We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to recreate the days of the first generation diesel locomotives to enter British Railways service with a day of photography at the Great Central Railway using 'Peak' Class 45/1 No.D123 on a goods working in the morning (to include the Brake Tender for some run pasts) and then on the railways unique Travelling Post Office in the afternoon. The loco is painted in BR green livery and carries the smaller yellow warning panels which makes it ideal for replicating a mid-1960s train.
Our charter will start at Loughborough station at 07.30 hours for our customary but important safety briefing. As we will be using the goods stock, we will not be able to travel by train so we will follow by car. An element of car sharing would be appreciated so that we have as few vehicles as possible to park at lineside locations. We will have a full day's photography with a short break at lunchtime for refreshments.
Our consists for the day will be as follows -
The Unique Brake Tender will be used on some run pasts but NOT ALL, in front and behind the loco.
Also please note the above consists will not include a Brake Van behind the loco.
There will also be some TPO lineside static opportunities with re-enactors as post office and railway staff.
A unique feature of this charter will be the use on occasions of the new build diesel brake tender B964122 owned by Railway Vehicle Preservations. These tenders were introduced in the early 1960s to counter the fact that, when working unfitted goods trains, the newly-introduced diesel locos did not have sufficient braking power when working unfitted goods trains. The brake tenders supplemented the braking capacity of the locomotives and were usually coupled either directly in front of or directly behind the loco; 122 were built in total and some survived into the late 1970s though none were preserved.
Members of Railway Vehicle Preservations decided to try and recreate one of these vehicles when some coaches obtained for spare parts were being broken up. Mark I 'CK' coach No.M15208 became the donor vehicle and brake tender B964122 (the next number in sequence following those built for British Railways) was built using the bogies and underframes of the Mark I coach. This was in line with construction of the original vehicles which were built on the underframes and bogies of former LMS and LNER coaches. In order to keep the design work under wraps until the team knew it was definitely feasible, the vehicle was referred to as Project X during its design and planning phase. The tender is finished in British Railways green livery with a yellow warning panel and will perfectly complement the green locomotive and mixed goods rake - exactly how you would have seen the tenders operating in the 1960s.
The name 'Peak' was applied to British Railways diesel locomotives of the Class 44, 45 and 46 type. They were so named because the Class 44s, which represented the first ten locos in the series, were named after mountain peaks in the British Isles. The Class 45s were far more numerous with a total of 126 being built between 1960 and 1962. There were a further 56 locos designated Class 46 which differed from the previous design in having a Brush generator and traction motor as opposed to Crompton Parkinson fitments.
D123 was built at Crewe Works in 1961 and spent almost all of its working life in the Midlands. Initially allocated to Derby Depot, the '45' was subsequently based at Nottingham Division's Toton Depot, then finally at Sheffield Tinsley before withdrawal in May 1987. It had been modified in 1971 when the original steam heating boiler was replaced with Electric Train Heating and, under the TOPS renumbering system, the locomotive became No.45125 in April 1974, classified as 45/1. After storage at March, an adjunct to the loco's career came when the Derby Technical Centre used it as a dead weight while testing the then new Class 60s. D123 was purchased for preservation by what is now the 5305 Locomotive Association based on the Great Central Railway in 1991, and the Class 45 has been based at Loughborough since 1998. D123 carries the name Leicestershire & Derbyshire Yeomanry. The name was originally carried by Class 46 No.46026 (formerly D163) which was the only Class 46 to carry a nameplate, attached to D123 in a ceremony at Loughborough Central station in June 2000.
The new build brake tender is unique and the combination of this working in an authentic goods train hauled by a Class 45 cannot be photographed anywhere else - running on double track makes the opportunity all the more rare. Why not join us for a day recreating a spectacle once common on the national rail network and which can now only be seen at the Great Central Railway!