Western Courier 50th Anniversary


over this coming May Bank Holiday weekend at the Severn Valley Railway , Western class 52 diesel no D1062 Western Courier will be operating together with Warship class D821 Greyhound on  Saturday 4th May and Sunday 5th May 2013 to celebrate 50 years since first entering service. In additionWestern class 52 no 1015 Western Champion will also be operating for the return of the beer excursion. There will also be steam hauled trains in operation over the Weekend.

D1062 Western Courier first entered service on 6th may 1963 and was one of 74 class 52 Diesel Hydraulic Western Class locomotives which were originally built at Swindon and Crewe by the Western Region. They were to be named, and the names all began with ‘Western’. The second of the two words were emotive and evocative words, resulting in such names as Western Enterprise, Western Pioneer, Western Campaigner, Western Challenger, Western Champion, Western Ambassador’ and Western Glory.The Western Region chose a mainly diesel-hydraulic design path, drawing considerably on the experience of German railways.

Built between 1962 and 1964 ,British Rail (BR) assigned Class 52 to the class of 74 large Type 4 2,700hp diesel-hydraulic locomotives built for the Western Region of British Railways between 1961 and 1964. All were given two-word names, the first word being Western; thus the type became known as WesternsSadly most were withdrawn between 1973 and 1977, Western Champion, 1013 Western Ranger, Western Lady and 1062 Western Courier are among the few that are left and it seems amazing to think that they have now spent longer in Preservation running on Heritage Lines than they did in active service and judging by the popularity of the ‘Westerns’ during their last years of service they  enjoy almost a cult following..

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