VOLUNTEERS and staff of the Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust, the owner and operator of the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, are delighted to announce the purchase of an operational English Electric Type 1 (later Class 20) diesel locomotive No D8110 (later No 20110) from the Harry Needle Railroad Company.

The locomotive arrived on the line after being delivered by road on Tuesday, February 21 and is now being checked over, cleaned and serviced in readiness for entering service after initial staff training has been completed.

The Class 20s were introduced by British Railways in 1957, and a total of 228 locomotives were built by English Electric between 1957 and 1968, originally numbered D8000-D8199 and D8300-D8327.

No D8110 was built in English Electric’s Robert Steven Hawthorn factory at Darlington, entering service in January 1962.

After completion, D8110 was first allocated to Eastfield depot in Glasgow, and still retains its automatic token catcher recess from its time spent on the West Highland Railway.

Having been based in Scotland for almost the whole time between 1962 and 1986, it then moved south to England being based at Tinsley, Immingham, Toton and Bescot, before being retired by BR in September 1990.

The South Devon Diesel Traction group at Buckfastleigh brought D8110 into preservation in 1991, and it has subsequently visited a variety of open days and heritage railways, including Plymouth Laira, Exeter Railfair, Bodmin & Wenford, Keighley & Worth Valley, West Somerset and the Paignton & Dartmouth, as well as working regularly at its base on the South Devon Railway. More recently, it has been in the ownership of the Harry Needle Railroad Company and was based on the Battlefield Line, from where the locomotive was purchased and moved to Embsay.

Thanks to the support of several Trust members, D8110 was purchased and is now solely owned by the YDRMT.

Trust director and diesel loco manager, Danny Ferguson, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured our own operational Class 20 for Embsay which will prove extremely useful to us in the future, and I am sure will prove to be a very popular and beneficial acquisition.”

Although the locomotive is undoubtedly an attraction in its own right, strategically D8110 will also be extremely useful in enabling the Railway to have a locomotive immediately on hand to support and enhance train operations when required, for use on engineering trains, and as a back-up in the case of a steam locomotive failure.