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Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway - Hertiage Diesel Festival 29th - 31st July 2016

The GWR's three day Hertiage Diesel Festival starts tomorow, Friday 29th July 2016. 1000 miles of heritage diesel running along the former Western Region main line from Bristol to Birmingham from our magnificent collection of home and visiting vintage diesel locomotives is on offer.  You can also enjoy the open days of the facilities at Toddington and Winchcombe.

One of the highlights of the festival will be the return to service of our English Electric class 37 locomotive D6948 which has been restored back to its original condition as it was first built back in 1964. The end result of an extensive restoration which has taken our team of volunteers 5 years to achieve, you will be able to admire the detailed work that has gone into recreating a classic 1960s diesel locomotive in immaculate condition and resplendent in the green livery of the era when diesel and steam shared Britain's railways.

Using the extension from Toddington northwards towards Broadway (which is not normally currently available to locomotive hauled trains), we will be giving a full 24-mile round trip on certain services, which together with passing trains in our loops at Gotherington, Winchcombe and Toddington allows a 40 minute frequency of service along the entire line. For the haulage enthusiast, this allows a wide variety of 'moves' to be made throughout the day in pursuit of your favourite traction. For the general visitor and enthusiast alike, come and re-live the atmosphere of travel by British Rail (remember them?) from 30 and 40 years ago! The 1960s, 1970s and 1980s live again!

There will be something for everyone - for families looking for a great day out as well as for the railway and diesel traction enthusiasts.


D8233 and D5705 Update

D8233: Currently stored in C&W Buckley Wells in Bury. Current work has focused around the short nose section (in 3 sections), as the last piece of the upper bodywork yet to be touched in this restoration. Rotten metal was cut out of the lower section in 2015 and a huge amount of sheet steel welded back on. This has now been reattached to the loco. The middle and top section have also been extensively worked on to remove rust around where the skin meets the angle iron frame. Both are almost ready to be reattached to the BTH type 1.
Another essential part of the loco, the electrical cubicle was missing from it when we received from Crewe. We have had CAD designs made for it and the bare frame has been made and awaiting building up with parts from other scrapped diesels.

D5705: A 5 year bogie restoration has come to an end in May 2016 when the Metro-Vick body was lowered back on to its wheelsets. Work from now is going to be concentrated on the bodywork and to finish restoring the internal pipework. There is a plan to strip a V12 Crossley power unit which has identical internals as the V8 (pistons, conrods but not the crank for obvious reasons) and rebuild the engine with the spares.


33 053 will be operating services this Friday/Saturday and Sunday during The Battlefield Line's Annual Beer Festival.  All services today will be Class 33 hauled (11:30 first train).  Saturday and Sunday will share the services with a Steam Loco.  First trains 10:00 both days Class 33 hauled.

An update from The Fifty Fund:

50 031 - The loco was successfully started on 20th June, and moved under its own power for the first time since 2013. There is some outstanding work to complete before the loco returns to traffic. The loco is due to be re-dedicated to HMS Hood on September 17th at Kidderminster.

50 035 - Remains in traffic at the SVR. A number of issues have been attended to including the replacement of the no1 end blower motor brushes which had caused several earth fault / shut downs.

50 044 - Work continues on 44, following its engine transplant. It now has a 'Portuguese' 16CSVT (ex 1807) following the failure of its own power unit back in 2012. It is hoped that the loco may be started this year.

50 049 - Currently drained of coolant in order to replace some pipework. The loco has seen service this year following a lengthy engine rebuild. There are still a number of issues outstanding (aren't there always?!), but the loco should return to service very soon.

20 228 Update:

At the moment the loco is in Various stages of overhaul.

The bogies have been cleaned and needle gunned,primed and painted. The pipework will need a bit of fettling to get it to sit right and tighten any loose joints .All 4 Traction motor bellows have been replaced.

Most wiring and conduits fitted by the French for their systems have been removed and/or bypassed.

The cab was virtually stripped out and both of the desks had to be rebuilt as they had been chopped in half to accommodate the French brake controls, luckily some of the pieces they cut out were kept and used as patterns.

Various panels and framework in the cab had to be replaced due to corrosion and replaced with new. Some new desk panels had to be manufactured and others altered to fit. The heater fittings were all refurbished and refitted and a partial rewire of the cab was done.

The cab end headcode was looking like a colander when we started refurbing it so replacement was obtained from PBR(with thanks)and that one is ready to be refitted along with new fittings and wiring.

The bodywork was in a bit of a state and took a lot of work to remove all the old paintwork and it was taken back to metal. The bodywork has now been repaired,filled,welded primed and a few coats of blue have been applied. The top coat still has to be done when the rest of the loco is finished.

The latest project to be done was not planned but forced on us.When we ran the loco 2 years or so ago it was found that "B" bank rad was leaking and that we would have to remove it.We started on the rads about 6 weeks ago,not the easiest of jobs as we were pushed for overhead clearance but we managed to remove the roof section then both the rads.The rads and the fan room then received a good wash out.The fan room was then needle gunned and primed and painted.The  rads have been repaired and pressure tested and are currently in primer awaiting a topcoat,then put it all back together.

That really is the state of play at the moment.

We still have to remove a compressor and res tanks(more French additions) in the nose of the loco and refit the exhauster from 20197 and a couple of valves,etc.Luckily the main vac pipe is still in situ.The cab still needs some reassembly.

The plan at the moment is to have the loco completed by this time 2017 all going well. It has taken quite a while doing this loco but there are only 3 of us regularly working on it plus 1 other old gent that potters around.

That's it for now.

Martin ,Steve and Dave.


31st August 2016 sees the 20th anniversary of D6732 working it's first trains at the North Norfolk Railway and thus becoming the first Class 37 to work in preservation.  NNR have agreed that subject to the usual caveats regarding availability etc, D6732 will be rostered to cover the diesel working on that day.  It is a RED timetable so it will only work the last two trains of the day.

13/07/16 - All news updates for this page can be submitted via email genATpreserved-diesels.co.uk

Thank you to all who have donated to Preserved Diesels - this is humbling and very appreciated.  I/we are not making any promises at this stage but hopefully the update below is the first of many more.

37 025 is working a SRPS Railtour to Inverness this Saturday 16th July - tickets still available.

25 185 is due to be out in action (subject to the usual's) this Friday and Saturday in conjunction with The KingsBeer Festival working three trips in the evenings and an additional daytime trip on the Saturday.

50 042 has received an oil change and is due to be in action (subject to the usual's) on Saturday 27th August.

D6948 hauled  a special for invited guests associated with the locos owners and restorers on Friday 8th July and is due to out in action at the forthcoming GWR Diesel Gala

31 289 is currently lifted to facilitate a Traction Motor exchange to allow the loco to run on 4 motors again.  The fully overhauled TM is ex 31 271.

The Great Central Railway are running a Class 31 mileage day this Friday 15th July.  96 miles of Class 31 action for £16 starting at 12:30pm.  37 714 makes an appearance working top and tail on the last 3 trips.

Diesel loco running days at the MNR over the next few Saturdays.

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