Page updated 31/03/08


5 mainline diesels have been acquired for our project at KSE and are now on site.

These are: 20 169, 31 410, 37 146, 37 674, 47 785 which are described in detail below:

20 169

20 169 was one of 228 locomotives and was built at the Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows, in 1966 as D8169. She weighed in at 72 tonnes and had a maximum speed of 75 mph.

D8169 was delivered new to Toton (Nottingham) depot in October 1966 originally in green livery, but she subsequently was repainted blue in the early 1970's.

The locomotive spent most of its life at Toton working mainly coal traffic around Nottinghamshire. On July 8th 1984, (by which time D8169 had been renumbered 20 169), 20 184 + 20 169 became the first of the class to reach Plymouth whilst working an 'F + W' Railtour, the 'Devonshire Dart'.

In February 1993, 20 169 + 20 092 were allocated to Bescot (Birmingham) depot and repainted into 'Technical Services' livery.

20 169 was placed 'in store' at Bescot in December 1995 and then finally withdrawn from service. The locomotive arrived at Kirkby Stephen East on July 17th 2001 and was started for the first time in preservation on 27th March 2005. 20 169 subsequently underwent major engine repairs and was started again for the first time on the weekend of 15th / 16th March 2008.

31 410

31 410 was one of 263 locomotives and was built at the Brush Traction Works, Loughborough, in 1960 as D5669. She weighed in at 108 tonnes and had a maximum speed of 90 mph.

D5669 was delivered new to March (Cambridgeshire) depot in November 1960 in green livery.

On the 11th October 1988, (by which time D5669 had been renumbered 31 410), the locomotive was going onto the parcels depot at Leeds when it went through two sets of points before derailing all wheels plus the leading vehicle of its train.

On 27th March 1989, 31 417 + 31 410 became the first of the class to work down the Conwy Valley Line on a passenger train.

31 410 entered Doncaster Works (in blue livery) for a light overhaul on 15th May 1992 and was released back to traffic on 16th June in 'Regional Railways' livery.

On 17th June 1992, the locomotive was named 'GRANADA TELETHON' at Manchester Victoria by Paul Nicholas. 31 410 + 31 439 subsequently toured the north west with the 'Manchester Executive' Pullman coaches visiting Southport, Bolton, Blackpool, Morecambe, Carnforth, Manchester and Hellifield as part of the Granada TV Telethon 1992.

The locomotive attended Leicester Open Day on the 6th September 1992 as a static exhibit.

31 410 was finally stored and later withdrawn following another derailment at Carnforth on 27th February 1997. It was being hauled 'dead' by 31 201 along with 31 273 + 31 275 from Carlisle to Wigan when the two trailing locos (31 275 + 31 410) derailed and severely damaged 300 yards of track.

31 410 was later sold from Carnforth and delivered to Kirkby Stephen East in February 2005. It is to be restored in green livery as D5669.


                                Class 31 410 and 20 169 at KSE. Photo by Mike Thompson

37 146

37 146 was one of 309 similar mixed traffic locos which were built at the Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows in 1963 as D6846. She weighed in at 105.3 tonnes with a maximum speed of 80 mph and was out-shopped in green livery. English Electric provided the 12 cylinder power unit (12csvt-1750hp) and also the main generator.

The loco entered traffic on 10th June 1963 at Cardiff Canton Depot. D6846 also worked at Haymarket (Edinburgh), Eastfield (Glasgow), Motherwell, Inverness, Bescot (Birmingham) and Crewe Diesel Depot. The last few years of her working life were spent at Toton (Nottingham) with the very last revenue earning service being 6Z28 (23.00 Bescot to Newport freight) on 21st July 1999.

Following implementation of the T.O.P.S. system, D6846 was renumbered 37 146 in January 1974. During her working life, 3599.08 pasenger miles were covered, but the freight miles were not recorded. In August 1999, she was taken through the channel tunnel to become 1 of 40 Class 37's used for infrastructure work at Eurre in the south of France.

She was brought back to Tyne Yard, Newcastle, on 8th September 2000 to be stored and remained there until her departure for KSE where she arrived on 6th April 2007.

The locomotive needs very little work to return to working order and it is hoped she will be running shortly in BR blue livery as 37 146.

37 674

37 674 was also built at the Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows and was released to traffic on 23rd August 1963, in green livery, as D6869 to Landore Depot (Swansea). She was renumbered to 37 169 following introduction of the T.O.P.S. system in May 1974.

After working from Landore, she moved to Healey Mills (Wakefield), Tinsley (Sheffield), Laira (Plymouth), Cardiff Canton, Crewe Diesel Depot, Bescot (Birmingham), Toton (Nottingham) and Motherwell. 2930.68 passenger miles were covered during her working life but, as with 37 146, freight traffic mileage was not recorded.

37 169 was reclassified as a 37/5 and renumbered as 37 674 on 12th June 1987 after refurbishment. This was carried out at BREL Crewe and the work included a complete strip down, modifications to the electrical system, re-geared bogies, an engine overhaul and the removal of the generator and replacement with a brush alternator.

After release back into traffic, 37 674 was allocated to Laira and out-based at St Blazey to work china clay trains in the local area. Whilst undertaking these duties, she became the first refurbished Class 37 to work the 'Silver Bullets', the longest distance freight train operating in the country, taking china clay slurry from Burgullow (Cornwall) to Irvine (Scotland) in big silver tanks for the paper industry.

37 674 was named 'Saint Blaise Church 1445-1995' by Uny Bowers, aged 9, son of the vicar of St Blaise Church, the Rev. Malcolm Bowers, to mark the 550th anniversary of the church on the 21st December 1995.

During September 1999, she was fitted for 'Sandite' working which is essentially a proceedure aimed at eliminating leaf mulch or to get 'leaves off the line'.

She will have passed Kirkby on a number of occasions including 22nd October 1999 working through Kirkby Stephen West with 1M31, the 15.38 Glasgow Central to London Euston which ran between Carlisle and Preson via the Settle and Carlisle line. 37 674 was placed in store at Motherwell on 12th December 2004 and arrived at KSE on 18th May 2007.

At 17.00 on the 2nd June 2007, the loco became the first 37/5 to be started in preservation. She will be restored to green livery as D6869 and retain her name.


Photo awaited


                                              Class 37 674 at KSE. Photo by Sue Jones.

47 785

The Brush-designed Class 47's were probably the most successful class of diesel introduced to replace steam with over 500 of these locomotives being built.

47 785 arrived at KSE from Motherwell on 27th July 2007 to join the other four mainline diesels on site. It entered service in October 1965 carrying the number D1909 having been built at the Falcon Works, Loughborough. Over the years, the loco carried the numbers 47 232, 47 665, 47 820 and finally 47 785. Liveries have ranged from two-tone green through to BR Blue, Large Logo Blue, Inter City (Swallow), RES and EWS.

After commissioning in 1965, the loco was allocated to Cardiff Canton Depot until its transfer to Gateshead in September 1986. It then moved onto Eastfield (Glasgow) and then Bristol (Bath Road) before finally completing the round trip back to Cardiff in March 1994. Whilst under the RES and EWS banner, it was nominally based at Toton, but could actually be found anywhere in the country.

On 20th July 1995, a naming ceremony took place and the name 'The Statesman' was unveiled by Sir John Mills at Liverpool Lime Street station. These plates were removed in May 1997 and replaced a month later with the name 'Fiona Castle'.

47 785's last reported movement was in December 2004 when hauling a ballast train from Newcastle to Motherwell. It was subsequently 'stored serviceable' at Motherwell until purchase.

Once any necessary maintenance work has been carried out, the loco will be repainted in BR two-tone green and renumbered D1909. It will, however, carry 'The Statesman' nameplates with a set of 'Fiona Castle' plates available when required. 


                                            Class 47 785 at KSE. Photo by Sue Jones.

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