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55002_1979_02_Grantham | by johnwoolley@btopenworld.com
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55002_1979_02_Grantham

On a cold, icy grey morning 55002 Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry pauses at Grantham with 1A08, 06:12 Newcastle – Kings Cross, 24th February 1979.

 

Locomotive History

The success of the Deltic prototype in the 1950s brought an order for a fleet of twenty two Deltics to replace steam on the East Coast Main Line. Due to their much higher availability, the twenty two production-series Deltics performed the duties previously allocated to fifty five pacific-type steam locomotives. Originally D9002 it was delivered on the 9th March 1961 to Doncaster Works and was accepted into BR service, allocated to Gateshead MPD. The early days of these locomotives were marred by mechanical unreliability which was solved by rigorous retraining of the maintenance teams at BR's Doncaster Works. These engines were able to travel at up to 100mph and their excellent reputation was only tarnished by the high cost of power unit replacement. The class 55's were progressively replaced by HST’s between 1980 and 1982 and after nearly twenty years front line service 55002 worked its final duties on the 30th December 1981 when as a test run in preparation for the farewell railtour it worked 1M53 07:49 York - Liverpool and 1E98 12:05 Liverpool - York (final Deltic to leave Liverpool). However it arrived back at York on one engine as power unit No. 1 was throwing oil and was declared un-fit work the final tour (55015 substituted). Formally withdrawn on the 2nd January 1982 and presented to the National Railway Museum.

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Taken on February 24, 1979