Sunday 12 May 2019

Swanage Railway Diesel Gala Focus, 11th May 2019: 97205 / 31163

Originally delivered from Brush at Loughborough on 14th January 1960 as D5581 allocated to 32A Norwich Thorpe (New), and reallocated to a number of Eastern Region sheds until October 1976 when it was sent to Old Oak Common, it later went on the London Midland Region at Toton, Longsight, Crewe and Springs Branch.

Conversion from a Mirrlees engine to English Electric (Class 30 to 31) was recorded in January 1966. Renumbered to 31163 in 1973.

Withdrawn on 19th January 1999, and sold in March 2000. Now in the care of the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway.

Running as 97205 for the "Railway Technical Centre, Chinnor", this is a convenient fiction reflecting the colours worn by 97203 (one two three) and 97204 (one two three), when in actual service for the RTC at Derby.

Pictures of 31163 in BR service: one two three four

It looks as if this was the first time I had seen this loco.

Arriving at Swanage.

On the second attempt at a detachment from the train (the train had to be moved further down the platform, it had to re-attach), the locomotive runs around the train.

97205 has just been detached at Corfe Castle from its train from Frome River Bridge.

A few minutes later, and about to access the sidings at Corfe. Note the "Railway Technical Centre, Chinnor".

Departing Harman's Cross for Swanage.

Arriving at Corfe Castle from Swanage.