After its appearance over the ‘End of Southern Steam’ weekend ‘City of Wells’ 34092 will be hauling steam trains at the Bluebell Railway each weekend until the end of July.
A little bit of history……
34092 was built, to a design by Oliver Bullied, in 1949 after the nationalisation of the railways in Britain lt was originally named “Wells” but was renamed “City of Wells” a year later. When completed, it went directly to the London being regularly used on such prestigious duties as the “Golden Arrow” boat train between London and Dover. The engine also had the honour on 18th April 1956 of hauling the train carrying leaders Bulganin and Kruschev from Portsmouth to London Victoria and later same year hauled the Royal Train carrying King Feisal of lraq from Dover to Victoria. The engine was withdrawn from Salisbury in November 1964 and sold to Woodham Bros. scrap-yard in South Wales, remaining there until being purchased by a group of individuals in 1971 who brought it to the KWVR in November of that year.
‘City of Wells’ returned to service in 1979 with a re-dedication/naming ceremony at Keighley station carried out by the then Mayor of Wells, Mr Ernest Wright on 1st April 1980. The locomotive was maintained to main-line standards and worked all over the country on special charters, earning it the nickname ‘the volcano’ due to its volcanic chimney ‘eruptions’ when working hard. The locomotive was withdrawn in 1989 to begin, what turned out to be, a 25 year restoration back to running order. The rebuilding of the engine, including a return to as-built appearance, was finally completed in August 2014, and the locomotive returned to traffic on the 16th August.