BR Class 20 D8059
|BR Class 20 D8059|
D8059 at Kidderminster
|Built By||Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn Ltd, Darlington|
|Power type||Diesel Electric|
|Designed By||English Electric|
|2009||Arrived on SVR|
|2010||Power unit repaired at Washwood Heath|
|2017||Left the SVR|
D8059 is a BR Class 20 Bo-Bo diesel-electric locomotive, otherwise known as an English Electric Type 1. 228 of these locomotives were built between 1957 and 1968. Weighing 73 tonnes and delivering 1,000 horsepower, they were designed to work light mixed freight traffic at up to 75 mph. Members of the class are nicknamed “Choppers” because of the distinctive engine beat under load which resembles the sound of a helicopter.
D8059 in service
D8059 was built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn Ltd as Works No 2965/8217 of 1961. It was allocated to Sheffield Darnall on entering service in May 1961. In 1964 the loco was transferred to the newly-opened Tinsley Depot and remained there until withdrawal from BR service in January 1990. The locomotive was renumbered to 20059 on 1 January 1973 under TOPS.
D8059 in preservation
Following BR service, 20059 was used by EWS. The locomotive’s present owner, the Somerset & Dorset Locomotive Company, was incorporated in 2000. An early photograph on the Preserved Diesels web site shows 20059 at the S&DLC base at Yeovil Junction in March 2002, shortly after delivery from the EWS Margam TMD, South Wales (Link).
Subsequent photos on the same web site show restoration being carried out there until early 2004. By December 2004 20059 had moved to Tyseley Locomotive Works where, after work on the fuel system, the locomotive was started in January 2006 (Link). The locomotive was still stored at Tyseley in July 2007 (Link), the month in which S&D's locomotive D8188 first came to the SVR on loan. On 29 July 2009 the loco moved to Kidderminster and was undergoing bodywork restoration. In September 2010, the locomotive's power unit was removed for repairs at Washwood Heath, with the locomotive returning to the SVR on 19 January 2011. The locomotive was most frequently used to haul PW trains or for moving rolling stock when a diesel is more convenient than a steam locomotive. From time to time D8059 was also called on to rescue failed locomotives, referred to as 'Thunderbird' duty.
In 2017 the locomotive toured several heritage railways. In June 2017 the locomotive was described as "operational, although no longer used by the SVR" and in September 2017 the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway announced it had joined their fleet. By August 2021 D8085 was resident on the Mid-Hants Railway and had been joined by sister locomotive D8188.