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Special train headboards (last updated 24 December 2021 - revised links to the downloads and updated printables to give multiple copies of each board)

The SLS has always been associated with visits and special trains as anyone who has read our Centenary Booklet will be aware. This tradition grew to reach a peak during the branch line closure era.   However this tradition still continues with runs over preserved railways, the occasional organised main line tour to replicate past times, and with behind the scenes visits.

This page carries basic information about four of our headboards.  Four of these are now available as free of charge "printies" ( 300 dpi jpg format) and accurately scaled to 4mm, 7mm (UK 1:43), 1:24 and 1:12.  This service was formally launched to railway enthusiasts on the SLS stand at the 2010 York Model Railway Show Please note to acheie the necessary 300dpi quality for printing they are falrly large files.

Sample modellers headboards

Link to 300dpi printable jpg versions 4mm | 7mm (1:43) | 1:24 | 1:12 (Links updated 7 Feb 2023)

Other scales available on request to webmaster.

SLS headboard Image 1 - The definitive SLS Special headboard. Used widely from the 50s to the present day. (Privately preserved - stored on Severn Valley Railway) and used from time to time contemporaneously. Click image for larger size copy.  Photo by John New.
The red headboard

Image 2 -  (Preserved SLS Library collection)  Click image for larger size copy.  Photo by John New.

(1) When this page was created it was thought this one was possibly of Southern Region origin as the reverse side is painted green in what is, or is close to, British Railways Southern Region paint colour. 

(2) information subsequently received suggests the green may be GNSR green as the board was carried on a tour in Scotland by GNSR No 49 "Gordon Highlander".  Also seen in use on the "Land of Burns" tour in 1959 (Loco 2P 4-4-0 number 40574)  Thanks recorded to Alisdair M Macdonald for supply of this information.   

SLS Heaadboard used in Scotland
Image 3 - As used on tours in Scotland.  (Preserved SLS Library collection) Click image for larger size copy.  Photo by John New.
Centenary headboard
Image 4 - New Centenary Headboard, created specially for the SLS by the Bluebell Railway. (Hosts of our April 2009 AGM weekend).  Click image for larger size copy© Brian Dotson.  This board is stored in the SLS Library.

The thumbnails below show SLS headboards being carried on trains.  (Click links for larger size copies)

Small image 45110 2005 AGM weekend SLS Special Black Five 45110 Photo by John New.  
 K1 on special train

K1 2-6-0 62005 on the Three Dales rail tour of 12 May 2007 with SLS headboard. This tour marked the 40th anniversary of the tour organised by the SLS in 1967 with the same locomotive. Photo by Carl Gorse.

NB - A further headboard was carried later when the engine double headed with K4 number 61994 The Great Marquess.

Thumbnail link Severn Valley picture Midlands Centre members celebrate our centenary on the Severn Valley Railway (Includes Ex-GWR 0-6-0Pt No 7714 with headboard) - Date 30th May 2009.  Photo by John New.
thumb two panniers J861 Cover.jpg The ‘SLS Special’ with two panniers, No 9600, sporting the original SLS headboard, and 9466, both impatiently blowing off steam as they wait for the signal at Kidderminster to rejoin the rail network for the return to Tyseley Warwick Road up the steeply graded Old Hill route, 14 November 2009. Brian Dotson (Note - this photo' is included in the Centenary page)

SLS special (re-enactment) but no headboard

Link to Welshpool photo The Earl and Countess ready to depart from Welshpool with the special train run over the W&LLR to recreate in preservation the SLS Special which was the last passenger train run over the line prior to the original closure. 29.10.06 © Brian Dotson.

A related page about some of the nameplates in our collection can be found here.