Class 26 D5310

D5310The Class 26 has been mostly associated with Scottish operations, in particular Highland operations, although the original units were delivered to operate commuter services from Kings Cross in London. Following comparative tests with Class 30 in the Highlands, it was decided to transfer all of the class to Scotland and in particular to Inverness and Haymarket.

As a mixed traffic locomotive they could be seen in both passenger and freight traffic, but after the removal of steam boilers in the 1980s, to allow train air-braking to be fitted, most activity was on freight.

Initial deliveries in Scotland were deployed in pairs on Edinburgh-Aberdeen and Glasgow-Aberdeen trains, this being short term - the Edinburgh trains transferring to Class 40 and the Glasgow trains ultimately returning to Class A4 steam traction. There were brief allocations to Aberdeen and Dundee.

In Scotland, members were delivered initially to Haymarket, with the exception of D5343 and D5344 delivered directly to Inverness. They were then mainly based at Inverness, following the delivery of Class 40s to Haymarket, for use on Highland Line and Far North services, often working in Class 24/26 pairs until Class 24s were withdrawn or reallocated in 1975.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s Haymarket based locomotives ran the Edinburgh - Dundee service, until two successive fires saw these transferred to Class 27. However, 1992 saw further activity on Glasgow - Stranraer passenger trains deputising regularly for Class 27s.

D5310 (26010) at Quorn and Woodhouse Sidings, GCR on 29th November, 2006 - Biggs, Paul

D5310 (26010) at Quorn & Woodhouse awaiting departure from the GCR on 29th November, 2006 after the completion of bodywork repairs. - Paul Biggs

In the early 1980s availability of Class 37 locomotives saw changes in Highland Line and Far North workings, the last northern Class 26 duties being performed in 1985, by which time most examples had been converted for freight duties.

After the mid 1980s overhauls and air braking most activity was with freight. Allocations were withdrawn from Inverness and Haymarket, and concentrated at Eastfield from 1987 until all survivors were nominally again returned to Inverness, although working all over Scotland.

Although in 1990 it was thought that duties would continue until beyond 2000, this was not to be, withdrawal being forced by late 1993 following the run down of freight traffic and, in particular, the closure of Ravenscraig steel works.

D5310 was built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company in 1958 and entered traffic in January, 1959. It received the number 26010 in BR days. It was withdrawn in December, 1992 after a turboblower fire. In January, 1995 it went to the Northampton and Lamport Railway where its engine was started again in July of that year. In 2006 it came to the GCR for contract repairs to its bodywork and on completion at the end of that year went to the Bo'ness and Kinniel Railway. On 9th September, 2009 D5310 arrived at the Llangollen Railway.

It is now based at the Llangollen Railway and is visiting the GCR for the May, 2013 Diesel Gala. It arrived on 15th May, 2013. D5310 left the GCR on 17th June, 2013.

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