Devon diesels swapped

THE Dartmouth Steam Railway (DSR) and South Devon Railway (SDR) have exchanged locos to better suit their needs.

South Devon Diesel Traction Ltd (SDDTL), which keeps its stock on the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh, has sold Class 37 No. 6975 to the Dartmouth Steam Railway at Paignton.

The DSR has sold Class 25 No. D7535 Mercury to the SDDTL in return.

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Prior to its last weekend on the Dartmouth Steam Railway, No. D7535 was pressed into service to help the blue ‘King’ 4-6-0 on the last two days of its contracted hire. The DSR, in conjunction with the Great Western Society, ran the normal four-return-train service on September 29-30, but increased to 11 coaches to see how No. 6023 would cope with a much heavier load than normal on the steeply graded Paignton to Kingswear line. To accommodate the longer-than-usual train, the Class 25 was provided at the Kingswear end of the stock all day to shunt-release the ‘King’ at each end of the line. It is seen at Britannia Crossing on the rear of the 13.00 Kingswear-Paignton on September 30. DAVID HUNT

The approach came from the DSR, which required a more powerful loco, while the SDDTL gains an advantage in only needing to keep spares for one class of locomotive as it already owns Class 25s Nos. D7612 and 25191.

The English Electric Type 3 moved to Paignton before the last day of DSR’s Sulzer Type 2 operation. To mark the official swap-over of the two diesels the DSR held the ‘Sulzer Sunset’ event on October 6.

Class 37 No. 6975, with Class 25 No. D7535 on the rear, climbs Goodrington Bank with the 11.35 Paignton (Queens Park)-Kingswear on October 6, the last day the Type 2 ran on the DSR. DAVID HUNT

This involved 4-6-0 No. 75014 running the advertised Saturday steam services, with the two diesels working top-and-tail on additional trains in between.

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The day started with No. 6975 leading the 10.00 out of Paignton (Queens Park) to Kingswear, with No. D7535 on the rear.

After two-and-a-half return trips the locos changed ends during the 13.30 to 14.00 wait at Kingswear and continued in that formation for the rest of the day.

Read more News and Features in the November issue of The RM – on sale now!

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt