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reliability and capability across many of BRs regions. 33012 was withdrawn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
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.