RE Railway Diesel Locos

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by ploughman, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    I am trying to research the history of an RE Railway Diesel loco that was shipped to Suez in 1943.
    The number was 37, or later 70037.
    0-4-0 153 hp Diesel Shunter.
    Built by Drewry Car Company in 1941 for the Ministry of Supply.
    Part of a batch of 20 built.
    4 of which were actually landed on Juno beach post DDay the remaining 11 were shipped into Cherbourg in Sept 44.

    37 has survived and is currently stored on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Pickering N Yorks.
    We believe that it returned to UK in 47 and was sold ex Kings Newton near Derby.

    Can anyone supply unit details that it would have come under?
    Any detail of operations in Suez?
    Any history of any of the locos?

    The other locos in France were involved in rail and bridge reconstruction in the Caen area and supply depot work.

    5 more locos were shipped out to the Middle East in 1952 any detail on these would also be welcomed.
  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    I am sorry no one as yet has contributed to this thread. With a lot of interest in the British Army and a lot of interest in historical locomotives and railways you would think there would be interest in military locomotives and railways.

    I have been slowly gathering information but I am not yet in a position to devote myself to digging in the National Archives. When the Museum of Army Transport was at Beverley there was an active group of military rail enthusiasts based there. It would be nice to know where the records went.

    I suppose you have seen the standard work by Tourret. Your information largely mirrors his.

    I have a nice etched brass model of this cute little shunter, as well as nine other British Army locos. In many cases even the correct colours are in doubt.

    Does anyone know any good sources of information.

  3. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Try the Stanier 8F society website they have info on t5he steam locomotives shipped abroad and may have records of diesels shipped as well.

    Also contact the RE museum and see if they have any information available failing that it may be a case of going through records at the National Archieves
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Your suggestions are spot on and if I may just add, a contact with the National railway Museum at York may prove fruitful.

    I am just sorry that I cannot be of any further help to the queries asked.

  5. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    Thanks for the replies.
  6. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Check out the Longmoor Military Railway websites and see if it appears on their records, I know they had Diesel shunters at Hessey near York well into the seventies so see if it served there.
  7. Bluebell Minor

    Bluebell Minor Junior Member

    As a lifelong railway enthusiast, including the BAOR Troop Trains and the various UK military railways, I read this topic with interest.

    I have a copy of the book entitled History of the Longmoor Military Railway first published by David and Charles in 1974. The final chapters give a resume of the locomotives, both steam and internal combustion/diesel, and other rolling stock to be seen at Longmoor over the years

    The authors commented that at the time of writing full details of the wartime years were unclear. However it was known that WD 29, the prototype of a 153 HP WD Standard Class of 0-4-0 Diesel Shunters was delivered to Longmoor by Drewry Baguley in June 1941

    I understand that the first of a two volume definitive history of the Longmoor Military Railway is about to be published. Perhaps the answer to Ploughman's query will be found in these books.
  8. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    The first volume of the history of the Longmoor Railway is now available. I saw it at a model railway show about a month ago but I bought this instead (well actually I hinted that it would make a very acceptable Christmas present)

    The Royal Engineer Railway Units in France 1939-1940. William T Aves. Published by Shaun Tyas at £19.95.

  9. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    29 at Longmoor is the correct type of loco.
    I am looking at getting hold of a copy of that book as well.
    I also have a copy of Middle East Movers by Hugh Mackintosh.
    About RE Transportation in the Suez Canal zone 47 - 56 but that gives no details of the diesels.
  10. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    I have a short IWM film copied for me as it contains a section showing my artillery regt.
    But; The first 6mins approx show one of your large diesels shunting trucks at battered Caen Stn in 1944 with sappers relaying the track. the loco has no numbers though.
    Inperial War Museum
    Film and Video Archive
    Film No. A70 120/10-15
  11. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    Thanks for that.
    How do I get to view the film.
    Tried posting the detail into the IWM search and it listed 1 record and gave detail of length in feet but no means of viewing.
    Or do you need to be registered with the IWM?

    Thanks again
  12. holyboy

    holyboy Member

    Hi Ploughman
    just wondering if you managed to get anywhere with viewing that film? Dad was with 5th Railway Operating Coy and landed on Gold Beach, was operating out of Caen but followed the action all the way through to Nijmegen before being invalided out. Any information that you may have unearthed or can lead me to would be very much appreciated.
  13. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    Not tried since I could not view as stated in last post.
  14. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

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