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D9553 Class 14

The Class 14 diesel hydraulic locomotives were designed to replace many of the Western Region steam shunting engines, in particular 0-6-0 panniers, as part of the modernisation plan. They were mainly intended for short trips between yards known as ‘trip’ work. In the end however, as these locos were being built the very tasks they had been designed for were erroding away as a result of Dr Beeching’s cuts, closing many of the yards and branch lines. In addition new wagons were increasingly being built with air brakes that were not compatible with the class 14’s vacuum brakes. As a result only 56 of these locos were built between 1964 and 1965 at British Rail (BR) Swindon Works, with them all having been withdrawn by the end of 1969. Class 14s gained the nickname of ‘Teddy Bears’ whilst being built at Swindon works, partly because of the way they look from the front with their cab windows resembling Teddy Bear ears.

After withdrawal, many of them found new lives in collieries and industry until the early 80’s when they were either sold off or scrapped. Today 19 of these locos have survived into preservation with a few others having been sold abroad. For further information on Class 14s please take a look at the railblue website.

 

D9553 History

D9553_at_Sharpness_Jan2016D9553 was the 54th Class 14s to be built at Swindon in September 1965 and first went to work at Bristol Bath Road depot. In January 1967 it moved to Hull Dairycoates depot. It slowly became redundant and was withdrawn in April 1968.

The loco was sold to British Steel in November 1968 where it moved to the Gretton Brook Steel Works in Corby. It worked there along with other class 14s until the Steel Works closed in May 1980.

 

 

 

Having been purchased into private ownership it later moved to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway and after an overhaul went into service. It last ran in preservation in 2009.

In January 2016 the loco was moved to Sharpness to undergo another overhaul and it is hoped will eventually enter service on the Vale of Berkeley Railway. We are always looking for volunteers to help and if this is something that may be of interest then please get in touch with us.

 

Some interesting pictures and further history of this loco may be found on the shunterspot website.