Wood Anemone The Churnet Valley - Diesel Gallery
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The Churnet Valley Railway doesn't run entirely on steam. Diesels are ideal for pulling maintenance trains, shunting in Cheddleton Yard and other behind-the-scenes duties. They also sometimes get their days in the limelight, at specialist diesel or mixed steam and diesel galas. Diesel power is also used to assist some of the smaller steamers on Cauldon Low running days.

Click a thumbnail to enlarge it and to see more pictures of the same loco.

Current Residents

33102 'Sophie'

33102 spent most of its working life in the south of England. While based in Eastleigh, on the south coast, it acquired the name "Sophie", after a character in the Australian soap "Home & Away". It came to the C.V.R. in 1993, where it was restored, and it is now a C.V.R. resident.

33021 'Eastleigh' (formerly 'Captain Charles')

From www.33021.co.uk: "33021 was one of the first batch of Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon (BRCW) built Type 3s ordered in late 1957 and built in the Smethwick area of Birmingham." In July 2011, it was given the name 'Captain Charles' but, after being withdrawn at the end of 2015 for repairs to the cabs, it was repainted in BR Post Office red and renamed 'Eastleigh'.

25322 'Tamworth Castle'

25322 'Tamworth Castle', a.k.a. D7672, is BR/Sulzer Type 2 built in Derby in 1967. It was the last of its class to be withdrawn from service in 1991. Despite its smart, shiny appearance, it's unserviceable, awaiting power unit repairs.

No.6 'Roger H Bennett'

'No.6' was built for the NCB by the Yorkshire Engine Co. of Sheffield in 1959. The double-ended design was referred to as a 'Janus' after the two-faced classical god. It spent its working life at and worked at the Littleton Colliery in Staffordshire. It was given the name 'Roger H Bennett' after it was bought by the North Staffordshire Railway Company using money from a legacy left by a C V.R. volunteer.

08633 (D3800)

Class 08 08633 was built in Derby in 1959. It came to the C.V.R. to be the new MPD shunter, straight from service with DB Schenker in Stoke. When it took part in the Anything Goes Weekend in June 2017, it looked scruffy and unloved in its faded EWS livery. Since then, it has been done-up and repainted dark green.


20057 came to the C.V.R. late in 2016. It arrived complete from the Midland Railway Centre but required an engine overhaul and cab rebuild.

Former Residents and Visitors

Diesel Multiple Unit M50455/M50517

DMU 50455/50517 is a former C.V.R. resident, restored and maintained by the Birmingham Railcar Workgroup which used to be based at the railway.
Being a DMU makes turnarounds nice and easy: just switch cabs and off you go. It can run under its own power or act as an extra set of coaches on gala days. Centre car E59701 was added to the set in 2010.


56003 used to live on the Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough. It came from there to the C.V.R. for a diesel gala in 2006. In 2008, it was returned to main line service by Hanson Traction Ltd. It was renumbered as 56312 and initially given the name "Artemis", later changed to "Jeremiah Dixon".

D1842 (47192)

D1842, a.k.a. 47192, left the C.V.R. in 2008 to return home to Crewe, where it was built in 1965.

37407 and 37424

Looking somewhat less shiny than 37075 and 37109 above, 37407 and 37424 were stored at Cheddleton in early 2010. According to the C.V.R. website at the time, they were awaiting the "eventual overhaul of one of them". They were, however, subsequently bought by Direct Rail Services and moved to Railway Vehicle Engineering Ltd in Derby for restoration and a return to main line service. 37424 returned to service as 37558 'Avro Vulcan XH558' at the end of 2016 and 37407 'Blackpool Tower' returned to service early in 2018.


These '20' class engines used to haul coal trains on the line near to my parents house. Unglamorous but full of nostalgia.
Some time after this picture was taken, this one was transferred to the Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre at Ruddington.


D8001 is another '20' class, which visited the C.V.R. for the diesel gala in 2008. As well as pulling trains, it was used to give driving experience to visitors, making short runs up and down Cheddleton Yard.


14901 is a diesel-hydraulic, originally built in Swindon in 1964. After five years of unreliable service with BR, it was sold to BP to work at Grangemouth Oil Refinery, who had it re-engined. It operated in this form until 1980, when this engine failed and it was retired. After passing into restoration, it was re-engined again and it is now part of the Andrew Briddon Locos collection. In 2016, it came to the C.V.R. for the Anything Goes weekend at the start of a slightly-truncated 12-month hire, to provide cover for 33102 whilst 33021 was undergoing body repairs.


37075 was built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn in Darlington in 1962. It is unusual in having a different nose at each end, possibly as a result of repairs following an accident. One end has original split head-code boxes and a blanked-off gangway door. The other end is of a later design, which has no head-code boxes and no door. The loco was withdrawn from service in 1999 and at the time of its residence on the C.V.R., it was owned by the 5C Loco Group. It was used for various tasks, including work to reopen the Cauldon Lowe Branch.


37109 was built in 1963 at the Vulcan Foundry works in Newton-le-Willows. It visited from the East Lancashire Railway for the reopening gala for the Cauldon Lowe Branch.

Deltic D9016 'Gordon Highlander'

The Deltic is what you get when you stuff two great big delta-shaped marine diesels into a locomotive. It was designed for high-speed running on the East Coast main line between London and Edinburgh. This one visited for the 2008 diesel gala. Only one of its engines was needed for running at 25mph but it still managed to drown out almost every other engine running.

Electro-Diesel 73138

The electro-diesel is designed to run either on electricity from a third rail or from an auxilliary diesel generator. When it came to the C.V.R. for the 2008 diesel gala, it was owned by the AC Locomotive Group. However, in 2010, it was sold to Network Rail for pulling test trains on the main line.

The official railway website is at www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk