Loco FAQ

Why are they known as Moguls?

The term Mogul describes the wheel arrangement with 1 pair of small wheels on the front bogie, 3 pairs of driving wheels and no rear bogie under the cab. It is also known as a 2-6-0 in Whyte’s notation. A Pacific has a 4-6-2 arrangement, an Atlantic, 4-4-2 etc. Tender wheels aren’t counted.

Where can I see the locos?

31806 is usually available for traffic on the Swanage Railway and can be seen when it is operating. See the Swanage railway website for more information. It also makes regular appearances at other heritage railways across the country as a guest locomotive. See our news page for announcements.

31874 is in Swanage Railway’s off site engineering facility which is not normally open to the public but it can be viewed by appointment. This is best combined with either joining a working party or making a suitable donation. Contact the Swanage Railway.

31625 is helping to raise awareness for the campaign and after attending the 2016 GDSF is stored on the Swanage Railway in view of passing trains and occasionally displayed in the bay platform at Swanage Station.

 Are these the locomotives that ran on the Mid Hants Railway?

Yes they are. It’s great that they are all staying together on Southern metals and not far from their first preservation home.

Who owns the locomotives?

The locomotives are on a long term 25 year lease to Swanage Railway and are currently owned by John Bunch. Similar to a Leasehold Property, for the duration of the lease, Swanage Railway has absolute discretion over the use and operation of the locos and is responsible for all overhauls and maintenance.

Will the locomotives run “Main Line”?

We’ve been keeping the option open by carrying out the overhaul of 31874 to mainline engineering standards with the necessary VAB checks are being carried out during the overhaul. In May 2016 we received the exciting news that a grant from the DFT enables us to equip 31784 for mainline operation during its 2014-16 overhaul and so for 31874 at least the answer is YES!

31625 ran on the main line in 1997 & 1999 whilst based at Mid Hant’s. If funds allow we hope to overhaul it to the same specification as 31784. To ‘Go Main Line’ we need to have functional AWS,  GSMR, TPWS4 and OTMR. These are expensive upgrades costing around £50,000 per locomotive and we will require further funds to achieve this.

Will the locos be used to run to Wareham?

Swanage Railway now has a main line connection to Wareham and is developing its trial service. Although only DMU services are in plan at the moment, there is an aspiration that in the future we will run steam services to Wareham and possibly beyond.  With 31874 now being equipped and certified for main line running, limited operation to Wareham during 2018 or even 2017 is a possibility. There are several other hurdles to overcome first and the DMU trial service must take priority. The Maunsell Moguls are ideal for operation around the local area because of their size and water capacity.

Why do locos need an overhaul every 10 years?

In addition to an annual exam by a boiler inspector, all locomotive boilers need a thorough inspection inside and out every 10 years, regardless of mileage run. The boiler has to come out of the frames and have all the tubes and cladding removed so it can be examined. The inspector will recommend a program of work required to allow the boiler to operate for another 10 years, including a full re-tube. Whilst this is being done it is normal to take the opportunity to overhaul the chassis as well.

What happens to the locos at the end of the lease agreement?

There is an option in the contract for Swanage Railway to renew its lease of these iconic locomotives. Swanage Railway also have first refusal should the owner want to sell any of the Locos. If neither of these options are taken up the railway will return the locos in a comparable condition to that they were in at the start of the agreement.

Will these locos replace the ‘Southern Locomotives Ltd’ locos on Swanage Railway?

No. Swanage Railway foresees a medium to long term requirement for an operational fleet of 5-6 locos. With 10 yearly overhauls often taking several years to complete there will always be a requirement for a larger number of locos in the pool. We also recognized that we needed to expand the pool and reduce our reliance on a single provider for a large number of locos. Swanage has a long standing partnership with Southern Locomotives Ltd and wishes this to continue into the future.

Why are these locomotives so suitable?

The Swanage Moguls are BR class 4, an ideal size for our operation and that of many other heritage railways. They are efficient in use and easy to maintain. With the three being very similar there is also the advantage of enjoying interchangeability of parts. Their 4000 gal tenders gives them the water capacity to make longer journeys, perhaps out on to the main line if needed in the future. They are also very historically appropriate to Swanage branch with 31806 having run there in the 50s and many examples of regular workings on the branch by both U and N classes.

Will the Locos only run at Swanage?

The agreement allows us to base the locos wherever we think best. Subject to Swanage Railway requirements, they will certainly be available to visit other Heritage lines for Galas and it’s probable that they may also have longer periods of hire at other railways. This allows a greater audience to see and enjoy them and helps us to raise funds by way of steaming fees towards their next overhaul.

What livery will they be painted in when they are finished?

Current Swanage Railway Policy is to have our locos painted in a late 50’s or early 60’s livery to suit the period that the line recreates. This is the livery that most people remember them working in.  For these locos that means BR Mixed Traffic, Lined Black. The locos also had some modifications in the 50s that to the trained eye affected their external appearance so the BR livery with late crest is the only one that is absolutely correct however early crest could also be considered. We recognize that this isn’t to everyone’s taste and there remains the possibility – should a suitable and mutually agreeable alternative be funded – that earlier Southern Railway liveries could be worn!