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DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:55 pm
by GeoffBird
A prototype Drewry 0-6-0 diesel shunter was built in June 1947 and was trialled by the LNER. There was a series of Posts in 2008 concerning it and its livery. Now closed. However, I have just acquired the Middleton Press book on the Wisbech & Upwell tramway and there it states that "it ran trials on the tramway and other LNER lines before finding a home on the S.R. in 1948". Can anyone confirm this (even a photo?) and was it specially fitted with cowcathers and sideplates like the ones supplied in 1952?

Re: DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:16 pm
by richard
The posts shouldn't be closed on this forum - you should still be able to reply to old threads. This often happens with things like people/location searches.

Of course the Wisbech Drewery shunters are quite famous - one surviving at Embsay, and even making it into the Awdry books.

I didn't realise one served with the LNER. This would qualify adding a page under "Locomotives" - probably under the "Experimental" section.

Re: DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:38 am
by kudu
My information is that DS1173 was on trial on the ER in Feb-Oct 1948, then loaned to the SR from 15/10/48 and taken into BR stock on 20/11/48 (BR Dept Locos 1948-68, Ian Allan). On the ER it was tried first at Gorton and then East Anglia (BR Fleet Survey Vol 7). There appear to be minor discrepancies over dates between these sources. Seems there wasn't long to snap it with a cowcatcher, if it ever had one.

As for Awdry, I am unaware of the Drewry infiltration but my knowledge stops earlier with Toby the [steam] Tram Engine, also stolen from the Wisbech Tramway.


Re: DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:30 pm
by richard
February 1948: So technically not LNER (although yes I do have the Peppercorn A1s).

The Awdry Drewery Shunter was called Mavis and appeared with skirts + cowcatcher, and painted in black with wasp stripes. It was in one of the original A.W.Awdry books but very near the end. Quite possibly the last book he wrote in the series. So still an 'original' - I've seen some of the modern TV series with my son and there are a LOT more locos that were never in the original books that I grew up on!

Re: DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:18 pm
by UpDistant
According to Roger Harris' tomes on Diesel and Electric Allocation Histories, the original number was 2217 (Drewry builder number - also carried Vulcan Foundry D46), initially worked as a demonstrator at Gorton 6/47, and then officially on loan (o/l) to 39A Gorton from 1/2/48, Ipswich o/l from 1/5/48, Lowestoft o/l 5/6/48, Norwich o/l 19/6/48, Cambridge o/l 17/7/48, Stratford o/l 31/7/48, but was then rejected by the ER and moved to SR o/l from 15/10/48 for trial purposes with the CCE at Hither Green. It went instead to Norwood Junction 10/48 but was noted inside the shed on 5/12/48 not having been used since its arrival.

However, it was seen as an asset and was officially taken into BR stock on 20/11/48 as Ds1173 at Hither Green CCE depot, this number not applied until 1950. It remained in Departmental stock until 26/3/67 when it was renumbered into Capital stock as D2341 remaining on the SR until withdrawn 22/12/68, being cut at Pollock and Brown, Northam Iron Works, Southampton sometime after August 1969.

It might not have been fitted with cowcatchers or side skirts, but it did quite a bit of trundling around East Anglia.

Re: DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:22 am
by richard
Sounds like I should probably add something about it then...

Re: DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:29 pm
by richard
Seems like there aren't any books about Drewry vehicles (?)

I could put a minimal page together - get the technical specs from Wikipedia (unless someone has a more reliable source) and use UpDistant's allocation history. I would also need a photo with suitable copyright permission. Ideally of DS1173 in 1947, but a BR picture would also be okay.

The Wikipedia page mainly references journals from the Industrial Railway Society, so I could try to source those...

Re: DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:40 pm
by 65447
There is a brief mention of it in the RCTS 'greenie' Part 10A, final paragraph on p3. According to that source it did not arrive on the ER until February 1948, which ties in with the official loan date to Gorton, as does October 1948 for transfer to Hither Green. It was reported as being painted in LNER green with black and white lining. I cannot find a photograph in Part 10A but these turned up in a quick web image search: ... d75f3e.jpg ... 51.780.jpg ... ds1173.jpg

Note the distinguishing feature of the jackshaft driving the centre axle.

Re: DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:55 pm
by richard
Thanks - I'l try to contact the image owners.

Looking at 10A, it looks like I've missed two other experimental / loan units:

1924: Simmering-Graz-Pauker 0-4-0 diesel hydraulic. Hauled a train of 4 coaches between London & Cambridge, but appears better suited to shunting work. (references "The Railway Magazine" Sept 1924).

June-Sept 1939: Metro-Vick-Cammell 58 seat diesel railcar based on a Ganz design but looks a bit like a 1st gen BR DMU 'bubble car' to my untrained eye.
Pontefract/Selby/York area, incl being based at Hull. Built 1937 and originally based at Willesden on the LMS. Re-appears in 1951 when it is re-gauged and sent to Ulster. Scrapped 1965.

Re: DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:03 am
by richard
DS1173 page added. I've also added two (very basic) pages for other experimental locomotives.
Experimental index is here: ... mental.php

(about to add the relevant cross-links from internal combustion, etc)

I would welcome any information anyone might have on the Graz 0-4-0 diesel-hydraulic, or the Metro-Vick-Cammell railcar.

Re: DS1173 on the LNER

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:33 am
by SGP

I am writing from Graz, Austria and I am interested in the history of diesel engines and diesel locomotives that were produced in various Austrian companies. In this thread, there is a reference to a "Graz 0-4-0 Diesel-Hydraulic Locomotive" and I could find a corresponding article on the LNER Website at During my own research work, I came across some more details of this locomotive. First of all, here is a drawing of the locomotive that also shows the installed diesel engine:


On the upper left side, I think that the text says "60 PS Grazer Motorlokomotive mit hydraulischem Lentzgetriebe" (60 HP locomotive with engine and with hydraulic Lentz-transmission, made in Graz). On the bottom left side, there is the company name stated: "Grazer Waggon- und Maschinenfabriks AG vorm. Johann Weitzer".

Johann Weitzer, born 1832, was an entrepreneur who founded a carriage manufacturing company in Graz in 1854. In 1895, the company became a stock company and was renamed to "Grazer Waggon- und Maschinenfabriks AG vorm. Johann Weitzer" (Graz carriage and machinery manufacturing company, formerly Johann Weitzer). The company started building diesel engines in 1900. Years later, the company was merged with other companies to form Simmering-Graz-Pauker in 1941.

In 1923, the abovementioned diesel-hydraulic locomotive was delivered to England. It had an operating weight of 19 tons and was designed for standard gauge. The engine type was a "SM 25/6", an in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine (bore 200 mm, stroke 250 mm, nominal speed 300 rpm, Power 60 HP, BMEP approx. 3.8 bar). The information I have is from a doctoral thesis from 1967 that deals with the historic development of diesel engines for locomotives in Austria. There is a reference to "The Railway Gazette" of 8th of August, 1924, in which the locomotive is described in detail. I do not have this publication, is there possibly anyone who can provide a scan of this historic article?

In this thread, there is also a reference to "The Railway Magazine", Sept 1924. Can somebody possibly provide me with a scan of that magazine article?

It would be great to hear from you!

Thanks and kind regards,