DPS ‘Deltic’ Royal Highland Fusilier being considered for main line return


THE Deltic Preservation Society is looking at options that might see its No. 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier back on the main line.
A railtour operator has, in effect, offered to sponsor its return by guaranteeing a set number of charters, which would allow the DPS to procure and fit the necessary equipment. Since No. 55019 last ran on the national network in 2007, the newer GSM-R radio system has been implemented while OTMR recording equipment has also become mandatory.

The DPS’ No. 55019 has toured various heritage lines this year, but could now be set for a main line return. On August 4, it was at the Spa Valley Railway, seen at Pokehill Farm with the 11.25 Eridge to Tunbridge Wells West. Neil Walkling

Royal Highland Fusilier has become the DPS’ ‘heritage’ line machine, and regularly visits preserved railways for galas. This year it has been to the Severn Valley, Spa Valley and Great Central railways where it has performed excellently.

As part of the process for possible
main line return, the ‘Deltic’ was
allowed to run at 75mph during trials
on the Great Central Railway on October 23. No passengers were permitted,
this being one of the regulations when the GCR offers trial running at higher than the normal 25mph. Oil samples were taken afterwards for analysis and DPS officials were researching past overhaul history for its main components in late October. The loco was due back at its home at Barrow Hill early in November for winter maintenance.

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