Current Status: Operational
D7017 has been very much part of the West Somerset Railway fleet since 1977, successfully operating WSR trains over many years since. The loco was first moved to Taunton on leaving BR service in 1975, before being moved up to Minehead in March 1976. The loco hauled her first revenue-earning service in preservation on 19th March 1977, the ‘Quantock Flyer’
The ‘Hymeks’ were intended as a medium power mixed traffic loco, but were often rostered to deputise for some of the WR’s largest steam locos on 13 and 14-coach trains in their early years. A total of 101 locos were built and were allocated all over the Western Region. They settled down to become a successful and capable fleet.
Introduced in 1961-4, the ‘Hymeks’ careers were cut short by BR’s standardisation with diesel electric types. The first withdrawals came in 1971, with some locos scrapped being less than nine years old. Full withdrawal of the fleet was planned for 1973 and a farewell tour, “The Hymek Swansong”, ran in the September of that year. Due to loco shortages, ten ‘Hymeks’ soldiered on to 1975 when they were finally withdrawn. Of these, four have survived into preservation: the two D&EPG ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018; D7029 with the Diesel Traction Group and D7076 with the Bury Hydraulic Group.
The loco has been very reliable and is a pleasure to be around. The loco has recently returned to service after the installation of a completely new set of primary coil springs that were purchased using donations from members and supporters, and installation of a pair of refurbished secondary elliptical springs in bogie ‘A’ that were recovered from our spare parts stock.
Engine: Bristol-Siddeley-Maybach MD870 V16 twin turbocharged and intercooled 87 litre high speed diesel
Transmission: Stone-Maybach-Mekydro K184 4-speed hydraulic gearbox
Weight: 73 tons
Length: 52 ft
Output: 1,740 hp at 1500 rpm
BR Power Rating: Type 3
Speed: 90 mph
Fuel Capacity: 600 gallons
Tractive Effort: 49,000 lbs (maximum)
Manufacturer: Beyer-Peacock (Hymek) Ltd, Manchester
First allocated Depot: Bristol Bath Road (82A) on the 8th January 1962.
Withdrawn from service: March 1975.
BR Class: 35
Number Built: 101
Role: Mixed traffic