The Worth Valley get themselves a Tractor

When I last visited the Worth valley in March of this year I was told there was a new arrival in the yard, so I grabbed my camera to go and have a look. I found 37075, a class 37 which hold the nickname “Tractors”, sitting outside Haworth shed looking replendent in B.R. blue livery. While I was never trained on them while a driver at Woking, I did a few secondman ballast turns on them after they were drafted in to replace the class 33 (Cromptons) around 1990. At first sight a 1750 horse power 37 should, with 200 more horses, have a lot more umph than a 33, but a tractor weighing well over a hundred tons compared to 75 for a Crompton is a bit of a lardass. I accept that a 37 makes a lovely growl when you wind the controller round which I think is the reason for their nickname, but they did not seem to have any more power than a 33.

37075 was built in 1962 and one of over 300 that were ordered by British Railways. It spent most of it’s working life at depots in the north of England, was withdrawn from main line service in 1999 and went straight into preservation. After being on various preservation sites the private owner sold it to a group of members of the Keighley & Worth Valley. One unusual aspect of this loco is that the nose ends are different, when it first entered service, both ends were equipped with the four digit head codes. With the growth of area panel signaling centres replacing the mechanical signal boxes, the requirement for head codes was no longer needed so the roller blinds were replaced with running lights. During the 1980′s 37075 was damaged in a collision, so one end was rebuilt without the headcode boxes. It is planned to use this diesel in the near future on some passenger services. For further information please go to the KWVR website.

If you’ve had any experience on the preserved railway circuit we would love to hear from you on our forums!

Thanks Bill!

Written by Bill
is our resident railway expert. Read more about Bill

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