Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

D1023 - 'Western Fusilier'

When British Railways was formed, the western region fought to keep the independent spirit of the Great Western alive. Whilst other regions primarily used electric transmission Swindon developed a fleet of diesel locomotives with hydraulic transmission. There were three larger bogie arrangement classes; Warships, Hymeks and Westerns and one smaller 0-6-0 class, most of which were built at Swindon works by former Great Western staff.

The largest and most powerful of the fleet were the C-C Class 52 ‘Western’ diesels powered by Maybach engines with Voith transmission. Although the class were successful, their lives were always going to be short as they lacked Electric Train Heating (ETH) which was becoming standard with the introduction of more modern coaching stock. The class were moved onto freight traffic before being withdrawn in 1977.

D1023 “Western Fusilier was built at Swindon in September 1963 and was withdrawn in February 1977 having operated various runs including the last ever Western hauled rail tour = the ‘Western Tribute’. In 1973 she was the last ever hydraulic to have a general repair at Swindon. The loco was preserved as part of The National Collection and was placed on display in the National Railway Museum (NRM) at York in 1977 and has been in the museum’s care ever since.

The locomotive has been placed on loan to Didcot Railway Centre for a period of five years commencing January 2023.

The locomotive is not operational and the NRM has not plans to put it into working order. Whilst visiting Didcot it will largely be stored and on view to our visitors in our locomotive works.

Static Display
Build date
Built at
British Railways, Swindon
Original railway
British Railways
Wheel arrangement
Route availability
Tractive effort
Maximum 66,700 lbf
108 tons
Wheel diameter
3' 7"
2 x Maybach MD655 (64.5l)
Power Output
1,350 bhp x 2
Max Speed
90 mph
Date Preserved

« Back To Diesel and Gas Turbine Locomotives

Didcot Railway Centre Newsletter

Stay up to date with events and what's going on at Didcot Railway Centre.
You may unsubscribe at any time. We do not share your data with 3rd parties.


Make A Donation

Click To Donate