BR Workshops Class 03: D2128
D2128 as it arived at Scunthorpe - note the front end louvres where the Deutz engine drew cooling air
Comparison details of 03 901 (D2128)
|As built||As refurbished|
|Engine||Gardner 8L3, rating 204bhp at 1200rpm||Cummins NT855, rating approx 350bhp at 1800rpm|
|Transmission||Vulcan Sinclair fluid coupling driving a CA5 change speed gearbox and RF11 final drive||Twin Disc 11535 converter and 20-2800 powershift driving the RF11 final drive|
|Loco brake||Straight air and hand operation of tread brake linkage||Straight air and hand operation of disc on input to gearbox|
D2128 started out in life as a standard 0-6-0DM of the BR class 03, in other words, a 30ton diesel mechanical with Gardner 8L3 engine, fluid coupling, change speed gearbox and RF11 final drive. There are various pictures to be found of it out on the web, such as this at Laira in 1970 here. In July 1976 it was withdrawn and sold to Bird's at Long Marston for scrapping. However, having removed the engine and fluid coupling probably for export, the rest of the loco, together with two others similarly treated, were sold to Belgium, leaving via the Harwich train ferry in December 1976.
The new owners fitted a replacement air-cooled engine, which ran at much higher speed than the Gardner, and to compensate for this, a hydraulic pump and motor were fitted, sized to reduce the driving speed back into the range utilised by the original change-speed gearbox. Various sources claim that this was a "VM" engine and pump - we have seen no reference anywhere to VM manufacturing engines - the VM brand was to be clearly seen on the pump, whereas the engine appears to be a standard vee-form Deutz. In addition, considerable ballast was added to the loco, bringing it up to an overall weight of around 37tons. The introduction of a "hydrostatic" link between engine and change speed gearbox would probably class it as a diesel hydraulic.
How succesful the loco was in this form is hard to say - by May 1989 it was at a railway museum but in June 1993 it was repatriated to the UK, going to Peak Rail where seen here in Darley Dale station. Later still it was sold on for industrial use at the Nottingham Sleeper Company in Retford, where it is said that an engine failure occurred. It was re-sold through a third party and ended up at the Dean Forest Railway as part of a "job lot", with half the power unit missing and the hydraulic motor removed.
Andrew inspected the loco in late 2007 and early 2008, and though it was obvious that it would need very considerable work to put it back into running condition, by Easter 2008 he was negotiating with the owner and subsequently bought the loco. In July, 2008, it was collected and moved north to Scunthorpe, to join the locos at the Appleby-Frodingham Railway Society in the Corus steelworks where, at the time, Andrew was employed.