'Western Lady' confirmed for 'Diesel Bash'

11 September 2023
Diesel-hydraulic to take part in autumn gala following cosmetic restoration to BR blue.

The Severn Valley Railway has announced the addition of BR Class 52 Diesel Hydraulic D1048 Western Lady to the line up at its Autumn Diesel Bash, taking place between September 28 and October 1. The locomotive will be on display throughout the event, following its recent cosmetic restoration and repaint to blue with full yellow ends.

The organisers also hope to include Western Lady in both photo shoots that are taking place before and after the main gala event. D1048 was built at Crewe Works in 1962, and was released to traffic on December 15. It remained in service until the last day of Western operation on British Railways, on February 26, 1977. The locomotive was the first 'Western' to be painted in blue with full yellow ends on BR on November 14, 1966 and it has been based at the Midland Railway Centre since March, 1997.

The addition of ‘Western Lady’ means that the SVR is able to provide four Westerns on display, as it joins D1013 Western Ranger, D1015 Western Champion and D1062 Western Courier.

D1048 Western Lady 2. Mike Tromans

D1048 Western Lady. MIKE TROMANS

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"There hasn’t been an event like this since five Westerns were displayed at Plymouth Laira Depot Open Day on September 15, 1991. We are delighted to have D1048 as a late addition to our line up,” said Jonathan ‘Gus’ Dunster, the SVR’s managing director.

“Its arrival means we can host the largest gathering of Class 52 Westerns in more than 30 years. Whilst not operational, D1048 has been cosmetically restored to 1970s BR blue livery which is absolutely in keeping with our event theme and of the photo charter line ups we have planned. We hope the addition of D1048 will really maximise the interest in our final event commemorating 50 years of diesel preservation.”

The SVR has acknowledged the contribution and assistance of the Western Locomotive Association (owner of D1013 and D1062), together with the Midland Railway Centre in making the appearance of Western Lady possible.

For more information on the event, visit the Severn Valley Railway website.

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