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Allistair Taylor has put together a brief history of the NRM's Class 33 diesel, this text now appears on the Locomotive's own page, together with some other technical information.

D6535 is a part of the National collection, it represents one of the many medium size locomotives built by British Railways as part of the 1955 Modernisation Plan.

This type locomotive of locomotive was ordered by the Southern Region, who after viewing some of the pilot scheme locomotives approached the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon company to produce a modified version of locomotive ordered by the Eastern Region. It featured a more powerful engine, electric heating and both air and vacuum train brakes.

These locomotives were ordered in two variations, and were to become the standard diesel locomotive of the Southern Region. 98 were built in all, the two initial versions were identical other than that twelve of them were built to the Hastings gauge, i.e. some 8½ narrower.

Later on nineteen locomotives were modified to operate with the “EMU” type vehicles that were had been ordered for the 1967 Bournemouth electrification. These locomotives would take over at Bournemouth and take the front portion of a service that had come from Waterloo and take it forward to Weymouth. On the return it would push the same set back to Bournemouth, but being driven from the cab on that unit. This situation remained in place until electrification on the route to Weymouth.

The versatility of this system also allowed workings to Salisbury and the Clapham Junction. - Kensington service. It also allowed the Southern to use them on a few special workings of the Southern Region.

This meant that in theory these modified locomotives could work in multiple with any of the Southern Region EMUs.

D6535 eventually passed to English Welsh and Scottish Railway Company who used it for parcels and freight work, it was withdrawn by them after a shunting mishap. It was around this time it was designated by the Heritage committee as worthy of adding to the National Collection.

The loco languished at Old Oak Common depot in London, where the weather took its toll.

The locomotive moved to Great Central Railway in 2005, under the custodian-ship of the 5305 Locomotive Association

A considerable amount of work has already been undertaken, including a partial rewire, engine repairs and some body work.

It has become evident that much of the body work is now in need of some more serious work, other than the patching of small areas. Much of the lower cab sides and front are rotten due to the period in London, and the large amounts of filler that was found which trapped water behind it. The body sides are also suffering from rot due to the internal guttering having rotted whilst in store (these have all been replaced).

This locomotive is an important part of the collection as it represents not only the Southern Region’s successful attempt at a diesel locomotive but the only example of a small Sulzer engine out of 682 built for BR, most of which were built by Vickers at Barrow in Furness.


By Info | Tuesday, January 12, 2010 | Tags : D6535

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