West Somerset Railway
Mark Bladwell

CLASS 33 "CROMPTON" No. D6566 & D6575

The Ninety Eight Locos in this class were built by Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company as a general purpose diesel electric type for the Southern Region the Class 33’s proved to be one of the most reliable work horses ever to be available to the railways of Britain, capable of most jobs except for the fastest expresses and the heaviest freight work. That led them to range far and wide from their original area and there are few lines that they have not visited in almost five decades of use. Westbury has seen them on cross country passenger, permanent way and oil trains amongst other traffics down the years. 

D6566 is a member of a class of 98 “Type 3” locomotives, later known as “Class 33”, that were designed and built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company (BRCW) in Smethwick, West Midlands in the period 1960 to 1962. Our locomotive entered service on the Southern Region (SR) of BR in August 1961. The locomotive class is of diesel-electric design concept and was the first design to incorporate dual braking (air and vacuum) and Electric Train Heating (ETH) as standard equipment.

 

D6566 worked mixed traffic on the SR for 34 years until withdrawal in 1995, and after a two-year period in store, was condemned as surplus to requirements in 1997. Acquired almost immediately by one of the D&EPG founder members, the locomotive arrived at Williton in May 1997 and worked her first train on the WSR in October of that year, marking the first use of a (subclass) Class 33/0 in preservation.

 

D6566 was stopped for overhaul in 2013 after 16 solid years of service on the WSR. The overhaul included engine work and major bodywork repairs and the locomotive returned to service in 2018, resplendent in original two-tone green livery but with the small yellow warning panel at each end. This popular and reliable locomotive continues to serve the WSR as its primary duty locomotive, equally at home on service trains, engineering trains or (stage 1) Diesel Driver Experience Courses.

Current Status: Operational

 

D6575 is a member of a class of 98 “Type 3” locomotives, later known as “Class 33”, that were designed and built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company (BRCW) in Smethwick, West Midlands in the period 1960 to 1962. D6575 entered service on the Southern Region (SR) of BR in November 1961. The locomotive class is of diesel-electric design concept and was the first design to incorporate dual braking (air and vacuum) and Electric Train Heating (ETH) as standard equipment.

 

D6575 (33 057) worked mixed traffic on the SR for 35 years until withdrawal in 1996 following a bogie fire that damaged No. 2 traction motor and the electrical wiring at No.1 cab end. The loco passed through several owners during the following nine years before being acquired by the owner of D6566 (33 048) as a source of spares for that loco, arriving at Williton in September 2005 in a dilapidated state.

 

After appraisal at Williton, the loco was deemed as repairable. It was painstakingly restored by the team at The D&EPG, then went to Brush Traction in Loughborough for traction motor change and underframe repairs in 2010. The loco then moved to Cranmore Traincare & Maintenance Services on the East Somerset Railway, returning to Williton resplendent in original two-tone green livery with small yellow warning panels at each end, in April 2011.

 

D6575 entered service on the WSR in 2012 and after a period of overlap during which her reliability was proven, she took over as the primary duty locomotive to allow sister D6566 to be withdrawn from service for a much needed overhaul. For the next six years, D6575 hauled service trains, engineering trains and (stage 1) Diesel Driver Experience Courses, until joined again by sister D6566 in 2018. The two locomotives now share the bulk of the day-to-day operational duties on the WSR.

Current Status: Operational

 

 

Technical Specification

Engine: Sulzer 8LDA28 8-cylinder in-line turbocharged diesel

Transmission: 4 x Crompton Parkinson traction motors

Weight: 73 Tons

Length: 51 ft

Output: 1,550 hp at 850 rpm

BR Power Rating: Type 3

Speed: 85 mph

Fuel Capacity: 800 gallons

Wheels: Bo-Bo

 

History

Manufacturer: Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Co (BRCW)

BR Class: 33

Introduced 1960

Number Built 98

Role: Mixed Traffic

 

Both Class 33 locomotives are privately owned but are under the care and maintenance of the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group