By Cedric Johns
Pathfinder Tours 40th anniversary event with Class 52 diesel-hydraulic D1015 Western Champion has been put on hold because the loco is temporarily out of action with engine problems.
As reported last issue, Pathfinder’s ‘Western Glory’ trip has been organised to mark the withdrawal of the 52s in February 1977. Then, BR(W) ran a ‘Western Tribute’ farewell excursion doubleheaded by D1013 Western Ranger and D1023 Western Fusilier which departed Paddington for Swansea, Plymouth and back to London.
Now, four decades on, Pathfinder Tours has planned a celebratory excursion on February 25 – virtually to the day of the 1977 withdrawal – from Paddington to Cardiff, Bristol, Westbury and Plymouth via Taunton.
Whether the trip runs depends on whether Western Champion, the only surviving class member currently registered to run on the national network, can be engineered back to health in time.
Read more in Issue 224 of Heritage Railway – out now!