BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901
|Built||December 1964, BR Swindon Works|
|Weight||48tons nominal (in working order)|
|Power Unit||Rolls-Royce DV8TCE|
|Gross Rating||640bhp at 1800rpm|
|Final Drive Gearbox||Hunslet "650"|
|Train Braking||Vacuum and twin pipe air|
|Present Location||Peak Rail, Darley Dale|
14 901 began its BR life as D9524 in December 1964. There are apparently few photos of it in action on BR, but one can be seen here. It was one of the last ten of the 14s to be withdrawn, from Llandore depot (Swansea - 87E) in April 1969. (That is officially - local management apparently had locos in traffic after their withdrawal dates, and there is a photo, here, showing D9524 at Hereford in November 1969). Once parked up, it remained in store until October 1970 (some sources July), when it was sold to British Petroleum and sent north to their Grangemouth refinery complex, lost its "D9524" and became BP's number "144-8".
All other locomotives at Grangemouth had Dorman prime movers, and the presence of a Paxman powered loco, capable of 40mph and wired throughout at 110V in a refinery with highly volatile chemicals must have given rise to some interesting safety precautions, if it was used at all. Did BP still think it was a bargain?
In 1972-3 "144-8" went to Andrew Barclay Sons & Co Ltd in Kilmarnock, who, apart from building and maintaining industrial locomotives, had taken on the Voith agency in the UK following their aquisition of goodwill, etc., from the North British Locomotive Co.
Barclays removed the Paxman, and all the 110V electrical equipment, which included the compressor, exhausters and even the cab electrical cubicle and driver's controller. A Dorman 8QT (v8) diesel engine was fitted, rated at approximately 500bhp at 1800rpm. With the higher engine-governing rpm, it was neccessary to open the Voith and change the input gears to ensure that the Voith's 'top shaft' and the governing pump driven from it were not over-speeded by the increase from 1500 to 1800. The existence of an invoice from Voith to Barclays for these gears has given rise to the assertion that Barclays re-geared the loco to stop it exceeding 15mph, whereas this was in fact achieved by the simple expedient of plugging up the lines in the governor to prevent it engaging 2nd or 3rd.
Other changes included removal of the vac braking system (twin pipe air being required for the tankers) lighting wired direct from a 24V dynamo (no batteries) and modification of the control desk to suit the non-electric operations. Although the BR fast-fill fuel system was left intact, it was of no use to BP and simple filling points were added to the main two fuel tanks. Whether the third (central) tank was removed at this stage is unclear.
In this form it ran at Grangemouth for a number of years, but the Dorman Q series, especially the 8 and 12s, had a propensity to put a "leg out of bed" (conrod failure resulting in it emerging through the crankcase) and that in 144-8 was no exception. This occurred about January 1980, and presumably a review of future locomotive requirements, considering also more stringent flameproofing standards, took place before a decision on the loco's future was made. In August, 1981, BP donated 144-8 to the Scottish Railway Preservation Society at Falkirk.
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - first steps in preservation
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - developments in Yorkshire
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - operational at last!
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - farther afield
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - 2011
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - 2013
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - facts & sundries