Friday, 9 July 2010

D8 'Penyghent'

D8, deputising for failed 68013, pauses at Darley Dale with a down train

On 27th June 2010, I was driver on 68013 at Peak Rail which, sadly, became a total failure, as described here. This left me 'spare' and so I helped out in the efforts to provide alternative motive power. Both the Class 31 and the Class 37 were ruled out so it was the Class 44 'Penyghent' which ran the (somewhat delayed) service.

Now, I know I've (perhaps unkindly) referred to people who become too enamoured with diesel traction as 'Turning to the Dark Side' but I've never denied that there's much of interest in modern traction. Compared with the relative simplicity of steam locomotives, diesel locomotives require more complex systems and learning the principles involved can make an absorbing study. It's also true for diesels, as it is for steam, that whilst it's easy to drive badly, it's a lot more difficult to drive well.

So, I was happy to spend most of the day on D8 as a 'Supernumary' sharing Secondman duties.


Ian Allen published a useful book by Stephen R. Batty in 1985 called "The Last Years of the 'Peaks'" (ISBN: 0 7110 1493 0). It's mainly photographs but there's some interesting text. The book is still available on the secondhand market.

On the Web, Wikipedia is a good first stop.
There's an excellent history with lots of pictures here.
One the same site, the Sulzer diesel engine has its own history here.

My small collection of pictures of D8 are here.