said: “Having the nameplates is a great statement of intent that the project is making great progress. We will be taking them out with our sales stand to several railways over the coming year in order to help drum up support in the project.”

The two nameplates were painted differently in order to reflect both possible liveries the finished locomotive could return to steam in. The black nameplate was displayed alongside the locomotive at the society’s Sellindge restoration base in Kent in early May.

However, the biggest engineering success of the year was the purchase of a Bulleid-designed steam reverser.

The society has secured the majority of components in the steam reverser’s assembly, with only some easily manufactured cab controls missing. The selection of these components was earmarked from the beginning as a high priority purchase, given it’s one of the few items required for the locomotive that has not been manufactured in the preservation era.

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