Bluebell Railway (8): 34023 Blackmore Vale



34023 (21C123) Blackmore Vale is an example of the bullied Light Pacifics (West Country Class). She was built in 1946 in Brighton and pulled passenger services from the Kent coast to London, being initially based at Ramsgate and then at Nine Elms in London. In 1950 she was transferred to Salisbury and then to Exeter before going to Eastleigh in 1964 and finally back to Nine Elms. 34023 was purchased from BR after withdrawal by a group of drivers from Nine Elms depot who wanted to preserve Southern steam locomotives and was sent to the Longmoor Railway, but when this closed in 1971 she was transferred to the Bluebell Railway


34023 has had two periods of operation on the Bluebell Railway from 1976 until 1985 and from 2000 until 2008, when mechanical problems forced an early retirement from operational duties. 34023 is currently awaiting the completion of restoration to return it to operational duties.


34023 was originally named Blackmoor Vale and it was not until it was transferred to the west Country that it was realised that this was an incorrect spelling and it was renamed Blackmore Vale. In pictures and videos it can be seen carrying both names


Ian Taylor [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


Blackmore Vale at Kingscote Station on Bluebell Railway

Video by BritishRailwayTV

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