Departmental Service Locomotives
Departmental Service Locomotives were not always easy to see in the 1970s. They were often hidden away at rarely visited locations and the information about them in 'Spotting Books' wasn't particularly accurate. For example, the North Eastern Region locomotives were still listed in the 1971 Ian Allan 'Locoshed' Book despite all having been sent for scrap the previous summer!
Of the twenty-four Departmental / Service Locomotives listed on the Spotting Totals page fourteen were still in use or stored pending disposal when the 'Counties' was formed. These are shown below with a brief summary of their post 1969 history.
NORTH EASTERN REGION DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES (7)
56, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87
All seven were out of use by the spring of 1969 and despatched to scrap yards the following summer. The duties they performed having been taken over by Class 03s.
56, 82 and 87 had been Darlington based and were interchangeable between Etherley Tip, Geneva Yard and Croft Store Yard. However, they had all been stored at Thornaby Depot since April 1969. From there they were despatched to the Stockton-on-Tees scrapyard of T. J. Thomson in July 1970. Amazingly they remained intact there for eleven years before eventually being scrapped at about the same time the 'Counties' was wound up.
83 had seen use at Low Fell Engineers Yard. Latterly it was stored at Gateshead from where it was despatched for scrapping in July 1970.
84 and 86 had been York based, seeing use at Leeman Road Engineers Yard and York Concrete Depot respectively. Latterly they were stored at York Depot from where they were despatched for scrapping in July 1970.
85 had seen use at Crofton PWay Depot. It was stored there after being taken out of use until being despatched for scrapping in July 1970.
WESTERN REGION DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES (6)
20, PWM650, PWM651, PWM652, PWM653, PWM654
20 spent all the 'Counties' years based at Reading Signal Works, close to Reading Station, occasionally visiting Reading Depot.
In 1969 the 'PWM' locomotives were usually to be found located in the Engineers Yards at Theale (PWM653), Taunton Fairwater (PWM652), Radyr (PWM651) or Newland (PWM650 + PWM 654*). In 1971 PWM650 was transferred to Swindon Newburn and the following year PWM653 was transferred to Reading. Some juggling took place when one of the locomotives was receiving an overhaul. Some were quite elusive, either because the yards where they were located where rarely visited on 'Counties' trips, or particularly on Sundays, they were used for engineering works away from their normal bases.
* - PWM654 had originally been located at Hook-a-gate and was transferred to Newland in 1964.
SOUTHERN REGION DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES (1)
This had been based at Yeovil Junction Engineers Yard since 1967 and remained there until being despatched for scrapping in June 1973.
Other locomotives that saw Departmental Service in the 'Counties' era had previously been in normal stock. Most, but not all, were renumbered when taken into Departmental Service.