2 Car Scenic Explorer Heritage Diesel Railcars
DMBS W51347 and DMS W51401
DMS W51347 was withdrawn from British Rail service in 1993, as part of set L142. it was initially preserved at Mangapps Farm in Suffolk, before moving to the Colne Valley Railway in 1995. It then moved to the Nene Valley Railway in 1997, where it ran in BR blue and grey livery. It was moved to the Gwili railway in 2009 where it was repainted in BR green (with whiskers) in 2014.
DMS W51401 was withdrawn from BR service in April 1994 and preserved at the Battlefiled Railway in Market Bosworth. It moved to the Nene Valley Railway before moving again to the Gwili Railway in 2009 where it was repainted in BR green (with whiskers) in 2014 at the Llwyfan Carriage Workshops.
Both cars (as well as centre car TCL 59508 – not in use today) are now owned by the Llanelli and District Railway Society (a Gwili Steam Railway Supporting Body). The first phase of restoration has been completed and over the next few years work is planned to reverse the interior condition from 1980s to a 1960s design.
The unit is in regular use on high days and low days, running throughout the summer season. It is used as the ‘Gwili Fryer’ special throughout July and August and also includes a full length bar (with dummy hand pump) in the brake area of DMBS W51347 using components from a closed Brecon Pub.
Class 03 No.D2178 Locomotive
Built in 1961 at Swindon Works, Ashford was D2178s first shed, arriving on the 9th January 1962. Shortly after it was loaned to Plymouth Friary Shed before moving the short distance to Laira in August 1963. It saw the 03 being transferred to the West Midlands with Wolverhampton Stafford Road becoming its next residence.
In March 1963 it was taken out of traffic and stored. Two months later D2178 was moved to the Oxford Shed where it was reinstated back into use. Sometime around the 6th July it was hired out to a private track lifting company before returning to Laira, from where it was withdrawn on the 13th September 1969. With it being in BR service for only 8 years the 03 never received a TOPS number.
Its industrial history started off with the Newport (Gwent) based A.R. Adams Company with it being purchased from BR in february 1970. Whilst on their books it was hired out to other companies before being re-sold on to the National Smokeless Fuels Company. Working at the Gwaun Cae Gurwen disposal point.
Later on it moved to the Coed Ely Coking Plant in May 1974 and then on to the now closed Nantgarw Colliery (Mid Glamorgan). There it gained the number 2. Sometime in 1979 the 03 was given an overhaul at Swindon Works prior to a move into preservation. In 1983, D2178 was purchased by Caerphilly Railway Society before being moved to the Gwili Railway. It has proved to be very popular seeing regular use as the station pilot at Bronwydd Arms. It shunts coaches for the dining and cream tea specials. It also helped as an engineering train for the new extension at Abergwili alongside Ruston 88DM No.312433.
Ruston 88DM 312433 ‘Abigail’
Ruston & Hornsby 312433 4wDM ‘Abigail’. Built in 1951 in Lincoln. It worked at the MOD Rocket Propulsion Establishment, Westcott, Aylesbury where it was out of use in 1976. It was at the Radyr Works of Powell Dyffryn Wagon Company in 1989 and its last place of work was at the ORB Steel Works in Newport. The locomotive was acquired by the Vale of Neath railway Society in 1992 and then passed to the Swansea Vale Railway in 1995. A total of 254 were built, the last in 1967. It is now under repair at Llwyfan Cerrig. Owned by the Welsh Railway Trust.
Peckett 0-60-DM No. 5014 ‘Aberthaw’
This locomotive is the last to be ever manufactured by Peckett & Sons of Bristol and is the only 0-6-0 diesel they built. The locomotive, built in 1959 and was supplied to the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) for the power station at Aberthaw where it spent the whole of its working life. When the introduction of MGR trains arrived its working life came to an end, and it was placed on a plinth at the entrance gates to the power station. In 2006 it received a cosmetic refurbishment at the East Somerset Railway so is in reasonable condition.
This locomotive was donated to the Gwili Steam Railway by RWEN Power, which gives the railway the chance to preserve an important piece of Welsh railway history. A full engineering assessment is to be carried out on the locomotive. Owned by the Welsh railway Trust.
HST power car 43056
Built Crewe 1976 became part of the first unit 254 001 allocated to the Eastern Region of British Railways, eventually passing to GWR operating from their Old Oak Common depot, working out of Paddington. When withdrawn from service it was donated to Welsh Railway Trust.
Our crane – ADRC 96714
Our crane – ADRC 96714, started its working life on 23rd December 1980. The crane operated from Healey Mills until 1983, and then transferred to Cardiff Canton.
In late 1999, with the crane now 20 years old, the decision was made to overhaul and upgrade four of the 6 cranes built. To meet modern standards. Also in 1999, the historical significance of these pioneering breakdown cranes was realised and our crane was listed to be preserved at the end of its working life. Following its overhaul, it returned to Canton, before moving to Margam in 2004. During its time in Margam, it acquired a “Selwyn the sheep” depot mascot sticker on the jib – hence the nickname it carries today.
When Margam depot closed, the crane was transferred to Wigan Springs Branch Depot, which became the new central location for the remaining 4 breakdown cranes in the UK, before being mothballed in 2015. However, this was short lived and the crane was put back into service during 2016/17 – although during this time it never attended an incident. With the modern Kirow infrastructure cranes now available, Network Rail made the decision to dispose of their fleet of breakdown cranes.