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Here are some photos and the story behind the trip taken by a number of Nine Elms enginemen and friends from Waterloo to Yeovil Junction and Weymouth, behind Merchant Navy 35028 'Clan Line'. Many thanks to all the contributors whose photographs feature in this article.

35028 at speed passing Hersham, 8th May 2010. Photo © 2010 Bob Flatau (MNLPS)

35028 arriving Woking, 8th May 2010. Photo © 2010 Geoff Burch

35028 passing Farnborough, 8th May 2010. Photo © 2010 Wayne Martin

The pasengers enjoyed a spirited run from Waterloo, which included a fast pass through Andover and the official speed limit for preserved steam on Network Rail's metals was tested between Salisbury and Yeovil Junction.

A number of the party posed for a group photograph at Yeovil Junction:

Nine Elms party, Yeovil Junction, 8th May 2010. Photo © 2010 Geoff Burch

Nine Elms party, Yeovil Junction, 8th May 2010. Photo © 2010 Alan Cook

Here are a selection of pictures showing some of the passengers en route:

Two photos © 2010 Frank Cheevers

Six photos © 2010 Geoff Burch

35028 just arrived at Yeovil Junction, 8th May 2010. Photo © 2010 Frank Cheevers

35028 on the turntable at Yeovil Junction.
Photos © 2010 John McIvor

35028 after turning at Yeovil Junction.
Left photo © 2010 Chris Jenner and on the right © 2010 David Element

At Yeovil Junction, the locomotive was turned, serviced and attached to the rear of the train for the trip down to Weymouth.

After spending an extended PNB in Weymouth we departed at 17h35 but this time we had our very own headboard 'NINE ELMS ENGINEMEN 1838 - 1967' on the front of MN No. 35028 'Clan Line', aptly carrying a 70A shed code plate on the smoke-box door. What a wonderful occasion, something that both Tim and I had wanted to achieve since we originally dedicated it to the memory of all former Locomotive Enginemen who worked at the depot during its historical 129 year period of time.

35028 at Weymouth with Tim Crowley, 8th May 2010. Photo © 2010 Geoff Burch

What a spectacular performance on the return journey, first the climb out of Weymouth towards Bincombe Tunnel and Dorchester, cresting the summit at 26mph, then again from Poole up through Parkstone to Branksome.

35028 at Eastleigh, 8th May 2010.
Four photos © 2010 Geoff Burch

Water was duly taken at Eastleigh before we then tackled the bank to Litchfield tunnel that really did turn the clock back for everyone in our group.

Some of the party alighted at Woking, and enjoyed the atmospheric sounds of a Merchant Navy leaving for Waterloo in the still evening air.

35028 at Woking, about to leave for Waterloo, 8th May 2010. Photo © 2010 Alan Cook

Finally approaching Waterloo, when passing the site of Nine Elms depot, the long sound of the Bulleid's whistle was special moment indeed before we arrived at the buffers on platform 19. After thanking the footplate crew and members of the Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society for all their assistance during the day our headboard was retrieved, certainly well and truly 'christened' a last on the main line!

35028 at Waterloo, 8th May 2010. On the right, Jim Lester can be seen beside the locomotive.
Photos © 2010 David Element

Jim Lester, Tim Crowley, John McIvor - Nine Elms Website

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