BR Class 37 37308
|BR Class 37 37308|
37308 at Kidderminster Diesel Depot, September 2020
|Built By||Vulcan Foundry|
|Other Numbers||D6608 37274|
|2000||Part of EWS heritage fleet|
BR Class 37 37308 is the last British Rail Class 37 diesel locomotive to be built, dating to 1965. It is owned by a group of SVR diesel members, several of whom also part-owned former resident 37906 and are shareholders in the Class 50 Alliance. A summary of the Class 37 can be found on the 37906 page.
37308 in service
37308 was built at EE's Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows, works number EE/VF3568/D997, and entered service in December 1965 numbered D6608. The loco spent most of its early working life in South Wales, first allocated to Landore Depot in Swansea with spells at Cardiff Canton and Bristol Bath Road. It was renumbered to 37308 in March 1974.
It had its last classified repair in Doncaster in 1988 but, unlike many other class members, it was not rebuilt into one of the new sub-classes. At sectorisation in 1989 it was allocated to Freight Coal sector and renumbered again to 37274, with subsequent reallocations to the Metals sector and moves to Scotland, Toton and Eastleigh.
It was stored in 2000 and reverted to its 37308 identity, becoming part of the EWS heritage fleet. During this time it visited a number of heritage railways while remaining in capital service. One such visit was to the SVR and the April 2001 diesel gala. It returned to mainline use from 2002 and was allocated to Sandite trains in 2004. It was withdrawn in 2007.
37308 in preservation
It was purchased for preservation on 18 November 2007 and allocated to Kidderminster - Private Owner Diesel Locomotives just three days later. The SVR Board agreed at the time to accept it onto the Railway after restoration. Between 2007 and 2012 it moved between Old Oak Common, Eastleigh, Cardiff Canton, RVEL at Derby and Lydney on the Dean Forest Railway undergoing overhaul. This included being heavily stripped down in order to try and overcome the years of rust and rot which had taken its toll on the loco. A report of progress in 2010 noted that "...the locomotive appeared to be in fairly good order when bought for preservation, but deeper investigations revealed that the foam that had been pumped into many of the voids in the floor space and other areas to improve the cab environment by blocking draughts, etc, had broken down and had absorbed large amounts of water. Consequently, many of the electrical conduits and brake pipes that are also in the floor voids have rusted through and need to be replaced".
In January 2018 and June 2019 the Chairman of the SVR Diesel Committee referred to 37308 being under restoration for use on the SVR. It arrived on 12 July 2020 for restoration to continue at Kidderminster TMD. It arrived with bogies with new size tyres and the engine, generators and radiator compartment overhauled. An electrical contractor had previously been engaged to rewire the loco. Based at the SVR, it will have its overhaul completed at Kidderminster.
- Class 37.co.uk website (retrieved 27 June 2019)
- SVR News 160, Boardroom Notes
- SVR News 170, Diesel Fleet Report
- SVR News 206, p.22
- Branch Lines newsletter, September 2020 (Retrieved 29 August 2020)