Swanage Railway diesel naming marks 33 years of Army help

A GB Railfreight Class 66 diesel has been officially named Royal Corps of Signals to mark a 33-year association with the Swanage Railway – during which 5000 soldiers have installed telephone and communications equipment along the Purbeck heritage line.

The naming of No. 66756 was carried out at Swanage station on national Armed Forces Day, Saturday, June 24.

Proud past and present members of the Royal Corps of Signals attended the naming ceremony for Class 66 No. 66756 at Swanage on June 24. ANDREW P M WRIGHT

Performing the honours in front of guests, members of the military and the public were Maj Gen John Crackett, of the Royal Corps of Signals – whose headquarters are at Blandford Forum in Dorset – and the managing director of GB Railfreight, John Smith.

Since 1984, a total of 5000 servicemen and women from the Royal Corps of Signals have taken part in 65 exercises on the Swanage Railway as the heritage line has developed, with the troops also helping the wider community in the Swanage area.

Railway volunteer Frank Roberts, a serving member of the Corps for 25 years, said: “It was a great day. The locomotive naming was a very proud moment for everyone in the Royal Corps of Signals, past and present.”

The naming ceremony was the first time that present and past members of the Royal Corps of Signals had enjoyed a reunion in Swanage since 2005, when the Corps was given the freedom of the town.

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