The Future & Potential Return of 55019 to the Mainline

An announcement from the DPS Head of Engineering, Graham Clarke:


As we approach the 40th anniversary next year of the Deltic Scotsman Farewell, the very last Deltic working for British Rail on January 2, 1982, we are at a pivotal moment in our three locos' future. I set out below an ambitious vision for the locos and our crown jewels; our Deltic Power Units. I don’t believe I am exaggerating, if I say that the challenges we face now are the biggest we have ever faced and that failure to meet those challenges will lead to the cessation of Deltic operation within a few years. ​January 2, 2022 may be the last opportunity to celebrate a memorable anniversary date for this event as by the time we get to 45 years and definitely 50 years European Rail Train Management System (ERTMS) (i.e. in-cab signalling) will be in full flow at the south end of the ECML and without this equipment at a cost circa £650,000 per locomotive, they cannot operate in the area.


Please read on about the challenges ahead of us to make this happen. If you would like to donate towards this project for the benefit of Deltic 55019 and to help secure its operational future on both the main line and heritage lines then please visit the DPS Virgin Just Giving site and place your donation quoting ref '55019' in the comments section - please click HERE. Alternatively download a Friends of the DPS Donation form by clicking HERE, set it up with your bank online or app and post the form back to us marked as confirmation, or just post the form and we will do it for you.


I believe that there are a number of strategic objectives we need to achieve and these a shown below:

  • Pass on the skills and knowledge to keep Deltics safe and working to a new generation, to allow Deltics to operate beyond the generation who saved these iconic and unique locomotives.

  • Generate a new generation of Deltic fans who will support the locos long into the future.

  • 3 locos mainline registered.

  • 2 locos available for mainline use, most of the time.

  • Deltics operating on the mainline a minimum of twice per month.

  • All our power units overhauled to zero hours condition over the next 10-15 years.

  • Other mechanical equipment, electrical equipment and bogies overhauled and renewed where needed.

  • Exhaust emissions cleaned up to a high standard, suitable for a sustainable future.

As a first step towards these objectives, the Society would like to return 55019 to mainline use. It will help to spread the workload and wear and tear on 55009 and it will also open up more possibilities to see Deltics running on the Network. In order to achieve this aim, we estimate that a figure of £255,019 is required to do the following:

  • Fit On Train Monitoring Recorder Equipment (OTMR - a 'Black Box’)

  • Fit Global System for Mobile Communication - Railways (GSM-R) radios.

  • Carry out significant repair work to worn components in 55019’s bogies.

  • Complete certification and testing of 55019 for mainline use.

This is only a beginning and much more needs to be done over the coming years to achieve the strategic objectives shown above. It will require significantly more support than we currently have, but I firmly believe that we have something unique and very special to take into the future and that that is possible. Deltics are without doubt, part of that surge of development that followed the Second World War and are right up there with the other icons of the land, sea and air from that time. We owe it to our three locomotives to pass them forward in good working condition and ready to showcase the very best of what Britain was capable of at the time they were built.


I commend this vision for the future to you all and I ask for your support to develop the Society for a great future, where we have the skills, resources and capability to showcase the ‘King of Diesels’ long into the future.


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