BR Swindon 0-6-0 Type 1 Diesel Hydraulic Locomotive (Class 14)

Fifty six Type 1 (Class 14) diesel hydraulic locomotives were built in 1964/65 by British Railways at Swindon Works as part of the Western Region's diesel hydraulic modernisation programme. Numbered D9500 to D9555, the 50 ton locomotives were powered by a 650 horse power Paxman 6YJXL 'Ventura' engine coupled to a Voith/North British type L217U hydraulic transmission with a Hunslet '650' gearbox.

The class, designed to replace the numerous tank engines on the Western Region, was built for short freight 'trip' workings where periodic shunting around a station yard would be required between fast dashes along the main line. Even as the class was being built, such work was rapidly disappearing as the 'Beeching Axe' reshaped British Railways and shut down wayside stations, goods traffic and, indeed, some of the main lines themselves.

The fifty-six locos (it was initially envisaged that there would over 300) were the final class of the Western Region's hydraulic transmission dieselisation programme (the rest of British Railways concentrated on diesel electric traction to replace steam). With hindsight, it can now be seen that the entire class need never have been built and, in fact, all the locomotives had been withdrawn from BR service by the end of 1969.

When built, initial allocations were on the Western Region at London's Old Oak Common (Shed Code 81A), Bristol Bath Road (82A), Worcester (85A), Cardiff Canton (86A) and Landore (87E). As the locomotives became surplus as the work dried up, many were stored at places like Gloucester and Worcester, although a number had been transferred to Hull Dairycoates (50B) for use on the North East Region, incidentally ousting the remaining steam locos in that area.

Quick to realise the economic advantages of acquiring cheap, relatively new locomotives declared surplus by British Railways, Corby based Stewarts & Lloyds Minerals Ltd. (subsequently part of the British Steel Corporation) purchased twenty three in 1968 for use in their East Midlands' ironstone quarries in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, replacing their existing steam fleet. With the subsequent contraction of the British steel industry and closure of the quarries and then Corby Steelworks itself in 1980 (where the remaining members of BSC's fleet had gathered) the locos were, once again, surplus to requirements and were either scrapped, resold or acquired for preservation in the early 1980's.

Another large industrial railway user, the National Coal Board (latterly British Coal), also purchased nineteen locos upon withdrawal from BR in 1968/69 - again, replacing existing steam fleets in their North East coal mines. NCB's diesel fleet eventually ended up at Ashington Colliery, Northumberland, from where, due to the decline of the coal industry in that area, the surviving nine were preserved in 1987.

Eleven 'ironstone locos' now survive. Three (D9515, D9548 and D9549) were sold in 1981, regauged and exported to Spain (from where D9549 was reported, in 2003, to be the subject of a repatriation attempt). Eight others have been preserved and can be seen at various preserved railways throughout the country. D9516 and D9523 are based at the Nene Valley Railway, regularly performing the sort of branch line duties for which the class had been designed. D9520, also now at Nene Valley Railway, was initially preserved in 1981, moving to Rutland Railway Museum in 1984. D9553 can be seen at the Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway, D9539 at Ribble Steam Railway and D9551 is now based at the Royal Deeside Railway in Scotland. Two other ex-ironstone locos, D9529 and D9537 (the latter privately stored in Eastern England), along with D9504 from the NCB were originally preserved but have currently returned to industrial use at various commercial locations in Britain, such as the recently constructed Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the construction of Whitemoor Marshalling Yard and at Tilbury Docks.

The first of the class, D9500, was preserved from Ashington Colliery and is stored at Barrow Hill Roundhouse. Of the other surviving ex British Coal locos, D9502 is located at Peak Rail along with D9525, D9513 at the Yorkshire Dales Railway (Embsay), D9531 at the East Lancs. Railway and D9521 is at work on the Vale of Glamorgan Railway. D9518, as NCB No.7, preserved at Rutland Railway Museum from Ashington Colliery in 1987, is now at Nene Valley Railway.

D9555, the last of the class and the last of 365 Western Region diesel hydraulic locos built between 1958 and 1965, as well as being the very last railway engine built by the famous Swindon Works for British railway service, was also initially preserved at Rutland Railway Museum from the NCB's Ashington Colliery in 1987. It is now operating in the area where it worked in BR days, at the Dean Forest Railway.

Class 14 Register August 2011

D9500 Preserved: Peak Rail 1

D9501 Scrapped 12/68 (CF Booth, Rotherham)

D9502 Preserved: Peak Rail

D9503 Scrapped 10/9/8 (BSC, Corby Quarries)

D9504 Preserved: Kent & East Sussex Railway 2

D9505 Exported from APCM Hope 10/5/75: Scrapped 2003 (Maldegem, Bruges, Belgium)

D9506 Scrapped 8/3/70 (Arnott Young, Parkgate, Rotherham)

D9507 Scrapped 8/82 (BSC Corby Works Disposal Site)

D9508 Scrapped 17/1/84 (NCB Ashington Colliery)

D9509Scrapped by 12/2/71 (G Cohen, Cransley, Kettering)

D9510 Scrapped 8/82 (BSC Corby Works Disposal Site)

D9511 Scrapped 2-11/79 (NCB Ashington Colliery)

D9512 Scrapped 2/82 (BSC Corby Works Disposal Site)

D9513 Preserved: Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway 2

D9514 Scrapped 11-12/85 (NCB Ashington Colliery)

D9515 Exported from BSC Corby 1981: Reported scrapped Madrid Charmartin, Spain by 10/02 (unconfirmed)

D9516 Preserved:Wensleydale Railway #

D9517 Scrapped 1/84 (NCB Ashington Colliery)

D9518 Preserved: Nene Valley Railway

D9519 Scrapped 1/71 (G Cohen, Cransley, Kettering)

D9520 Preserved: Nene Valley Railway #

D9521 Preserved: Dean Forest Railway #

D9522 Scrapped by 20/8/68 (Arnott Young, Parkgate, Rotherham)

D9523 Preserved: Derwent Valley Light Railway #

D9524 Preserved: Gwilli Rail # 3

D9525 Preserved: Peak Rail 2

D9526 Preserved: West Somerset Railway #

D9527 Scrapped 1/84 (NCB Ashington Colliery)

D9528 Scrapped 6-12/81 (NCB Ashington Colliery)

D9529 Preserved: Nene Valley Railway/Industrial contract hire #

D9530 Scrapped by 3/82 (NCB Tower Colliery, South Wales)

D9531 Preserved: East Lancs Railway 4

D9532 Scrapped 2/82 (BSC Corby Works Disposal Site)

D9533 Scrapped 8/82 (BSC Corby Works Disposal Site)

D9534 Exported from APCM Hope 10/5/75: Reported scrapped but believed extant [Brescia, Italy

D9535 Scrapped 1/84 (NCB Ashington Colliery)

D9536 Scrapped 11-12/85 (NCB Ashington Colliery)

D9537 Preserved: Stored, Rippingale Station, Lincs. (private location)

D9538 Scrapped 9/82 (BSC Corby Works Disposal site)

D9539 Preserved: Ribble Steam Railway 2

D9540 Scrapped 10-11/1/84 (NCB Ashington Colliery)

D9541 Scrapped 8/82 (BSC Corby Works Disposal Site)

D9542 Scrapped 8/82 (BSC Corby Works Disposal Site)

D9543 Scrapped 9/11/68 (CF Booth, Rotherham)

D9544 Scrapped 10-24/9/80 (BSC Corby Quarries)

D9545 Scrapped 7/79 (NCB Ashington Colliery)

D9546 Scrapped 1/12/68 (CF Booth, Rotherham)

D9547 Scrapped 8/82 (BSC Corby Works Disposal Site)

D9548 Exported from BSC Corby 1981: Reported scrapped Madrid Charmartin, Spain

D9549 Exported from BSC Corby 1981: Scrapped 1-3/07 Tarregona, Spain by 10/02 (unconfirmed)

D9550 Scrapped 9/11/68 (CF Booth, Rotherham)

D9551 Preserved: Royal Deeside Railway 2

D9552 Scrapped 10/9/80 (BSC Corby Quarries)

D9553 Preserved: Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway

D9554 Scrapped 8/82 (BSC Corby Works Disposal Site)

D9555 Preserved: Dean Forest Railway 2


# denotes in operational order

1 Rebuild restoration project with non Paxman engine

2 Currently under repair

3 Replacement Rolls Royce DV8 engine

4 Currently nearing end of long-term restoration


Notes & Register by Gordon Kobish


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