Bulleid Tenders

Bulleid tenders fall into two basic families, those for Merchant Navies and those for Light Pacifics and Q1s. While tenders swapped around between engines within a class, they never swapped between classes on a permanent basis.

Merchant Navy Tenders

MN 35027 tender

35027 Port Line showing the Merchant Navy 5,000 gal. tender 3116

The frames of Merchant Navy tenders are shallower, have two brake blocks per wheel (i.e. each wheel has a leading and trailing brake hanger) and the horn guides each have only two fillets at the extreme top and bottom of each horn. The leading edge of the body side is swept round to form the cab entrance. There were originally three capacities of Merchant Navy tender: By the late 1950s, some of the 5,000 gal. bodies were life expired, and five were replaced with new 5,250 gal. bodies on the original frames. These are distinguished by the straight top edge to the body side - there is no step caused by the fire iron tunnel. The 6,000 gal. coal weigher was also rebuilt with an extended version of this body.

Light Pacific and Q1 Tenders

Eddystone   Manston on NYMR=

Tender '000' running behind Eddystone (posing as Dartmoor, on the Bluebell Railway). The tank is from 5,000 gal. Merchant Navy tender 3119 (a sister to 3116, seen above) and is fitted to a new-build 5,500 gal. pattern underframe.

4,500 gal. tender 001 under construction at Herston. The underframe is new while the tank is from tender 3319. The two eccentrics at each end of the brake beam can be clearly seen in this view. (Andrew P M Wright)

The frames of these types of tender are quite distinct from those of Merchant Navy tenders, being deeper, with only one (leading) brake block per wheel and a different pattern of horn guide (three fillets) and axlebox. The two brake cylinders are clearly visible under the buffer beam. The leading edge of the body side is turned square to form the cab doorway. Again, there were three capacities:

All were built with high sides, but experiments were made in cutting them down to improve rear vision and access when taking water, etc. This was gradually applied to the rest, but a few never received this alteration. The rebuilds always had cut-down tenders. Four of these tenders (three 4,500 gal. and one 5,500 gal.) were re-bodied with 5,250 gal. bodies. These bodies were identical with those used for Merchant Navy tender re-bodying.

tender 002   Manston on NYMR=

The brake gear of Tender 002, showing the twin vacuum cylinders and the central drawgear.

4,500 gal. tender 3319 coupled to 34072 257 Squadron. 34072 ran with a narrow high sided tender like this one, from November 1957 until withdrawal. The tank of this tender is now mounted on new frames and runs behind 34070. Note how the leading upright of the RH tender steps is curved to clear the hand brake mechanism.

Our unrebuilt locos had narrow 4,500 gal. tenders when withdrawn, so 257 Squadron was mismatched being a wider member of the class, this tender was never cut-down. Their tenders were scrapped at Woodham’s yard even when the loco survived, and both 257 Squadron and Manston needed new tenders when restored.

Our rebuilt locos all carried cut-down 5,500 gal. tenders. These tenders suffered the same fate as above, so new tenders are needed.

Technical Details – Light Pacific Tenders

8 ft. 6 in. wide   9 ft. wide
Water Capacity:
4,500 gal.
Coal Capacity:
5 tons
42 tons 14 cwt.
Water Capacity:
5,500 gal.
Coal Capacity:
5 tons
47 tons 15 cwt.
Re-bodied (9 ft. wide)    
Water Capacity:
5,250 gal.
Coal Capacity:
5 tons
47 tons 18 cwt.

Tenders Used by SLL Engines in Preservation

tender 002   Manston on NYMR

Tender 002 under construction, showing the internal framework.

Tender 001 running with Manston at the Severn Valley Railway. Photo: L.Tidmarsh

5,000 gal. Tender No. 3116: This tender was built for 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S.N. Co. and ran with that locomotive for its entire working life. The tender was bought from Barry scrapyard to run with 35027 Port Line and was eventually sold on with that engine.

4,500 gal. Tender No. 3319: This tender first ran with 34070 Manston when built in 1947. In 1953 it was transferred to run with 34019 Bideford. On 21st May 1967, because 34023's tender had a hole in it, it was swapped with 34023's tender and it eventually finished its BR service with 34023 Blackmore Vale and was sold into preservation with that engine. SLL borrowed the tender from the Bulleid Society between 1990 and 1994 to run with 34072 257 Squadron.

5,100 gal. Tender No. 312?: This second series Merchant Navy tender is owned by the 34039 Boscastle group. It was borrowed by SLL for a period in 2002 when tender 3116 (35027) was damaged in a collision with Thomas. The tender is currently on loan for use with 34007 Wadebridge.

New-build Tender No. 000: This tender is a hybrid, comprising a new build underframe of 5500 gal. pattern with a second hand 5,000 gal. Merchant Navy tank. The tender was constructed by Riley's for SLL in 1994. The tank was from tender 3119, which spent its entire working life behind 35009 Shaw Saville. Tender 000 ran with 34072 from 1994 to 2003, and then it ran behind 34028 Eddystone until August 2014. A new tank for this tender was ordered along with a tank for No 003 (see below). This was fitted in 2017 and the tender will run with 34028 Eddystone

New-build Tender No. 001: This tender comprises a new 4,500 gal. pattern underframe built by SLL with a second hand 4500 gal. WC/BB tank. The tank is from tender 3319 (see above) which was built new for Manston in 1947. The tender carries the number 3318, which is the number of the tender (built new for 34067 Tangmere in 1947) which Manston ran with from 1956 until withdrawal in 1964. Tender 001 was completed in 2007 and has run with Manston from that date.

New-build Tender No. 002: This tender is a 5,500 gal. example which was completed at Herston in 2011. The only original parts on the tender are the axle boxes and bearings, which came from a Southern Region snow-plough converted from a Schools class tender. Tender No 002 entered service in 2012 behind 34053 Sir Keith Park and carries the number 3363, which was the tender used by 34103 Calstock until 1958. 34053 used 3363 throughout its working life as a rebuild.

New-build Tender No. 003: This tender is another 5,500 gal. example. It is cut-down style, as 002. Construction started in 2012 and it left Herston works, complete except for lining, on 24th November 2016. It runs with 257 Squadron.

tender 000   tender 003

Tender 000 ran with Eddystone until its withdrawal from service in 2014. The frames have been overhauled and new tank was fitted in 2017. It's expected to return to service with Eddystone in 2021.

Tender 003 is newly built and runs with 34072 257 Squadron. It was completed and left Herston works early in 2016.

SLL's current tenders

SLL currently uses four tenders:

With the acquisition of Brocklebank Line and Sir Frederick Pile we have four tenders for seven Bulleid locos. While it's most improbable that all seven would be in service at one time we expect at some point we will build one or two more tenders, probably including a high-sided tender to run with 34070 or 34072. Clearly getting four Bulleid locos in service will come before another tender project.