Railways Illustrated

Results of recent Direct Rail Services locomotive tender revealed


Derbyshire-based Harry Needle Railroad Company has boosted its fleet with the purchase of seven locomotive­s from the recent sale of ‘heritage’ locomotive­s by Direct Rail Services (Railways Illustrate­d, December 2021).

HNRC secured six of the eight Class 20s offered for sale by DRS, while Crewe-based Locomotive Services Ltd successful­ly bid for the other two Class 20s – 20302 and 20305 – and both Class 57/3s listed.

Of the two Class 37s offered, HNRC also bought 37703 (see story opposite), while it is understood that 37606 has been secured by preservati­onist Steve Beniston, who has owned several Class 37s in the past and currently owns preserved main line-registered 37418 An Comunn Gaidhealac­h, which has recently been on hire to Colas Rail.

The sale of the Class 20s now leaves DRS without any of the locomotive­s with which it started its rail business back in the mid-1990s. The operator released another list of locomotive­s for sale by tender last month, which featured three further Class 37/6s and six Class 57/0s (Railways Illustrate­d, issue 229), along with a pair of DVTS, five DBSOS, and a quantity of spares.

Shortly after the tender was released, DRS announced that it had added stored 37405 to the list of locomotive­s being offered for sale – the first time the operator has offered one of its popular ETH Class 37/4s for disposal, and it is thought that this locomotive, in particular, will be highly sought after.

The most recent tender closed in early February and it is anticipate­d that the successful bidders will be revealed over the coming weeks. It is also understood that DRS will be offering more redundant locomotive­s for sale from what it terms as ‘heritage’ types over the coming months.

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