D6515 / 33012

Class 33 1550HP Bo-Bo, Built by Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Co.

The Group’s own locomotive was one of a fleet of 98 delivered to the Southern Region of British Rail in 1960. The class earned a reputation for reliability and capability across many of BRs regions. 33012 was withdrawn in 1996 as surplus to requirements and saw a few months use as Eastleigh Depot pilot until finally switched off with a number of electrical faults.

12 was on the back burner while we were busy operating 109 & 208 on the mainline but repairs to the electrical systems were undertaken gradually and the loco was started at Easter 1999 and moved under its own power in October ‘99. It was delivered to Swanage by road on 7th October and undertook its first loaded test run that evening. Bodywork repairs commenced promptly, although the loco appeared at the Swanage Railway Diesel Day in red primer! It received the name ‘Stan Symes’ after the Bournemouth and Swanage Driver; who had achieved 60 years on the footplate. 12 was eventually handed over to the SR Operations Department for driver training in March 2000, following completion of bodywork restoration and re-paint into original BR Green livery. It soon became an invaluable part of the motive power fleet.

During Spring 2002, routine oil samples showed signs of the cylinder liners leaking coolant into the engine sump. During the autumn, the engine was completely stripped and re-assembled with new seals. Test runs were completed in time for the annual Diesel Day in November; small yellow warning panels were applied for this event. It was fortunate that the engine re-build had been done, because 2003 saw a 150% increase in use by the Swanage Railway, it is not immune to the nationwide shortage of steam locomotives!

Since then our loco has provided reliable service service and has also had a bodywork overhaul which took place in late 2006. During 2008 the committee voted to allow 33012 to travel to Knights Rail at Eastleigh Works for a general overhaul including generators and running gear. The loco moved to Eastleigh on the 14th January 2009 and stayed for two and a half years during which time it was equipped with TPWS and OTMR allowing the loco to work on the national network. A gallery of the work undertaken on the loco is here. 33012 underwent a successful mainline test run on May 5th 2011 and is now based at the Swanage Railway.



© 2005 71A Locomotive Group