Seventy years ago this engine, No.35018 British India Line, was one of three Merchant Navies involved the 1948 Locomotive Exchanges, the others were 35017 Belgian Marine and 35019 French Line CGT, all engines I worked on with some regularity in 1963, 64, and 65. I am currently writing Part II of In Memory, (A biography of my railway life and times.), which covers my brief spell at Stewarts Lane and my early months at Nine Elms, including my first encounter with a driver who was, himself, a fireman in those 1948 Exchanges.
No.35018 British India Line did her turns not on ‘foreign’ metals but, on her home turf, hauling the Atlantic Coast Express, in each direction, on the 3rd & 4th of June 1948. By coincidence she was also the first of the class to be rebuilt, in February 1956, with conventional Walschaerts motion and the air smoothed casing removed, the form she is in here. She was also one of the early withdrawals being taken out of service in August 1964 before being sent to Woodhams scrapyard, in Barry, in the December.
I have quite a few timing logs of runs with Merchant Navies on which I was the fireman, including runs with No.35017 Belgian Marine and No.35019 French Lines CGT, sadly not of 35018 though. So if anyone out there reading this has a log of 35018, made between May 1963 & August 1964, with Fireman Wilson – I would love to see them.
No.35018 British India Line is pictured crossing Lunds viaduct, just beyond Garsdale, with the Pendle Dalesman, on a somewhat ‘grey’ day.
Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.
Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics. They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.