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35018 'British India Line' reunited on the South Western Mainline - July 2019

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For the first time since it’s withdrawal by British Railways in August 1964, Merchant Navy Pacific no 35018 ‘British India Line’ (or more popularly known as ‘BIL’) would make a return to its former home ground after more than half a century on the Southern Region with two trips organised by Railway Touring Company on July 6th and 9th 2019

Before it’s historic runs the loco would move from its northern base at Carnforth to Southall on July 4th, captured at its lengthy water stop at Crewe, 2 days later on July 9th it took helm of its first southern tour, “The Bournemouth Belle” from London Victoria to Weymouth and return, seen powering through Clapham Junction and Farnborough Main car park on its outward journey to the Jurassic Coast

3 days after this and on a similar itinerary BIL was at the front end of the annual “End of Southern Steam” this time from London Victoria to Yeovil Junction and return from Weymouth back to Victoria, seen storming through Wandsworth Town during the morning peak and slowing up towards Winchfield and picking up speed having been given the path to the fast line after the station due to its late running

I had intended to capture 35018 returning to its Carnforth base on initially Wednesday 10th then later Thursday 11th but these move in the end were cancelled and she remains at Southall

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