Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Moving Story

"The sole surviving Class 17 Clayton diesel-electric Bo-Bo, the former D8568,
left the Ribblesdale Cement Co. Ltd., Clitheroe, on Wednesday, February 9
for its new home on the North Yorkshire Railway. The main picture shows D8568
being loaded up for the two-day journey, and the inset shows it en route
on the M62 near Junction 17.
Here is another photograph or, more correctly, two photographs, scanned from the pages of Rail Enthusiast. These photos show the only surviving member of the Class 17 fleet of 117 Type 1 locomotives leaving the Ribblesdale Cement Co Ltd for its new home at the North Yorkshire Railway.
The photograph, and its inset, were featured in the May 1983 edition of the magazine and both pictures were taken by M J Symons.
The caption that accompanied the photos is also included above.
The Class 17s were built by Clayton Locomotives of Tutbury and D8568 was constructed in the autumn of 1963.
The Claytons were fitted with two 450 HP Paxman engines and were the only main line diesel loco to have flat engines, where the pistons went from side to side rather than the more usual up and down.
D8568 was delivered to Haymarket near Edinburgh in January 1964 before moving to Polmadie near Glasgow in September 1968. It remained working here until it was withdrawn in October 1971 having, as a result, spent all of its working life based in Scotland.
The Class 17 locos were designated by BR as the standard Type 1 locomotive and were supposed to have replaced the English Electric Class 20s. This was because their centrally positioned cab was meant to give drivers much better visibility although, because of the long 'noses', this was not necessarily the case.
As it turned out, of course, the Class 17's proved to be extremely unreliable, which meant that withdrawals began as early as 1968 at a time when some of the members had only been in service for four years. This made them one of the least successful and shortest lived of BRs main line locomotives.
All of the class, with the exception of D8568, were scrapped, although the final two were not actually cut up until 1978.
After its withdrawal in 1971, D8568 went to Hemelite in Hemel Hempstead and, then, to Ribblesdale Cement before being saved for preservation.
It is now in operation at the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway having completed a successful test run in March 2011 following a major overhaul.

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