Diesel Locomotives

In this section: 47635 | 37029 | 31438 | 45132 | 25173 | 03170 | 03119 | Ruston RH398616

BR Class 47 No.47635 (D1606) "Jimmy Milne"

Photo: P Chester

47635Class 47s were synonymous with Eastern Region plying their trade up and down the Great Eastern Mainline between London and Norwich. 47635 was built by British Railways at Crewe and entered traffic on 29th July 1964 as D1606. The locomotive became 47029 under the TOPS numbering scheme in 1974. It was fitted with Electric Train Heat in January 1986 and renumbered 47635. 

On 7th April 1987, 47635 was named; "Jimmy Milne" at Glasgow Central by Mrs Alice Milne, widow of the former General Secretary of the Scottish TUC; the plates were removed at Tinsley TMD four years later. EWS bestowed 47635 with the name "The Lass O'Ballochmyle" at Doncaster Works 150 Open Day on 26th July 2003, but the locomotive has been renamed "Jimmy Milne" in preservation. the locomotive carries "large logo" BR blue livery. 

Status: Out of service; undergoing roof restoration.

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BR Class 37 D6729 (37029)

"Class 37" 1,750 BHP English Electric locomotive D6729, was released from the English Electric works at Vulcan Foundary, Newton le Willows, in March 1961 and allocated to Stratford depot in London. Surviving an accident at Great Chesterford in 1963, the locomotive became 37029 under the TOPS renumbering scheme in November 1973. Officially withdrawn just prior to Christmas in 1993, 37029 saw a resurgance and was re-instated in private ownership working mainline passenger charter trains and starred at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway diesel gala in 1998. Several owners later, including Direct Rail Services, the locomotive was withdrawn again in 2009 and moved to North Weald in October 2010 where she has been since. 

The locomotive has been restored and repainted into the original 1950-1960s livery it carried when it was based at nearby Stratford shed (30A) and carries the number D6729.

The locomotive is popular with many as it has its original bodywork, complete with "split headcode" nose, and is one of only a few in the whole country.

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Status: Operational


BR Class 31 - 31438 (D5557)

Photo: Jason Cross

Class 31 locomotives were regular performers on secondary line and freight duties around the East Anglia area, with the first of the class being allocated to nearby Stratford Depot (30A) making it rather appropriate that one should now be based on the line.

"Class 31" 1,470 BHP English Electric locomotive 31438 was constructed at the Brush works at Loughborough during the Summer of 1959 and went via Doncaster works for acceptance testing. It was delivered new to the Ipswich loco shed (32B) as D5557 and was made available for traffic on the 15th October 1959.

In June 1961, it was transferred to the Norwich shed (32A) where it stayed until March 1965 when it was reallocated to Tinsley (41A). It carried the D5557 number until early in October 1973, when it changed to the TOPS number of 31 139 and was one of the first to be repainted in the BR blue livery. Prior to that, the loco was unique as a Brush Type 2 in that it carried the Brunswick Green livery with the BR arrow symbols on all four cab sides and with the numbers behind the doors.

It survived the first reduction in the fleet of Class 31s, having been mothballed at Swindon in 1981 for approximately six months. At this stage, it was selected to have electric train heating equipment fitted and to have a Heavy General Overhaul. This was completed, and the loco was released back into traffic as 31 438 on 23rd April 1984. Until December 1993, it spent its time hauling passenger trains in the north west, working out of Crewe or Wigan sheds, after which it was transferred over to infrastructure work as 31 538. It was finally sent to Carlisle to be stored as serviceable in September 1995.

Thanks to the dedicated work of her former owner, she is in full working order and has proved herself to be a regular and reliable performer. 31438 arrived on the line in October 2011 and has both air and vacuum train braking systems, making it a very flexible machine as can work with all the coaching stock on the .

Refurbishment and repainting.

Although in general our class 31 was in good mechanical condition, her external body and paint work was in poor condition and both cabs needed remedial work.

In September 2012 a small team of volunteers began work on repair and refurbishment of both cabs. This include rebuilding of all cab doors (a long and skilled job) , replacement of floor/ sub floor and wall panelling on a as required basis. Repair and replacement of all cab seat upholstery, Completed repainting of cabs . Cleaning and painting the engine room as required. Plus many other minor works.

The Loco was withdrawn from traffic completely in March 2013, for body work repairs and preparation for a complete repaint. The opportunity was also taken to remove and remanufacture the locomotives brake rigging which was found to be badly worn in places.

Every effort has been taken to return the locomotives colour scheme as she would have looked ex works in 1982.

The locomotive was completely repainted in BR corporate blue with yellow cab ends. We took a lot of trouble to obtain the correct transfers appropriate to her 1982 cooperate livery.

After a huge amount of working hours and a considerable amount of money having been lavished on her, the class 31 Locomotive returned to traffic in September 2013.

Status: Operational

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Class 45 "Peak" 45132 (D22)

Photo: Andy Watts

45132 was built as D22 in 1961 by BR Derby works, as one of the first of the BR/ Sulzer type 4 locomotives - nicknamed 'peaks' because the first 10 outwardly similar locos carried the names of English and Welsh mountains.

As a new engine, D22 was allocated to 55A Leeds Holbeck shed, from where it operate Midland region trains on the line to St Pancras. It is also known to have worked the Thames-Clyde express from St Pancras to Glasgow St Enoch, and The Waverley, which ran from St Pancras to Edinburgh Waverley. In the 1970s, steam heating of trains was being phased out, and it was decided to convert 50 of the class 45s to electrical train supply, creating two subclasses of class 45 - the unmodified class 45/0, and the ETH fitted class 45/1. The selection of locomotives for conversion to class 45/1does not seem to have followed any pattern, however D22 was one of those selected, and was fitted with the Brush alternator and had the original auxiliary generation gear removed. Upon emergence as an ETH fitted machine, D22 was numbered 45132 - unlike some of the 45/1 locos, it never carried a 45/0 TOPS number. As an ETH fitted locomotive, 45132 spent the majority of it's time hauling passenger trains of some description, right up to withdrawal.

It spent most of it's life allocated to Toton shed, from where destinations as far flung as St Pancras, Holyhead, Carlisle, Newcastle and Plymouth were reached, generally on Passenger workings. Towards the end of it's life, the headcode boxes were removed, in common with similarly fitted locos, of both class 45/0 and 45/1. Of all four types of peak, the class 45/1 lasted the longest, no doubt due to the ETH.

45132 was withdrawn in 1987, having failed at Kettering on a St Pancras to Derby working with a siezed triple pump (which pumps fuel, oil and water around the engine). Within a matter of days, it had been dispatched to March in Cambridgeshire - a depot more synonymous with class 31s - for storage along with a number of it's classmates.

Status: Undergoing heavy overhaul.

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BR Class 25 - D7523 (25173)

25173The BR Class 25 originally numbered 327 examples built, of which 20 examples were saved and about 11 are in operation on heritage lines around the country. Our engine is a 25/2, which featured restyled bodywork (without the earlier gangway doors in the front) and slightly different air intakes from the first batch built. While the Southern and Eastern Regions of BR were never allocated this class, they were often seen in East Anglia on inter-region passenger and freight workings and excursion work.

The construction of D7523 started with the main support frames being laid during early 1964, delivery to the Nottingham area occurring in January 1965. The locomotive remained a Midland Region based machine throughout its career which ended with withdrawal on 19 March 1987, being one of the last locomotives of the class in service. The engine was fitted with air brakes (making it dual braked) during a routine overhaul in 1978.

D7523 was officially withdrawn at midday on 19th March 1987 at Crewe and was immediately sent, along with several other locomotives, to Vic Berry's scrap yard in Leicester. Normally the processing of scrap loco's and dumping them on the 'pile' only took a few days but for some reason D7523 (or 25173 as she was) lingered and on 13th September that year, 25173 left the yard again and returned to Crewe works for repairs. This was unexpected as all of the class had been officially withdrawn in March 1987. Over the following two years the loco alternated between Crewe works and Berry's yard, each time it visited Crewe it received further repairs. Finally on 1st June 1989 the locomotive that refused to be scrapped left Crewe and headed for the Dean Forest Railway and into preservation. D7523 spent 15 years in service at the West Somerset Railway, proving to be a useful engine for both light passenger and engineering trains, being maintained to a very high standard by the Diesel Electric Preservation Group at Wiliton, before coming to Epping Ongar Railway in September 2011.

Status: Undergoing heavy overhaul offsite.

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BR Class 03 - 03170 (D2170)

03170Class 03 shunter; 204 BHP "Drewery" diesel mechanical shunter. Delivered new to British Railways as D2170 in late 1960, it was withdrawn in 1989. This is a class of locomotive that has a long history of working in East Anglia, members of the class being allocated to Stratford, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich Depots up until the late 1980s. This locomotive has dual (air and vacuum) braking systems. Its claim to fame is that it was the last 03 converted and overhauled at Swindon works before they closed.

Status: Operational - restriced to yard use.

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BR Class 03 - 03119

0311903119 is a unique engine as it was one of the specially modified Class 03 shunters which was modified to have a "cut down", reduced height cab to enable it to work the Burry Port & Gwendraeth Valley branch which had lower bridges, and fitted with air operated controls so they could be worked in pairs to cope with the heavy loads. Built at BR Swindon Works and introduced in September 1959 as D2119, it was allocated initially to Danygraig depot.

Renumbered to 03119 in March 1974, it was withdrawn from traffic while allocated to Landore Depot in February 1986. After arriving at Knills scrap yard, Barry, in November 1986, 03119 was quickly saved and moved to the Dean Forest Railway by December 1986 to enter railway preservation. 03119 made the move to the West Somerset Railway in March 1996, where it has been kept in good working order by the Diesel and Electric Preservation Group at Williton before coming to EOR in Dec 2011. The locomotive carries the BR livery, and 03 shunters were once a common sight all over the country, including at many East Anglian stations on shunting duties.

Status: Operational

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Ruston - RH398616

Ruston RH398616Once a common shunter, she now resides on a plinth at Ongar near the High Street end of the station.

Status: Static display at Ongar; non-operational.

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