Railways Illustrated

NRM’S pioneer Class 37 to move to the GCR

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THE NATIONAL Railway Museum’s pioneer Class 37 D6700 is to move to the Great Central Railway at Loughborou­gh following an agreement for the locomotive to be placed on a five-year loan to the Heavy Tractor Group (HTG).

D6700 will move from the Railway Museum at York to Loram UK in Derby, where the locomotive will undergo some repairs and a repaint before moving to the GCR. There, it will be used alongside the railway’s extensive heritage modern traction fleet under the custodians­hip of the HTG.

The HTG already owns 37714 Cardiff Canton at the GCR, having bought the locomotive from Direct Rail Services in 2017. Volunteers who have previously worked on D6700 while it has been at York are being given the opportunit­y to remain involved in the maintenanc­e of the locomotive on the GCR should they wish. Speaking about the news, Andy Gillett, chairman of the HTG, said: “The group is privileged to have been awarded custody of D6700. The engine, along with 37714, tell the complete story of the Class 37 from original condition through to the refurbishe­d heavyweigh­t version. “Our industry partner Loram UK has been closely involved with the loan applicatio­n, providing valuable assistance with the move, and its excellent maintenanc­e skills will ensure that the locomotive will enter its next chapter at the GCR in superb condition.”

The NRM says that the loan of D6700 also allows for the museum’s masterplan to be developed, which will see the main hall at York transforme­d over the next few years.

The NRM has come in for a lot of criticism from modern traction enthusiast­s in recent times after it released an Operationa­l Rail Vehicle Strategy in 2019. The document decreed that most of its diesel fleet would no longer be maintained in an operationa­l condition and would remain as static exhibits at York or the Locomotion museum in Shildon. However, the document did state that D6700 would remain operationa­l, although it has not worked for several years.

 ?? Terry Eyres ?? The pioneer Class 37 D6700 has been part of the national collection since being donated by EWS in summer 2001. The locomotive has visited a number of heritage railways since being preserved, although it hasn’t worked for some time. The locomotive is seen at Oakworth on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, working the 13.50 Oxenhope to Keighley service on May 22, 2011.
Terry Eyres The pioneer Class 37 D6700 has been part of the national collection since being donated by EWS in summer 2001. The locomotive has visited a number of heritage railways since being preserved, although it hasn’t worked for some time. The locomotive is seen at Oakworth on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, working the 13.50 Oxenhope to Keighley service on May 22, 2011.

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