An historic engine, the 35028 Clan Line passed through Crewkerne Railway Station, pulling the Atlantic Coast Express, on the same day that the Friends of Crewkerne Station were holding their Open Day. One of the Friends, history group leader Michael Frackiewicz, had set up a photographic exhibition in the waiting room with information about the Friends of the Station and the history of the Atlantic Coast Express and its association with the Clan Line. Michael said: “The Merchant Navy Class Bulleid Pacifics, numbering 30 engines in all, were constructed during and after the second world war. They featured air smooth casing that prompted their nickname ‘spam cans’. They were named after the shipping lines which took part in the Battle of the Atlantic, although later ones were named after shipping lines using Southampton Docks.
“Due to problems with some of the more novel features of their design, they were all rebuilt in the late 1950’s, taking a more conventional appearance which is why we see the Clan Line without the ‘spam can’ look today.”
The locomotive is now owned by the Merchant Navy Preservation Society. It is one of their flagship locomotives working the heritage lines and was on route from London Victoria to Exeter St Davids when it passed through Crewkerne.
Volunteers from the Friends of Crewkerne Station were on hand at the Open Day to explain about their role at the station and members sold raffle tickets to boost funds. The Friends not only help to keep the station ‘spick and span’ but have installed the attractive station flower planters, seats and an outside shelter for passengers. Visitors were reassured that the unused platform and its flower planters would stay under the Friends care, during the development works started in the Old Coal Yard, where the building of 16 houses is expected to begin soon.