D123 is based at the Great Central Railway in Loughborough and is in regular service

Owned by: Privately Owned

Class 45/1
Wheel Size 3’9”
Overall Length 67’ 11”
Width 8’ 10 5/8
Height 12’ 10 ½”
Engine Sulzer 12LDA28B
Fuel Diesel
Main Generator Crompton Parkinson G426A1
Auxiliary Generator Brush BL100-30Mk11, Dual Wound ETH/Aux Alternator
Route Availability Seven
Weight 135 tons 5cwt
Fuel Tank 790 gallon main tank 50 gallon emergency tank
Cylinders 11”/ 14” Bore/Stroke
Maximum Speed 90mph
Tractive Effort 55,000lbs
Brake Force 63 tons
Bogie Wheel Arrangement 1-Co Co-1
Bogie Weight 29 ton
Bogie Wheelbase 59ft 8”
Pivot Centres 32ft 8”
Turbo Charged LAG 46-20
Turbo Boost Pressure 16 psi


Built at Crewe Works in 1961, D123 was released to traffic and based at Derby (17A - Derby code changed to 16C in September 63) on 28/10/61. The locomotive moved to London Midland, Midland Lines in January 1965. This was a common allocation code; maintenance could be carried out anywhere. LMML was the official code, the letter M was carried either just below or above the loco number. D16 was the next allocation in May 1968 to LMML in 6/68, this was possibly a paper transfer due to being on exam, and back to D16 Nottingham Division in the same month. D16 was a method of allocation by which maintenance could be done at most depots, but returning to Toton for heavy work. D123 remained D16 until 5/73 when codes were changed when Toton became “TO”. The locomotive remained at Toton until 11/86, with a move to Sheffield Tinsley (TI) where it worked until withdrawal on 7/5/87. During these allocations, the loco was to be found hard at work throughout the system and a peak could be found on all kinds of work.


The locomotive was withdrawn due to run-down of the class. The loco was due a “D” exam and traction motor repairs which fell outside the “economic limits” that had been decreed by the B.R. board.

Main Line Work

D123 worked express trains on the Cross Country and Midland Main Line routes.

Storage & Test Track

45125 as D123 had now become was moved to storage at March depot, and the movement took place on 20/5/87. 45125 was examined and was found suitable for use by the railway technical centre at Derby, for use as a dead load vehicle for testing class 60 locos on the Mickleover Test Track. The loco was moved from March on 26/1/89 to Derby, arriving at Egginton Junction (the start of the test track) on 12/2/89, arrived Mickleover 20/4/89 and used for testing until dumped back at Eggington Junction in June 1990. Here it remained in the company of 45111, 45126, 45136, 45146 and 45148.


They were offered for sale in early 1991, and 45125 was selected due to its better condition and known maintenance history. Movement of the loco from Eggington was delayed due to the P.Way staff removing the outlet point work from the sidings and the test track had been lifted some time ago. The point work was re-laid on 22/3/92 and 45125 was towed to Toton yard with 45136 and 45146. It was then moved to Hull Dairycoates Depot, the then home of H.L.P.G., the group who had purchased the loco with the aid of some individuals. 45125 was moved by 56075 “West Yorkshire Enterprise” on 23/3/94 via the “old road” and the Doncaster avoiding line direct to Dairycoates.

Move to Dairycoates and Start of Overhaul

While residing in the wheel drops at Dairycoates, repairs to the electrical system commenced with partial rewiring to the cab lighting panels due to them being missing. In addition, repairs were made to master controllers and the batteries. The batteries were brought back to life and electrical testing commenced, with a modicum of success. The radiators were also overhauled and the cooling system was filled with water, several cylinder head transition bushes were found to be doing a good impression of Niagara Falls (an old Sulzer Bug-bear) so all the heads were removed and overhauled. All the transition bushes were renewed and new rubber joints fitted, and the engine was rebuilt and found to be water tight. All main generator brush boxes were removed to allow the generator to be cleaned with ease and some work was undertaken on the air system.

Move to Botanic Gardens Depot

Before any more work could take place the wheel drops at Diarycoates were demolished, so the loco languished outside the old crane shed for a time before being moved to the Botanic Gardens Depot in early 1994, moved by 08514 and 08776. The loco resided here in No. 1 road in the shed where work continued and the loco was started up with just a minor battery problem (one cell exploded during the initial starting attempt). This start proved that the voltage regulator needed renewal and more work was carried out, including an oil change and filter renewal. At this point Rail Privatisation meant that the pit space was needed at B.G. so the loco was sent outside the shed for storage. Whilst the loco was outside there was some minor vandalism and sabotage of the brake system. This latter damage was found during preparation for movement to Loughborough. Several days of work removed the problem and the damaged brake valves were renewed, just another minor glitch, and a loss of money in moves that had to be cancelled.

Move to Loughborough

Movement finally took place on 31/3/98, with loco numbered as 89423 on 0Z45 hauled by 477XX. Movement was via Hull Paragon, Goole, Doncaster “Old Road” and the Erewash, arriving at Brush, Loughborough for onward movement to the GCR by road to Quorn. The loco arrived at Quorn on 2/4/98 and moved up to Loughborough Central, where work started once again to get the loco serviceable. Repairs were also made to the cab wiring, which had been deliberately cut. The batteries were found to be badly frost damaged, so two sets of class 47 batteries were procured and fitted. Body work repairs continued and a repaint into BR green was carried out. The “D” exam and the traction motor repairs were undertaken with ease.

Work at the GCR

Many hours of trouble free running have been given, but as with all things one or two things go wrong. A new lubricating oil heat exchanger was fitted in early 2003 and a half-set of batteries had to be fitted due to several cells giving up the ghost in February 2004. The combined pump set had to be renewed and a spare was fitted in Autumn 2003 with the old one since being repaired and it now sits spare. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it is mainly cosmetic such as internal painting. Some minor modifications are required to bring things up to date and help interchange of certain brake equipment, and reinstating of the E.T.H. system. A body lift to clean the under-body and carry out a bogie exam & clean will be required at some point in the not-too-distant future.


“Leicestershire & Derbyshire Yeomanry” was named by Lt.  Colonel Ridley Thompson (rtd) on 22nd June 2000. The third or “LADY” nameplate is housed in the Officers Mess at South Wigston Barracks. 


The locomotive is powered by a Sulzer 2500H.P., 12 cylinder 12LDA28-B engine, built by Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness, driving a Crompton Parkinson main generator, CG462A1 rated at 1,531 Kw, 580V, 2640A at 1,080 rpm, coupled to a Brush BL100-30 Mk ll, dual wound ETH/AUX alternator, supplying a nominal 850v for ETC and 220V for Aux equipment and battery charging both controlled by A DVR 22/1 electronic voltage regulator. Six axle-hung nose suspended Crompton Parkinson traction motors, C172A1, rated at 337 hp 445a 615v. The traction motors are ‘cooled’ by a pair of C.P. 2-speed blower motors (now only low speed, 1,180 rpm). Engine cooling is provided for engine water circulation, fuel supply and lubricating oil priming / governor oil supply, pump set also driven by a C.P. motor running at 2,400 rpm. Electrical control equipment is supplied by Allen West Co, of Brighton, plus minor equipment by Brush, Loughborough.


Brake equipment is supplied by Davies & Metcalfe and is of the Oerlikon type, with locomotive air braking, train air brakes and air-controlled train vacuum brakes. Two 47 cu.ft. compressors and one S.L.M. type 30 rotary exhauster are also fitted, all driven by Crompton Parkinson 220V DC motors. Some motors were supplied by Laurence Scott of Norwich and at least one A.E.I. motor has been found.


When built, D123 was fitted with a Stones Vapor OK4625 Steam Generator for train heating. This was capable of 2,750lbs of steam at 70psi per hour. Three water tanks were provided to supply treated water, two 530 gallon tanks at No. 2 end each side of the cab bulkhead door, and one 300 gallon tank underslung between the bogies. All but this tank were removed in 1974 when the loco was fitted with electric train heating. The underslung tank was ballasted and ballast blocks fitted in place of the two boiler room tanks.