Friday, 13 May 2011

Farewell D306

Wednesday 11th May saw the sad departure of long-term resident Type 4/Class 40 D306 ‘Atlantic Conveyor’. It has gone to the owner’s railway workshops at Washwood Heath, from where it will be made available for hire. In further diesel news, Class 14s D9516 and D9523, also former long-term residents, have been sold and have both moved from the railway for new homes in the last few weeks, at the Wensleydale Railway (D9516) and Derwent Valley Light Railway (D9523).

Some pictures of the rail move of D306 can be seen here: (scroll down to the posting on 11th May), as can photos of D9523 and D9516 at their new homes on the postings of 22nd April and 18th April respectively.

D306 is a popular locomotive, and is one of only seven survivors of the class (in diesel preservation, that makes it a rare beast). It has been based at the NVR since 1990, when it moved from its previous home at the Great Central Railway, Loughborough. Whilst based there, it starred in the 1988 film ‘Buster’, in the central scenes depicting the Great Train Robbery of 1963. For the filming, D306 was fitted with split headcode boxes on the front and numbered as D326, the locomotive involved in that infamous event. The sequence can be viewed here: (warning to the easily offended - contains some bad language).

Back to the present day, diesel services at the railway this year are likely to be solely in the capable hands of Class 14 D9520/No.45 and Class 31 31108, although the Autumn Diesel Gala should see plenty of interesting traction pay a visit to temporarily swell the ranks. Class 14 D9529, currently being overhauled and repainted in the Heavy Overhaul Workshop, will also hopefully stay around on the railway for a while once complete.