Double Headers

The 10:45am ex-Waterloo pauses briefly at Combpyne, on the Axminster - Lyme Regis branch, in the charge of Adams radial 4-4-2Ts 30583 and 30584. This was a regular double-headed turn on summer Saturdays and was photographed on 25 June 1960.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

Adams Radials
Exeter The use of double-headers west of Exeter during the summer months was commonplace and here is a prime example of Southern superpower with a pair of original Bulleid pacifics ready to depart from St. Davids in August 1958. The pilot is unidentified but the train engine is WC Nº34034 Honiton.

photograph by Mike Morant

Not only was it rare to see double-headers in the London area but it was even more unlikely that the combination of Bulleid's Q1s would be seen working in tandem anywhere on the system, which makes this fluke sighting of 33035 back-to-back with an unidentified sibling on an engineers' train an exceptional slice of photographer's luck. They are seen trundling southwards at Raynes Park in early summer 1962.

photograph by Mike Morant

Hellingly Standard 4 tank Nº80033 doubleheads a service train past Hellingly, on the Cuckoo Line, a few weeks before the line was closed in 1965. The absence of a head signal is most noticeable.

photograph by Keith Harwood

There are scant details for this photograph which shows a train waiting to leave Swanage station. The train engine is quite probably a U class but is not identifiable. The pilot is M7 class Nº30058.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

U and M7
According to John H. Bird's tables of Southern railtours for the period 1957 - 1967 there were 65 tours which included double-headed combinations involving SR and contituents' motive power. There were many more combinations on SR metals which utilised either BR Standard classes, BR(M) or BR(W) motive power. There were also SR railtour double-headers prior to the date range covered by those tables.

It is probable that the best-remembered combination of former SR motive power was the 'Somerset & Dorset' excursion on 5 March 1966, organised by the LCGB. The return leg from Bath to Bournemouth was double-headed by a pair of original condition Bulleid pacifics (34006 Bude piloting 34057 Biggin Hill) and was blessed with glorious evening sunshine.

Two Spamcams Biggin Hill and Bude near Chilcompton.

photograph by Roger Merry-Price

Biggin Hill and Bude again, also captured near Chilcompton.

photograph by Roger Merry-Price

Two more Spamcams
And another two Spamcans Biggin Hill and Bude once more, this time approaching Windsor Hill tunnel.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

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This page was created 15 May 2003

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