BR Class 52 D1062 Western Courier

BR Class 52 D1062 Western Courier
D1062 20170510.jpg
D1062 Western Courier at Kidderminster in 2017
Built By BR Crewe Works
Configuration C-C
Power type Diesel Hydraulic
Status Operational
Loco Number D1062
Built 1963
Designed By British Railways
Type Class 52
1976 Purchased by WLA
1978 Moved to SVR
1980 Attended Rocket 150
Length 68ft
Weight 108t

Diesel Locomotives

BR Class 52 D1062 Western Courier is one of three members of the class resident on the SVR.

British Railways (BR) assigned Class 52 to the Type 4 diesel-hydraulic locomotives built between 1961 and 1964 for BR(W). They carried numbers D1000-D1073, but never carried a TOPS locomotive number. All were given two-word names beginning "Western", hence the type became known as 'Westerns' or 'Thousands'.


D1062 in service

D1062 Western Courier was built at Crewe Works and entered service at London’s Old Oak Common shed on 6 May 1963. D1062 also served at Cardiff Canton, Swansea Landore and Plymouth Laira, and was withdrawn from the latter by BR on 23 August 1974 after 1,096,000 miles in service. Courier was an early withdrawal but was lucky enough to share 'mascot' duties with Class 42 Warship 818 Glory, being placed on the turntable at Swindon works and given a repaint by the apprentices.

D1062 in preservation

D1062 was bought from BR by the Western Locomotive Association on 4 November 1976, becoming the first class 52 "Western" to be preserved. Following purchase the locomotive was repainted in original maroon livery with half yellow end warning panels.[1] On 29 April 1977 both Maybach engines were started for the first time in preservation,[2] and in May 1977 D1062 and sister locomotive D1013 Western Ranger were moved to the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway. Following tyre turning at Cardiff Canton depot both arrived on the SVR on 29 September 1978. Over the following winter, despite careful draining, frost damage caused a crack in an intercooler, making it necessary to remove the intercooler for repairs.[3] This was completed in time for both Westerns to take part in the first ‘Western Weekend’ on 31 March – 1 April 1979,[4] an event that would be repeated on a number of occasions over the following years. Later in 1979 BR agreed to allow through running of excursion trains onto the SVR, the first of which was a Monmouthshire Railway Society tour from Cardiff to Bridgnorth. 7819 Hinton Manor hauled the 10 Mk 1 coaches from Bewdley to Bridgnorth with D1062 working the return leg to Bewdley.[5]

Western Courier took part in the the Rocket 150 Cavalcades at Rainhill in May 1980, the only privately owned diesel locomotive to do so.

The following year D1062 required attention to unseize its B engine which had stuck earlier in the year.[6] The same engine also suffered a seized big end in summer 1997.[7]

On 15 September 1991 D1062 attended the Laira Depot Open Day at Plymouth with fellow classmates D1010, D1013, D1015 and D1023. In August 1992 the locomotive attended Bescot Depot Open Day and in October 1994 took part in the West Somerset Railway’s Diesel Extravaganza, the first outing on another railway since arrival on the SVR in 1978. The event included the first double-headed Class 52 train (with D1010 Western Campaigner) to be seen in the West Country since the final day of the type on BR on 26th February 1977.[2]

The WLA overhauled D1062 between 1998 and 2005 including major rewiring. On 29 April 2005 the Heritage Lottery Fund granted the WLA £45,500 towards Western Courier's overhaul, which was used for sending a defective Voith transmission to the manufacturer in Germany.[8]. In June 2009 the locomotive was repainted in maroon livery at Kidderminster,[9], and in 2017 it was repainted into BR blue livery in the Diesel Depot for the first time in preservation. D1062 also made use of the Depot in the winter of 2017-2018 or engine work and a bogie lift, making use of the new jacks.

During the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022, D1062 ran as sister locomotive D1040 Western Queen.

The class's method of construction precludes locomotives being winched onto and off road trailers, and so moves off the SVR are exclusively hauled by rail. The locomotive's TOPS code is 89462.


See also


  • SVR Stock Book Ninth Edition
  1. SVR News 48
  2. 2.0 2.1 WLA
  3. SVR News 51
  4. SVR News 126
  5. SVR News 52
  6. SVR News 61
  7. SVR News 123
  8. The National Lottery
  9. SVR News 167