55 022 is seen in action on the Alcan tanks heading towards Lynemouth on the 19th April 2011. Harry Savage
In one of the most remarkable events of the year so far, national freight operator GBRf has hired preserved Class 55 Deltic 55 022 Royal Scots Grey to haul Alcan tanks on two return trips a day between North Blyth and Lynemouth.
The hire has come about following an increase in demand for work at GBRf, which caused a temporary locomotive shortage. Whilst Deltics have been known to work freight trains during their time in use with British Rail, such workings were relatively rare. It is however, not the first time a preserved diesel locomotive has been used to haul freight trains, with D1015 Western Champion, 40 145 and Class 50s belonging to the Class 50 Alliance all having previously been hired to haul freight workings.
55 022 moved from its East Lancashire Railway base on 10 April and is expected to remain on hire to GBRf until early July, although it did return to the ELR at Easter to take part in the railways ‘Deltic 50’ event, where it worked a variety of services along with D9016 Gordon Highlander.
Members of the Class 40 Preservation Society (CFPS) are appealing for funds to assist them with essential repairs required to both their locomotives.
D335 has been out of traffic for the past two years following damage to the locomotive’s segmental bearings and was moved to Barrow Hill in January to allow the Class 40 to be lifted to establish the extent of the damage. Contractors from Harry Needle Railroad Company have identified a number of cracks on the bogie frames that will require specialist welding, along with the necessary repairs to the segmental bearing damage. It is thought that the bogie repairs will cost in the region of £15,000.
The society are also having to find around £30,000 to cover the costs of specialist generator repairs for 40 145, which suffered a main generator failure in December. The failed generator has been stripped down, but extensive repairs are required before it can be made serviceable again.
A number of fundraising initiatives are currently under way and the CFPS has already raised funds by selling a number of headboards carried by 40 145 on recent main line tours. Three members of the group have also recently climbed Mount Snowdon to raise funds for the CFPS’s appeal.
With the power unit and main generator removed from the locomotive, the opportunity is being taken to clean up the engine room of 40 145 at Barrow Hill. Electrical and roof repairs are also being done to the Class 40, which is not expected to re-enter service until towards the end of this year. CFPS
A busy year is in prospect for the Western Locomotive Association (WLA) and D1062 Western Courier, which will be in use throughout the year. Following a winter of routine maintenance, the Western was one of the locomotives visiting the annual diesel event at the Swanage Railway, before returning to its Severn Valley Railway base to take part in the SVR’s popular ‘Sounds of the 60s Gala’ in late May, which featured a combination of diesel and steam hauled trains, along with tribute 1960s singers and bands.
Running days for D1062 on the SVR have been set for 11 June, 23 July and 10 September, with the locomotive also due to take part in the railways annual diesel event which is held from 6-8 October. The locomotive will also be in use for driver experience courses on the railway on 3 June, 22 July and 9 September.
The WLA is still raising funds towards its £125,000 main line running appeal which, if successful, could see D1062 re-registered for running on the national network. Although the target is still some way off being reached, a range of fundraising initiatives are being considered.
Work on the major overhaul of D1013 Western Ranger continues at Bridgnorth, although no date has been set for its return to service.
Rail-Blue Charters are to run a charity fundraising train along the length of the West Coast Main Line from London Euston to Glasgow Central in memory of their former Commercial Director, Mark Honey, who died in December 2010.
The ‘Mark Honey Memorial’ charter, which will be hauled by the AC Locomotive Groups 86 101 Sir William A Stanier FRS, will run on 6 August 2011, with pick-ups at various points along the route. 86 101 was one of Mr Honey’s favourite locomotives and he was actively involved in assisting with its return to the main line in March 2007. All profits from the tour will be donated to the Sarcoma Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support. The Sarcoma Trust is a charity, which sponsors the research into this rare form of cancer.
The train will be formed of the Cargo-D Mark III first class carriages for premier dining and first class travel, whilst Mark II carriages will be used for standard class accommodation. Fares for the charter are £159 for premier dining, £89 for first class and £58 for standard class, with reductions available for children under 10 years of age.
More information on the tour can be found at:
The future of Class 25, D7541 has been secured following its purchase by South Devon Diesel
Traction in an exchange deal, which has seen 20 118 Saltburnby-the-Sea transferred into the ownership of Harry Needle Railroad Company. The Class 25 has been stored out of use on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for the past decade, awaiting a major overhaul. It was moved from the NYMR to the South Devon Railway in mid-April, with 20 118 moving to the North Norfolk Railway at the same time where it will be used alongside the NNR diesel fleet.
Class 14, D9516, has been sold by the 1306 Mayflower Group to a member of the Wensleydale Railway and the locomotive has moved from the Nene Valley Railway to Leeming Bar. The Class 14 is in excellent condition and fully serviceable and is expected to see regular use on the WR, alongside the other diesel locomotives based at the railway.
The other 1306 Mayflower Group Class 14, D9523 has also been sold, with this being
4 TRACTION 198 July/August 2011