Drewry/Vulcan Foundry 0-4-0DM: WD 72229
|Build numbers||Drewry Car Co.2184 - Vulcan Foundry 5265|
|Weight||22tons (in working order)|
|Power unit||Gardner 6L3B 193bhp at 1300rpm|
|Transmission||Fluid coupling and 4 speed gearbox, jackshaft-mounted RF11 final drive|
|Braking||Vacuum and train air|
|Present Location||East Anglian Railway Museum, Chappel & Wakes Colne, Essex|
Built in 1945 for the War Department, this loco was originally fitted with a 153bhp Gardner 6L3 engine, but repowered in the 1950s with the present 6L3B Gardner, rated at 193bhp. Drewry sub-contracted all their locomotive manufacture, so this loco has both Drewry and Vulcan Foundry works Numbers, being one of 15 locos assembled under Vulcan works order 6078/44. Originally numbered 72229 under WD auspices, it was renumbered 838 in the WD's 1951 reorganisation, and after the WD rail operation was restyled as the "Ministry of Defence - Army Department", was renumbered 230 in 1968. Much of its early career was spent at the Army's depot at Stirling, but after BR took over shunting there in 1962, it was deployed at Moreton-on-Lugg and latterly Long Marston. In between, it would return to Bicester for attention.
It finished service with the Army by the late 1980s, but instead of being scrapped was fitted with train air brakes by Yorkshire Engine and transferred to Devonport Dockyard in 1992/3 to shunt nuclear flask wagons in connection with “Trident” nuclear submarines. In so doing it marked the end of the fleet of F C Hibberd "Planet" locomotives (similar to "Pluto") retained, like 230, because of their ability to negotiate the sharp curves within the dock environment. Thus 230, now carrying "Yard No.10432", and accompanying sister loco 249 became two of the oldest industrial locomotives still in operation at the Millenium.
Finally retired in 2006, it passed to Andrew Briddon and was relocated to the Elsecar Heritage Railway, where it has returned to Army green. The vac brake installation was made in order to operate passenger trains, and the dynamo charge system was converted to solid state regulation in 2009.
In 2008 it visited Scunthorpe for the bi-annual AFRPS diesel gala, where pictured above, handling loads of 120tons+ over the Corus complex. By this time it had been repainted in WD "olive drab" but only received its transfers on the first day of the Gala. Strictly this is incorrect, as at the time of carrying this number it would have had the earlier "cast chimney" exhaust rather than the "taper cone" stack. Despite being a lightweight loco with only moderate power Andrew was 'ticked off' for exceeding the site speed limit (there is no speedo on 72229 so this was unintentional) - while hauling two laden coaches and a 50ton 0-6-0 - uphill!
It was in action (in 2009) at Elsecar's Diesel Gala (August 31st) and 1940s weekend (September 6 and 7th), and again at the 2010 Diesel Gala in May and several volunteers passed to drive it regarded it with affection. However during August/September 2010 the Elsecar Heritage Railway Board unexpectedly gave Andrew orders to remove his locos from the railway. The loco joined "James" at the Derwent Valley Railway at York on the 22nd November 2010, and after familiarisation, was in service on the DVLR Santa's traffic in December.
A fully overhauled exhauster was installed during early July 2011, and the loco transferred to Peak Rail, where it took part in the "Warring 40s" events in 2012 ( right) and 2013, in the latter taking on the role of a German loco fleeing the approaching Allies with German troops and equipment! Just prior to this event the cab floor, which had been showing signs of its age, was replaced entirely, its sub-frame being produced by members of the LMS Carriage Association in an exchange of favours. New batteries and re-located battery master switch and cabling were also added to the scope of work while the opportunity presented itself.
Following completion of a dual air & vac distributor and restoration of the air train hoses, the locomotive went "on holiday" to Essex on the 30th January 2014, having been put on loan to the East Anglian Railway Museum at Chappel & Wakes Colne, on the line between Marks Tey and Sudbury.