Class 03 D2128

History of Class 03 D2128

Built at Swindon in the late 1950s, D2128 started out as a 30ton 0-6-0 diesel mechanical with a Gardner 8L3 engine of 204bhp and 5 speed gearbox. It had an uneventful career with British Railways, being recorded at Laira in 1970 having changed from its D2128 to ‘Tops code’ 03 128 but with the downturn in shunter duties it became redundant and was sent for scrap at Birds, Long Marston.

Here its story changed. Having had its engine and fluid coupling removed, it was sold with two others to Belgium, leaving on the Harwich train ferry in December 1976. There it received an air cooled Deutz engine, with a hydraulic pump and motor driving into the original 5 speed gearbox, and worked at Zeebrugge through the 1980s. In 1991 it returned to the UK and found a home briefly on Peak Rail, working trains between Darley Dale and Matlock starting in April 1992. Not long after it was sold on, and went through various owners before ending up at Lydney where Andrew Briddon first saw it in 2007.

By then most of the engine and the hydraulic motor were missing, but nonetheless Andrew bought it and took it in July 2008 to the steelworks at Scunthorpe. Over the next four years the locomotive was stripped down and rebuilt with a Cummins 855 series engine rated at 350bhp, and a Twin Disc torque converter replacing the 5 speed gearbox. As such it became a diesel hydraulic and for a while was in a black livery and numbered 03 901 to celebrate its uniqueness.
In early 2017 it ventured south to Longcross Studios, where ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ was being filmed with Kenneth Branagh as Poirot. Together with another of Andrew’s locos it provided actual motive power to the train of the film, but of course was ‘painted out’ of any scenes!

In August 2019 it moved to Midsomer Norton (Somerset & Dorset Railway) where it was to deputise for their English Electric 0-6-0DH which came up to Darley Dale for vacuum brake installation under his father’s auspices. This work was delayed by the pandemic but in the meantime the S&D asked to repaint the loco to green livery renumber back to D2128, a 5 year loan was envisaged.

Unfortunately it suffered a transmission problem in the summer of 2022 and returned to Darley Dale. Answering the call for more locos to be available for the diesel gala in April ’23 a temporary repair was carried out and the loco ventured to Matlock 31 years after it first did so. It has carried out several days duties at Peak Rail since but is due to receive ‘permanent’ repair and return to Midsomer to resume its promised loan there.

Upcoming Dates for Class 03 D2128

Loco Roster

Blue Diesel Timetable
Rowsley South Depart11:0013:0015:00
Darley Dale Arrive11:0513:0515:05
Darley Dale Depart11:1513:1515:15
Matlock Arrive11:2513:2515:25
Matlock Depart11:4013:4015:40
Darley Dale Arrive12:1014:1016:10
Darley Dale Depart12:1514:2516:15
Rowsley South Arrive12:2014:3016:20
Ticket TypeReturn/ Rover (Can be used all day)Single Journey (One way)
Senior Citizen (Age 66 and over)£10.00£8.00
All Children under 16FREEFREE

Locos Running at Peak Rail