Designed by Bullied for the Southern Railway, the ‘West Country’ class locomotives were a smaller version of the ‘Merchant Navy’ Class express passenger locomotives intended for mixed traffic use.
34007 was built in 1945 at Brighton and was named ‘Wadebridge’ at a ceremony at Wadebridge station. It was initially based at Exmouth and worked in the west country till in 1951 it was transferred to Nine Elms depot in London where it worked on passenger services between London and Bournemouth, Weymouth or Salisbury. In 1964 it was briefly re-assigened to Salisbury before being withdrawn from service the following year. One of it last duties was the delivery of other engines to the scrapyards. Wadebridge was sent to Woodhams yard where it sat for 16 years until 1981 when it was finally purchased and transferred to Plym Valley railway for preservation. This was to be a long procedure during which it was also housed at the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. It would be 25 years before it ran again (some 41 years after its withdrawal from BR service). It saw work on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway, the Mid-Hants Railway, The Bluebell Railway and the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway before returning to the Mid-Hants. In 2007 a fire in the cab caused significant damage whioch required 6 months of repair work before it could be returned to service.