Owner set to ‘scrap’ Class 27 so that Class 21 can appear

By Fred Kerr

MID HANTS Railway-based Class 27 D5353/27007, currently resident at Alresford, is to be used to recreate an example of the long-extinct North British Locomotive Company Class Class 21.

Brand-new NBL/MAN Type 2 (later Class 21) D6103 hauls empty mail vans. at Ferme Park South on June 2, 1959, during the early evaluation by BR of main line diesels under the 1955 Modernisation Plan. This class proved particularly unreliable and was soon sent up to the Scottish Region where they did not last long. BEN BROOKSBANK/CREATIVE COMMONS

In early December, the current owner confirmed his intention to use the locomotive’s chassis and bogies to recreate a 21.

He already owns a NBL/MAN engine from D6332. However, when he expressed his desire to use Class 27 D5353 as a basis for the ‘new build’ project, he was faced with a storm of internet protests.

Enthusiasts expressed their desire to see D5353 to be restored to its original condition as it is the only Class 27 example that survives in that state – the other survivors have been subject to modification during BR service that they retained in preservation.

The Class 27 had arrived on the MHR in October 1985 where, despite suffering severe fire damage in July 1986, it entered traffic in 1992 before being withdrawn for overhaul in 2000. Progress with the overhaul was slow and in 2003 it was sold to a private buyer with the hope of speeding up the overhaul. However, the owner was involved with other locomotive projects and the restoration of D5353 slipped further down the list.

Read more in Issue 223 of Heritage Railway

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