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The LB&SCR Class H2 Locomotive

Image of IAN GARNHAMIAN GARNHAM tells us about his favourite locomotive.


Being born in the frontier town of Watford in Hertfordshire, I can remember from an early age being fascinated by the fire breathing, smoke belching monsters collecting water from the famous Bushey Troughs.

These were the Princesses and Duchess class locos, amongst others - not that I was aware of that fact then.

H2 Locomotive image 01.

The other thing which I can recall was the sound, smell, and sight of the local brewery nearby - which sealed my lifelong interest in another past time... Before long a move to the south coast beckoned where I was introduced to the Southern Region's green snakes. These were sometimes broken up with what fuelled a lifelong interest in Pullman cars, which appeared in the 6 Pull sets that frequent passed at the bottom of my parents' garden.

H2 Locomotive image 02.

Goods trains still made the occasional appearance and when the final death knell was dealt to my beloved steam locos I saw them being frequently dragged to their final destination.

I was labelled by a previous boss as that Bloody Southern enthusiast. It is only fitting that one of my favourite steam locos is the LBSCR Class H2 Brighton Atlantic and at that time if you wanted one in model form you had to build it from a kit. Now we not only have the H2 ready-to-run in two liveries, but also an H1 to drool over.

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H2 Locomotive image B31-921.

Bachmann's H2 Locomotive in BR livery. Now sadly sold out

As the last surviving example of this class was disposed of in April 1958 I never got the chance to see one in the flesh, but that did nothing to supress my fascination of was then the last Atlantic still running on British Railways.

H2 Locomotive image 03.

The restoration under way

Hopefully the locomotive will be completed and be in service in 2020, which also happens to be the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Bluebell Railway. This will definitely be a sight that I cannot wait to see.

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