Today’s model of the week is one of Locoyard’s collection of Ex-LBSCR A1X terrier’s – in fact it is actually 2 of the collection, as both a Kent and East Sussex Railway (K&ESR) and BR liveried versions are here for the time being. As with many locomotive’s of this vintage, the prototype has quite a history, as you will find out…
Terrier’s were a very successful class and were given the nickname “Terrier”, due to their fast rate of acceleration and also from their terrier-sounding chuff. Bodiam was built in the first batch of terriers built in 1872 and was originally numbered 70 and named Poplar. William Stroudley’s A1 terrier class were designed to haul London suburban services, which is how this locomotive earned it’s living for the first thirty years of it’s life. The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway’s (LBSCR) track was lightly laid in the London area and needed a light but powerful locomotive to haul passenger services.
After the London lines were relaid, the terrier class became displaced as the new track allowed for heavier traffic. Poplar was sold to the Rother Valley Railway (that would later be renamed the Kent and East Sussex Railway) in 1901. It was painted in a smart blue livery and renumbered/named 3 Bodiam. The Kent and East Sussex was the first and arguably best-known light railway in the UK. Light railways would (just) allow for a long-term revenue-earning purpose for the terrier class; resulting in them surviving beyond the age of most contemporary locomotive classes.
Bodiam worked on the line until 1931 when it was withdrawn. Parts cannibalised from the K&ESR’s other terrier would help give the locomotive a new lease of life in 1932/3. By 1942, Bodiam needed a new boiler that was purchased from the Southern Railway. The new boiler was of A1X configuration and thus Bodiam was effectively upgraded.
Interestingly, light railways including the K&ESR did not loose their independence at grouping and as a result, Bodiam was never a Southern Railway engine. However, it did not escape nationalisation, when Bodiam became British Railways 32670 and painted in lined BR black. It did not spend all it’s BR days on the former K&ESR and worked on the Hayling Island branch line until withdrawal in 1963.
Fortunately, Bodiam’s story did not end there and it was purchased privately for use on the preserved K&ESR. It was used rarely in the early decades of it’s preservation with a period of use from 1974 to 1977 and another 1984 to 1986. However, the condition of it’s boiler meant it was put out of service for a long time.
In the 1990’s, Bodiam was purchased by the Terrier Trust and money was raised to purchase a brand new boiler. This was successful and Bodiam finally returned to full service in 2006, initially in it’s original Rother Valley blue livery. It is still running today on the line, in BR black as 32670.
Locoyard’s model of 3 Bodiam is a regular performer and although the Hornby model is out-dated (click here for its’ review) it has plenty of character. I hope you enjoyed reading this week’s model of the week. Tomorrow, a very different locomotive of a similar vintage will be featured, so as ever, stay tuned!