Wheels pulled from under the Baby Deltic
The Baby Deltic Project (BDP) has suffered a double blow this week with the surprise news that the offer of a pair of Class 20 bogies pledged to complete the project has been withdrawn.
This unexpected development has the potential to leave the project temporarily homeless as the Project’s landlords, the Deltic Preservation Society, have confirmed that they cannot keep an immobile locomotive within their Depot.
Simon Hartshorne of the BDP said, “The withdrawal of the offer of bogies for this important project is problematical, but is not a game-changer at this stage of the programme. The key thing is to press ahead – we have time to examine other options. There are other Class 20 bogies out there and we have opened talks with a number of owners about purchasing or leasing a pair.”
The BDP has now agreed terms with Rampart Carriage and Wagon Services for them to undertake the major modification work on the locomotive that had been earmarked for BDP volunteers. The work will be carried out at Rampart’s new Barrow Hill workshops.
On completion of the modification work, which involves the shortening of the nose ends and body centre-section, the loco will be lifted onto accommodation bogies and moved to store at Barrow Hill. The remainder of the conversion work will then be undertaken by Project members.
The major modification work will be part-funded by a loan from the Transport Trust and the accommodation bogies will be loaned by the 5BEL Trust. “We are extremely grateful to both organisations for the generosity shown in our hour of need”, said Hartshorne.
Hartshorne, in his guise as MD of rail vehicle engineering specialists Pindari, is already working in partnership with Rampart to return the Brighton Belle electric multiple unit to traffic. Rampart’s MD Paul Ramsden said, “The Class 23 is a missing link in our locomotive heritage so we’re delighted to play a part in this high-profile programme. It’s precisely the kind of challenge the team enjoys.”