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British Rail Class 33: 33103: Swordfish

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Originally numbered D6514, 33103 was one of 45 'Cromptons' ordered by British Railways for their Southern Region. The locomotives were built by Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company with this particular locomotive being delivered in July 1960. The locomotive's feature a Sulzer 8LDA diesel engine capable of delivering 1550hp, which drives Crompton Parkinson electrical equipment. It is from this equipment where the class of locomotives gain their Cromptons nickname. The locomotive can provide air and vacuum train braking and work in multiple with Southern Region Electric Multiple Units of the time.

D6514 was initially allocated to Hither Green depot but was later transferred to Eastleigh. It was in 1967 that the locomotive was fitted with the multiple working equipment to allow for the electric trains to continue their journey to Weymouth on non-electrified lines. This included fitting buckeye couplings, high level air pipes and electrical multiple working jumper sockets.

The line to Weymouth was eventually electrified in 1988 and so 33103 was repainted in to the BR Engineers Dutch livery of grey and yellow and was used for hauling engineers trains. After privatisation, the locomotive initially passed to EWS but was later put in to storage before being offered for sale and purchased by Fragonset Railways. The locomotive returned to main line use in 2002 and it was given the name Swordfish in line with many other Class 33 locomotives which are named after aircraft. Upon the demise of Fragonset Railways, the locomotive passed on to the care of Nemesis Rail and is nominally based at their depot in Burton on Trent. Following a period in BR Blue with full yellow ends livery, it now sports a rather fresh engineers grey livery with yellow ends and cab window surrounds.

Following a brief period at the Bluebell Railway, the locomotive came to the EVR in April 2015 for a stay until October of the same year. It was then hired by the Dartmoor Railway for the Christmas period before returning to Wirksworth in March 2016 for a further hire period. The locomotive is still registered to travel on the main line rail network but not under its own power.
Builder: BRC&W Built: 1960
Class or Type: 33 Works No:
Weight: 76t Running No: 33103
Brake Type: Air and Vacuum Operational Status: Operational
Owner: 33103 Owning Group Arrived: April 2015 then March 2016
WyvernRail PLC, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. Wirksworth Station, Coldwell Street, Wirksworth, Derbyshire. DE4 4FB. 01629 823076. © 2017