Much has been documented elsewhere about the remarkable
story of Dai Woodhams scrapyard in South Wales. Over 200 steam locomotives were
saved from this site and serve as the backbone of steam preservation in the UK
today. Little is written, though, about the four diesels that escaped the
cutters torch and languished in the yard alongside their steam counterparts. Few
people know (and even fewer photos exist), that Class 15 BTH
locomotive No. D8206 entered the site under unexplained reasons
after withdrawal in September 1968; compared with D601 &
D6122 the locomotive was quickly disposed of in February 1970. NBL
Warships D600 Active and D601 Ark Royal arrived at the site soon
after their withdrawal in December 1967. D600 seemed to have the same fate as
the Class 15 and only survived two
years at the site; it was no more by March 1970. D601, however, rusted, along
with the rest of the hulks for an amazing twelve years, before being cut up in
July 1980, three years longer than it had been in service with British Rail!
Barrys forth resident diesel, again a North British machine, Class 21 No. D6122,
came from the Scottish Region. After withdrawal in December 1967 it was moved south for use in
re-railing exercises at Hither Green. This use fulfilled, it joined D601 for many years before its
demise came just one week before the NBL A1A-A1A.
From 1978......... An interesting letter appeared in a 1978 edition of a
leading railway magazine from a Mr Peter T Morley:- Sir, Unfortunately the appeal a few years ago to save and restore to
working order D601 'Ark Royal' which is still at Barry scrapyard, did not
succeed. In my opinion the sum needed to do this today seems totally out of
reach, due to the mechanical condition of the locomotive is now in. It has
occurred to me that if 'Ark Royal' was to be bought as a shell - that is,
without any mechanical equipment which does not alter its external
appearance - the scrap price would be comparatively low. If this was to be
done the body of the locomotive (which is made of a non rusting alloy) and
cab interiors could be restored to give the appearance of a complete
locomotive; the engine compartment could then be floored in to give a room
of approximately 8 1/2 by 43 ft. This room would provide an excellent
location for an exhibition or society shop; or maybe a museum based on the
history of the Western Region diesel - hydraulics could be compiled. If any
group took up this challenge, they would not only be producing a useful
item, but be partially preserving an historic diesel locomotive, which will
end up as a pile of scrap if nothing is done.
rare photograph of Barrys fortth diesel resident, Class 15
locomotive No. D8206 pictured at the site on the 15th May 1969. The
machine was moved to the South Wales scrapyard on the 16th April
1969 in a freight from Gloucester hauled by Warship Locomotive No. D864 Zambesi
Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
NBL A1A-A1A No. D600 Active
NBL A1A-A1A No. D601
Class 21 No. D6122.
For a full documented history of Dai Woodhams scrapyard click here.
More on the North British D600's on this website here.
More on the BR Class 21/29's on this website