_________________ D9004/9004/55004 _________________

3029 - Photo:  George Woods.

Those attending the Doncaster Railex weekend at the railway works in June 1978 could be forgiven for thinking 55004 (D9004) "QUEEN'S OWN HIGHLANDER" was fresh from overhaul and ready for release. In reality 55004 was facing a very dubious future; the locomotive had arrived on works on the 27th April 1978 and was placed in a long line of locomotives awaiting power units. Power unit spares had become scarce and industrial action at the 'Plant' had led to poor availability of Deltics during 1978 and at one point during October of that year thirteen of the class were languishing in Doncaster out of action. 55004 would become one of the long-stayers along with class mates 55001 (D9001) "ST. PADDY", 55016 (D9016) "GORDON HIGHLANDER" and 55020 (D9020) "NIMBUS" and would not see release back into traffic until December 1979. 55016 also escaped, however 55001 and 55020 did not and were cut-up in early 1980. Here 55004 stands on the lawn in front of the Crimpsall erecting shops on the second day of the Railex weekend on Sunday 18th June 1978, the locomotive had been prepared for the open days merely as a static exhibit and had paid a brief visit to the paintshop where its yellow ends and buffer beam equipment had been refreshed.

1185 - Photo: Paul Bettany.

English Electric No. 2909.

Vulcan Foundry No. D561.

Date To Service: 18th May 1961.

Original Allocation: Haymarket, Edinburgh (64B/HA).

Named: 23rd May 1964 at Inverness with ceremony (name not previously carried on a locomotive).

Date Withdrawn: 1st November 1981 - scrapped 07/83.

Allocation History

64B 18.5.61. HA 5/73. ZF (S) 4/78-11/79. YK 5/79. Withdrawn 28.10.80 (whilst at Liverpool Lime St.). To SF 11/81. To YK 23.11.81. To ZF 05.01.82. Cut-up by 23.07.83 (final Deltic to be cut-up).
Year Highlights

Ran light engine from Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows, to Doncaster Works - accepted into BR service and allocated 64B Haymarket TMD, Edinburgh.


1A21 09:40 Newcastle - King's Cross (engine failure at Tuxford) - B1 61208 forward.


1xxx 19:05 Euston - Inverness, "The Royal Highlander" from Edinburgh.
Named "QUEEN'S OWN HIGHLANDER" with ceremony at Inverness. Returned south via 1xxx 17:45 Inverness - Euston, "The Royal Highlander" to Perth.


Released from Doncaster Works after fitting of cast bogies (bogies No.1 1007 replaced by 9000-15 & No.2 1008 replaced by 9000-16).


1st EE maintenance contract expires - mileage recorded at 838,624.
D9004 was recorded on a brake-down train, 1Z99 Gateshead Shed to Alnmouth Yard, in July 1966. No exact date recorded, however, it is reported as the only spare loco on 52A and took the brake-down crane to Alnmouth due to a derailment in the coal road.


1xxx Newcastle - King's Cross "Railway Magazine charter" from Leeds (ex 4472).


Released from Doncaster Works, following General repair, repainted in blue livery and equipped with dual braking.


Carrying 'D' prefix on 04/02 reported dropped by 23/03 (most likely date for this would be during works visit dated 16/02-20/02).

4E47 13:46 Aberdeen - King's Cross (fish).
4xxx 16:40 Stockton - Gushetfaulds FLT, from Edinburgh (ex 37166).
4xxx 01:30 Gushetfaulds FLT - Stockton.


Released from Doncaster Works, following Light repair, fitted with ETH equipment.


Inverness TMD - open day exhibit. Returned south 10th June via 1xxx 19:00 Inverness - Euston, "The Royal Highlander" to Perth (piloting class 24 & 26).


Locomotive renumbered 55004.


To Doncaster Works for final Intermediate repair (off 19.03.77).


During the week commencing 17th October 1977 unofficial industrial action led to the removal of Deltics from all ECML workings. Action was taken by maintenance staff angry at the proposed closure of Finsbury Park Depot with the introduction of the new HST fleet, which was to be maintained at the new Bounds Green Depot. Maintenance staff 'blacked' the Deltic fleet thus all engines remained 'laid-up' at various installations until the dispute was settled on October 21st. A list of how the dispute affected the class is as follows:

Locomotive: Notes:
55001 Haymarket TMD 13/10 - 23/10. Worked 1E35 20:20 Edin - KX 23/10.
55002 Finsbury Park TMD 14/10 - 23/10. Worked 1N29 19:00 KX - N'lce 23/10.
55003 Haymarket TMD 14/10 - 23/10. Worked 1E25 12:15 Aber - KX from Edin 23/10.
55004 Finsbury Park TMD 13/10 - 23/10. Worked 1S21 11:00 KX - Edin 24/10.
55005 Doncaster Works 'Intermediate' 31/03 - 21/10. Worked 1E48 21:15 Aber - KX from Doncaster 26/10.
55006 Finsbury Park TMD 11/10 - 24/10. Worked 1L22 15:55 KX - Leeds 24/10.
55007 York TMD 10/10 - 25/10. Worked 1A06 08:05 YK - KX 25/10.
55008 Gateshead TMD 13/10 - 24/10. Worked 1A40 20:30 N'cle - KX 24/10.
55009 York TMD 17/10 - 23/10. Worked 0D01 12:00 YK - Doncaster 23/10.
55010 Haymarket TMD 13/10 - 24/10. Worked 1E20 15:00 Edin - KX 24/10.
55011 Gateshead TMD 14/10 - 24/10. Worked 1A07 07:25 N'cle - KX 24/10.
55012 York TMD 14/10 - 24/10. Worked 1A06 08:05 YK - KX 24/10.
55013 Haymarket TMD 15/10 - 23/10. Worked 1E39 22:30 Edin - KX 23/10.
55014 Gateshead TMD 14/10 - 25/10. Worked 1A15 09:20 N'cle - KX 25/10.
55015 Finsbury Park TMD 08/10 - 25/10. Worked 1N00 01:00 KX - N'cle 26/10.
55016 Haymarket TMD 15/10 - 19/10. Sent to Doncaster Works 19/10 for 'Light repair' behind 40063.
55017 Doncaster Works 'Intermediate' 03/10 - 19.01.78.
55018 Doncaster Works 'Intermediate' 30/06 - 10/12.
55019 Finsbury Park TMD 14/10 - 23/10. Worked 1D00 08:25 KX - Cleethorpes 24/10.
55020 Holbeck TMD 10/10 - 23/10. Worked 1A47 00:43 Leeds - KX 24/10.
55021 Gateshead TMD 14-10 - 24-10. Worked 1S28 07:00 N'cle - Edin 24/10.
55022 Finsbury Park TMD 14/10 - 23/10. Worked 1S43 18:00 KX - Edin 23/10.

Finsbury Park - 6; Gateshead - 4; Haymarket - 5; Doncaster Works - 3; York - 3; Holbeck - 1; Locomotives moving in this period - 1 (55016, Haymarket to works).

On the 16th November the 1E17 10.30 Aberdeen - King Cross "The Aberdonian", hauled by 55003 "MELD" passed Berwick on time but was then delayed by a signalmen's dispute concerning the use of close-circuit television at level crossings. Delays at both Crag Mill and Plessey resulted in a nineteen minute late arrival into York, where the H.R.H. Prince of Wales joined the train, en route to visit his sister. 55003 had to be removed from the train at Doncaster after suffering traction motor flashovers and 55004 "QUEEN'S OWN HIGHLANDER", which was at Doncaster for maintenance, took over the train - departure being fifty six minutes late. Worse was to come, however, as one of the engines of 55004 cut out. Stoke was passed seventy minutes late and assistance was taken at Peterborough in the shape of 31222 which came on as pilot, departing eighty five minutes late and reaching King's Cross eighty minutes late. The delays caused His Royal Highness to miss the party at St. Mary's Hospital and he was reported to be not amused!


1E83 17:10 Edinburgh - Berwick.
To Doncaster Works for Unclassified repair - repairs were not immediately sanctioned, due to a chronic shortage of power units and power unit spares, and 55004 was stored unserviceable until November 1979.
Locomotive exhibited at the Doncaster Works 'Railex 125' open days - although unserviceable the locomotive had its yellow front ends repainted and bogies cleaned to give an ex-works appearance.


A report on the condition of 55004 taken 9th May 1979 is as follows:

55004: Doncaster Works since 27.04.78.

Although on works for over a year externally it is not too bad. It came into works prior to 125th anniversary open days and was repainted at both ends to provide exhibit. The air/vac/steam heating pipes are still in place but the cable from the small tacho-generator on the bogies is missing. The last remaining nameplate crest is no longer in place on the bodyside.

Interior (No.1 end);
The glasses on the Ammeter (out-put from generators) and the main reservoir gauges have been broken. The driver's side window wiper motor is missing as is the cover of the AWS reset button. The driver's side sliding window has been ripped out. The knob on the hotplate switch is missing, one window wiper has been broken off and two of the three cab lights have been ripped out, as have the fitting wires. All the cubicle covers are missing (front and back of cubicle). The nose end seems OK.

Interior (No.2 end);
Again two cab lights have been torn out. Also missing are the cubicle covers and the drivers seat has disappeared. The electric light switches (above drivers head) have been forced and torn away. Again the knob from the hot-plate switch is missing as is the drivers window wiper pump. The 'sunflower' AWS indicator and AWS reset button cover are gone. The AWS horn relay has also gone.

Engine Room;
Extremely dirty, full of pipes, bits of paper and general debris.

Transferred to York TMD (ex Haymarket).
Repairs are sanctioned and 55004 moves the the Doncaster Works paintshop for 'drying-out'.
The late Ray Smith, chairman of the Deltic Preservation Society, announces that repairs to 55001, 55004 and 55020 have been sanctioned whilst undertaking the DPS annual general meeting. Repairs were to be given to 55004 first with 55001 and 55020 following in that order. Unfortunately due to the cost of getting 55004 up and running and given the time span the class as a whole had remaining, a decision was taken at the highest level, that both 55001 and 55020 would be stripped for spares and cut up.
Released from Doncaster Works - stored since 27.04.78, to new home York TMD for 'B' exam.
First train since release from works: 1A08 08:05 York - King's Cross.
1D01 08:20 King's Cross - Cleethorpes and 1A21 13:17 Cleethorpes - King's Cross.


1M62 08:49 York - Liverpool and 1E98 12:05 Liverpool - York then later working 1M41 21:50 York - Shrewsbury, to Stockport and 1E24 22:50 Shrewsbury - York, from Stockport.
1V93 09:50 Edinburgh - Plymouth, to Sheffield and 1E24 11:45 Cardiff - Newcastle, from Sheffield.
1A23 08:50 Edinburgh - Aberdeen and 1G65 12:40 Aberdeen - Edinburgh.
To Doncaster Works for final Light repair (off 28.06.80).


1Z48 22:35 Edinburgh - Carmarthen, to Newcastle (Ruggex - engine failure, 47419 assist to Newcastle).
1S51 12:00 Scarborough - Glasgow Queen St, from Edinburgh.
1G06 17:44 Sunderland - Darlington (Footex - via Hartlepool).
6G60 11:15 Torksey (near Lincoln) Teesport tanks, from Arksey to Holgate (assisting class 40 on failed freight).
Restricted to one power unit only: 1M76 15:50 York - Liverpool (high water temp at Manchester). Decision to withdraw locomotive and donate 'good' unit to 55008 undertaken whilst at Liverpool. Locomotive to return DIT behind 55011 on 1E89 20:40 Liverpool - York, however, the driver of 1E89 refused to have loco in train consist and so 55004 remained at Liverpool overnight.
0Z00 Liverpool - York (behind 31405).
To Stratford TMD for component recovery. Donated P/U 430 to 55008.
To York TMD for stripping of spares.

To Doncaster Works for disposal - locomotive cut-up 07/83 (the last of the class to be cut-up).