The Deltic Preservation Society Ltd is the largest diesel locomotive preservation society in the United Kingdom, and owns three of the six surviving Deltics. A total of 22 Deltics were built for British Rail in 1961/62, for use on the East Coast Main Line out of Kings Cross. By the late 1970s, they were being replaced by new Inter-City 125 trains, and were gradually phased out, the last examples being taken out of service at the beginning of 1982.
In 1977, many people realised that the future introduction of High Speed Trains on the East Coast Main Line meant the days of the Deltics were numbered. A small group of enthusiasts decided on a long-term aim to preserve a working Deltic locomotive, and formed the Deltic Preservation Society in order to raise funds to do this.
They were so successful that, following withdrawal from British Rail in 1982, membership had reached more than 1500, and the society was able to purchase not one but two locomotives, Alycidon (55009) and Royal Highland Fusilier (55019). Following completion of the sale, the two locos were moved from Doncaster Works, where they had been stored, to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in August 1982 and put into service immediately. A third example, Tulyar (55015), based at the Midland Railway Centre, was added in 1986 when it was purchased from Peter Sansom.
Since then, our locomotives have made appearances over the country, and have hauled trains on a wide variety of private lines including the the East Lancashire, Great Central, Keighley & Worth Valley, Llangollen, Mid-Hants, Nene Valley, Severn Valley, and West Somerset Railways.
Now over thirty years after the first purchases, the society is well placed to build on its success as a leading locomotive preservation society. The society aims to preserve its locos for many years to come, and with this in mind, a purpose built depot was constructed in 2003 to house our locos. One of our machines (55015 Tulyar) is currently undergoing a major overhaul at our depot. A major overhaul at ICI Wilton, lasting almost eight years and one of the most comprehensive overhauls carried out to any preserved diesel locomotive to date, was completed on D9009 Alycidon in 1998 prior to the loco returning to the main line.
Early in 1998, the society announced that it was negotiating with VSOE (Venice Simplon Orient Express) to return its machines to the main line for use in its’ northern-based Pullman commencing operation in 1999. These negotiations were successful and two of our locomotives were certified for use on Railtrack lines during 1999, D9009 and 55019 seeing regular use on VSOE workings until the company ceased operating its own train in October 2000. The locos remained on the main line until 2003 and 2005 respectively, and after a break from main line operations, D9009 returned to main line duties in July 2012. The loco is available for hire for charter train duties or other work such as movement of locos to preserved railways.
As mentioned above, the third, 55015 Tulyar, is currently part way through a major overhaul, and it is the society’s intention to certify this loco for main line running also, once repairs are complete. In addition, with the long term preservation of the loco’s in mind, the society constructed a depot and maintenance facility at Barrow Hill in 2003 – providing undercover accommodation.
July 2003 saw the DPS granted Charitable Status by the Charity Commission, recognising the society’s commitment to educate the public about the achievements of the Deltic Locomotive in British Railway history. The charitable objectives of the society are:
1. To advance the education of the public through the preservation, operation and exhibition of locomotives of historical and scientific importance especially the Deltic diesel locomotive
2. To provide working exhibits of locomotives and related rolling stock for study by and for the education of the public by maintaining them in main line working order
3. To promote interest in the preservation of diesel locomotives and associated equipment that is of historic and scientific value
On this site you can learn some of the history of the Deltics, and it is planned to expand the FAQ and other sections during the next few months.
If you are interested in joining the UK’s largest diesel locomotive preservation group, please click on the ‘Join’ section on the main menu above.
The Deltic Preservation Society Limited is a Registered Charity, Number 1098733. Registered Office: The DPS Depot, Campbell Drive, Barrow Hill, Staveley, Chesterfield, S43 2PR.