Wyvern Rail plc are delighted to announce that Class 55 Deltic 55019 “Royal Highland Fusilier” is to visit the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway in the Spring of 2022, courtesy of the Deltic Preservation Society. This class of locomotive is one of the most famous types of diesel locomotive to operate in Britain, delighting the public since their introduction for main line express services in the early 1960s. Named after their powerful Napier DELTIC diesel engines, they were the main stay of express passenger trains on the East Coast Mainline until the late 1970s. 55019 “Royal Highland Fusilier” was the first of the class to operate a passenger train in preservation back in 1982 and has been visiting many of the premier heritage railways in recent years since ending main line operations in the mid-2000s.
It is planned for the locomotive to enter service at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway during their Spring Diesel Gala event on 22nd, 23rd & 24th April 2022 and operate on selected dates thereafter until early summer, please see both Groups media sites for further information nearer the date. We are also looking to do some Footplate Experience dates should there be interest. Neil Ferguson-Lee Vice Chairman of Wyvern Rail plc commented “We are thrilled to be working with the Deltic Preservation Society to bring 55019 to Wirksworth in 2022. The visit of such a prestigious locomotive builds on our diesel gala reputation that we have created over the last few years and we hope it will be greatly enjoyed by our passengers.” Deltic Preservation Society chairman, Murray Brown, added "we have been looking forward to visiting this delightful heritage railway which encourages historical diesel traction. Our members are so pleased one of our legendary Deltics is paying a first ever visit to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. If you have never seen or heard one of these magnificent locomotives in action, you will be in for a treat. British railway engineering at its finest!"
Wyvern Rail plc have been working with the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association to reopen, restore and operate the line from Wirksworth to Duffield since 2000 and will be culminating the 10th season of operation of the complete branch line with their sell out Christmas experience ‘The Train Through Christmas Countryside’ shortly.
Further information will be available soon on the railway’s website www.e-v-r.com