34046 Braunton (SR 21C146, BR s21C146 & BR 34046)

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Braunton was built in 1946 at Brighton Works, initially carrying the Southern Railway number 21C146.

Bearing a number, but as yet no name, the locomotive was first allocated to Exmouth Junction Shed. During this period it would have been seen on the Barnstaple to Ilfracombe line passing through the town of Braunton after which it was later named.

Braunton was renumbered 34046 following nationalisation of the railways in 1948 and was officially named Braunton in 1949 at a ceremony at Eastleigh Works.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date ArrivedDepot
January 1948Exmouth Junction
April 1951Salisbury
June 1951Brighton
February 1959Bournemouth

Whilst based at Bournemouth 34046 was mostly used on services between Waterloo and Weymouth but also ran on the Somerset and Dorset line between Bath and Bournemouth.

34046 was withdrawn in October 1965 just six years after its expensive rebuild and was sent away for scrap to Woodham Brothers at Barry and arrived at the scrapyard in January 1966.

It left Barry in 1988 and was moved to Brighton where an abortive attempt was made to restore the locomotive which by then was missing many parts. The Brighton project was based at the Brighton Locomotive Works at the former Pullman works at Preston Park and also involved 34073 249 Squadron, 35009 Shaw Savill and 25011 General Steam Navigation.

Enough of the machine had survived for it to be worth purchasing in 1996 by the West Somerset Railway Association.  It was moved to the West Somerset Railway for restoration which was a big job, as with the exception of the frames, boiler and wheels (that all needed refurbishment), many parts needed to be sourced from classmates or built from scratch. In July 2007 was steamed for the first time since 1965. It re-entered service on the West Somerset Railway in September 2008 and after completing more than 10,000 miles in service and completing the necessary trials Braunton was able to return to mainline running in 2013.

It is owned by and is currently being overhauled at Crewe. Its mainline certificate has expired but the boiler certificate is valid until 2017.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
CreweUnder overhaulJeremy Hosking and operated by Locomotive Services Ltd
34046 Braunton leaving Templecombe with a train from Bournemouth to Bradford – August 1962.jpg
34046 Braunton leaving Templecombe with a train from Bournemouth to Bradford – August 1962
34046 Braunton at Waterloo - June 1963.jpg
34046 Braunton at Waterloo – June 1963
34046 Braunton at Bath Green Park – April 1965
34046 Braunton in Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry – c1982

34046 Braunton at Bury on the East Lancashire Railway – January 2013
34046 Braunton at Irwell Vale on the East Lancashire Railway – January 2013
34046 Braunton at Bury on the East Lancashire Railway – January 2013
34046 Braunton on the Mid Hants Railway – October 2013
34046 Braunton at Bath Spa on its way to Bristol – August 2014
34046 Braunton running as 34052 Lord Downing at Victoria station – June 2016

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