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Official Press Release on 55009

During the event at the Nene Valley Railway, 55009 masquerading as long-lost classmate 55013, suffered a complete failure of power unit 451. With the condition of Power Unit 408, the downrated unit, the decision was made to withdraw the locomotive from the NYMR Diesel Gala, our contact there was very supportive of our decision. With the locomotive down to one engine and the condition of that engine, the group feel that it would not be able to perform to anything like an acceptable standard on such a steeply graded line.

On the Saturday morning, the duty fitter prepared the locomotive, with 451 being the unit to work the day. There were no signs of issues and when the driver arrived, the engine was run up and the locomotive tested, and all was well. During the second trip with the freight train, the driver noticed the engine hunting when moving the power handle from the On notch to Off whilst performing the runaround at Peterborough Nene Valley Station. The decision was quickly taken to shut this power unit down and switch over to the other. The loco then performed adequately for the rest of the day.

On the Sunday morning the fitter inspected 451 and bled the fuel system as there appeared to be an air lock. Once this was completed, the engine was started, and the hunting was worse than before. When the driver arrived for the day, there was one last attempt to start the power unit, which resulted in a very strange sound, with the generator turning but the engine did not rotate.

The group will now take the locomotive back to Barrow Hill and, in time, arrange for the power unit to be removed for assessment. We can only hope that the damage is minimal, but as you can appreciate, the chance of this is remote. The group will endeavour to return the locomotive to traffic as soon as possible, although as there are no power units ready this is likely to be more than 12 months.

We apologise for the short period of time before the NYMR event, the group was very much looking forward to attending this as it is a homecoming in ways. The engineering team have had a very tough time in the last 2 years, but Alycidon will return. Thank you for your understanding.

The loco will continue to fulfil its commitments at the NVR, that being a couple of Footplate Experience Days and the recently advertised 8th & 9th June on the normal NVR service trains. The loco will then return to BH by rail on Monday the 10th June.

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