Tuesday 9 April 2024

Streamlined SDJR 7F

Rumour has it the Airfix based their well-known plastic kit on the brick, wood and tin engine shed on the one here at Combwich. The unusual feature was the powered propeller over the entrance. This apparently dates from the 1920s when the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway used the shed for aerodynamic streamline testing of the S&DJR 7F 2-8-0 which was given an aerodynamic shell. Apparently the streamlined LNER A4 and LMS Coronation pacific classes were inspired by this ground breaking experiment a few year later. 

Sadly no photographs of the streamlined S&DJR 7F exist anywhere, and tests were halted after only a week or two when the powers that be abandoned the project, after deciding that there was probably no need for a streamlined engine mostly used for pulling coal trucks around at no more than 33.9 MPH. 

The discarded cladding found use for chicken hutches and bomb shelters during WW2. And apparently one section still exists to this day in Mrs Miggins’ guesthouse garden as a shelter for her swing hammock not far from that there Burnham on Sea. 


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