34067 Tangmere (SR 21C167, BR s21C167 & BR 34067)

34067 large.jpg

Tangmere, named after the military airfield in Sussex, is therefore a (Battle of Britain) class locomotive, completed at Southern Railway’s Brighton works in September 1947 and given the number 21C167.  Following the nationalisation of Britain’s railways Tangmere was renumbered 34067 in July 1949.

Tangmere was never rebuilt in this way and retains most of its original features.  It is often referred to as ‘unrebuilt’.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date Arrived Depot
January 1948 Ramsgate
November 1949 Stewarts Lane
May 1961 Salisbury

In November 1963 the locomotive was allocated to Exmouth Junction, which had become a Western Region depot in September 1963, and was immediately withdrawn from service.

Tangmere had only covered 588,269 miles whilst in service.

In April 1965 Tangmere was moved to Woodhams Brothers Scrapyard in Barry.

Privately owned, Tangmere moved to Mid Hants Railway in Hampshire for restoration in January 1981 but it was not until 1995 that work to return the locomotive to traffic actually started.

However most of the restoration has taken place in recent years at the Ian Riley engineering works at Bury, Lancashire where it arrived in 1996.  Finally, early in 2003 Tangmere was returned to steam on the East Lancs Railway.  In March of that year Tangmere was returned to main line running and is now a regular performer throughout the country.  In preservation Tangmere spent some time working out of the old Great Western sheds at Old Oak Common, London.  In 2009 part of the Old Oak Common site was closed to make way for the London Crossrail development.

Tangmere is owned by David Smith who owns Steamtown Railway Museum Ltd depot at Carnforth (No longer a museum but it is the holding company for West Coast Railways). The locomotive is normally based at the company’s second base the former Great Western Railway depot at Southall Railway Centre, West London.

On 23rd November 2013, whilst hauling a train from London Waterloo to Weymouth, 34067 was approaching Winchfield, where it was due to stop for the locomotive to take on water. While the train was travelling at about 40mph, the right-hand connecting rod became detached at the leading end (referred to as the small end), and dropped down.

The end of the detached rod struck the conductor rail, and there was some electrical flashing. This was noticed by the locomotive crew, and the driver stopped the train immediately, about one mile outside Winchfield station, said the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB). After running along the conductor rail for some distance, the connecting rod dropped onto the sleeper ends just before the locomotive came to rest. The locomotive’s support crew dismantled the connecting rod, and the train was then assisted by the diesel locomotive that was attached to its rear as far as Basingstoke, where the passengers transferred to another train to continue their journey.

The RAIB’s preliminary examination found that the small end assembly, in which the connecting rod is secured in the crosshead by a gudgeon pin and associated nut and cotter, had come apart. The gudgeon pin was found intact, lodged on the locomotive, but the nut and cotter have not yet been recovered.

On 7 March 2015, 34067 Tangmere was hauling a Cathedrals Express charter train operated by West Coast Railways (Bristol Temple Meads to Southend Victoria) that overran a signal at Wooton Bassett, Wiltshire by 700 yards. The incident occurred around one minute after the up/east bound First Great Western service from Swansea to London Paddington approaching via the South Wales Main Line from Badminton, Gloucestershire and operated by an InterCity 125 set, had cleared the junction at 100 miles per hour. This led to a suspension of trains operated by West Coast Railways and a need for the company to improve its safety systems. Subsequent investigations revealed that the engine crew had turned the safety equipment off which prevented the engine being stopped automatically for passing a danger signal.

It has a main line certificate which is valid until 2018 and a boiler certificate which expires in 2021 but because of firebox problems it was withdrawn from service in 2016.

Home Base Current Status Owner
West Coast Railways Stored out of service at Carnforth David Smith
34067 at Crewe-2010.jpg 34067 Tangmere at Crewe-2010
34067 at Winwick-2012.jpg 34067 Tangmere at Winwick (near Warrington)-2012

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