Obituary – Martin Harris

It is with deep sadness that we have to advise that DPS volunteer and former board member Martin Harris passed away on Tuesday 29th July. Many members will remember Martin as the Volunteer Liaison Officer for 55019, a role which he undertook for many years until 1996. Prior to that, he was a regular volunteer at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in the 1980s. Ian Dobson, who served on the committee with Martin for a number of years, writes:

“I first came across Martin in the very early days on the Moors. He was one of the ‘Grosmont Service Crew’ originals and travelled many miles up to Grosmont month after month in his Reliant three wheeler from Burton Latimer – around 195 miles each way. He didn’t quite come the furthest but he was certainly the only one of us with a car that didn’t have a wheel at each corner! He was always a pleasure to work with and would turn his hand to pretty much anything that needed doing. Long days and nights repainting 9 and 19 in the rare times we got them under cover – a luxury that today’s volunteers probably take for granted. He was also probably one of the most dedicated DPS volunteers of the early years as he joined with a few of us at Butterley when Tulyar was first bought to work on her before Mike Hallam-Rudd managed to set up his own East Midlands Service Crew. When 19 moved to Loughborough Martin followed (in a four wheeler by then I think) and he then followed 19 back up north to the East Lancs eventually. His dedication to 19 was absolute. I recall one January that he had been amazed that he had been the only DPS volunteer to turn up and celebrate 19s birthday between Christmas and new year. The fact that he hadn’t mentioned that he was going may have contributed to that, but he had still trekked up to Grosmont in his trusty reliant and raised a solitary glass in the cab!<

I also recall around Christmas in the early days at Butterley when Mike, Ray, Martin and I had been doing something with a fork lift around Swanwick and managed to land one wheel in a rather deep hole from which it could not be extracted. After much head scratching we eventually fired up 55015 and via a pulley system extracted the fork lift with a rope off Tulyar's coupling hook! I remember vividly our possibly alcohol-fuelled parody of 'the twelve days of Christmas' in the DPS caravan that night ending with "..and a fork lift stuck in a big hole".

Martin always a stalwart of the sales stands with me too, Pickering, Grosmont, Swanwick, Coalville, Bridgnorth and Basingstoke spring to mind. We even set up the 'Support Coach Appeal' together at one point with a prospectus that included a possible future use as " accompany our locos on the main line". We never did buy the coach, even if we did manage the main line bit. The proceeds did buy a CCT for the DPS at Rothley though so at least we achieved something! Our other claim to fame was enthusing a man and wife about diesel preservation whilst behind a DPS sales stand so much that they went out and bought 50031 from BR - not that we knew what we, or they, had done until much later!

In latter years we went our separate ways and he kept himself amused with the Northampton and Lamport Railway, being involved with a DMU set. No mad three wheel dashes to Yorkshire any more, local to home and feet up by the fire every night!  Martin still used to pay occasional visits to Barrow Hill and attend the AGM, and when I last spoke to him - around 12 months ago - he was operating a cottage industry from home refurbishing DMU heaters, not Napiers, but not easy things to look after either! Whenever our paths did cross we would always talk of happy early days on the Moors and elsewhere and I know that those of us who were privileged enough to have been involved in those early days on the Moors have many happy memories of those times - and Martin's wonderfully dry sense of humour and smile will never be far away from those. He joins Marj Hamilton in the great Tavern in the sky - I'm sure they're sharing a pint of Strongarm and laughing together already."

Top left: With 55019 on the Grosmont Headshunt. Top right: With 55009 at Grosmont. Bottom left: With a borrowed nameplate at Coalville. Bottom right: By the timber yard at York stabling point.

ELR roster update

Further to the news story published yesterday, we are pleased to advise that D9009 ‘ALYCIDON’ will be operating the Diesel Diagram at the ELR on Saturday 6th September and Sunday 7th September. Please note however that the loco will not be operating on Saturday 13th September as was previously envisaged.

In addition to the above dates, D9009 is expected to be one of the many locos in use at the ELR gala on September 27/28, further details of which should be available in the next few weeks.

ELR Running Update

Please note that D9009 ‘ALYCIDON’ will not be operating at the East Lancashire Railway this weekend (August 2nd/3rd) as originally listed several months ago, as the ELR has a requirement for driver training on its Class 47 which will be used. An update on further ELR running dates will hopefully appear in the next few days.

Severn Valley Railway this weekend

55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’ is the booked motive power for the diesel diagram at the Severn Valley Railway this Sunday (July 27). The railway is holding a ‘Classic Vehicle Day’, and each station will be playing host to displays of vehicles of different types – please see for more information.

Timetable ‘C’ will be in operation, giving 55019 two round trips during the day and providing 64 miles of ‘Deltic’ haulage. Times for the ‘Deltic’ hauled trains are as follows:

09.55 Kidderminster-Bridgnorth, 11.55 Bridgnorth-Kidderminster, 13.30 Kidderminster-Bridgnorth, 15.40 Bridgnorth-Kidderminster.

SVR Footplate Experience – extra date

Following the sell-out of the Footplate Experience courses previously offered with 55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’ at the Severn Valley Railway, we are pleased to be able to advise that an extra date has been added to the programme. This will take place on Friday 12th September. For more information, or to book, please contact the Severn Valley Railway direct on 01562-757900. Be quick, all the other Footplate Experience trips with 55019 have sold out!

55019 – Severn Valley Railway on Saturday July 12th

The nex booked workings for 55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’ are on Saturday July 12th at the Severn Valley Railway, when it is booked to haul the following services:

09.55 Kidderminster-Bridgnorth, 11.55 Bridgnorth-Kidderminster, 13.30 Kidderminster-Bridgnorth, 15.40 Bridgnorth-Kidderminster.

This provides around 64 miles of ‘Deltic’ haulage. We look forward to seeing many of you there.

ELR Diesel Gala : July 4th-6th

The coming weekend will see D9009 ‘ALYCIDON’ in action as one of the guest locos at the East Lancashire Railway’s summer diesel gala. Other visitors attending are D9539, 31271, 31466, 37324, 47401 and 47580, and the following ELR residents should also be in use: D9531, 33109, D7076, 37109, D335, 345, D1501 and 50015.

D9009 is booked to be used on the Saturday and Sunday of the event and is rostered to haul the following services:


09.20 Bury-Rawtenstall, 10.56 Rawtenstall-Heywood, 12.05 Heywood-Bury.


13.40 Bury-Ramsbottom, 15.26 Rawtenstall-Heywood, 16.35 Heywood-Bury

The full roster and timetable can be downloaded from


Successful first week for 55019 at SVR

55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’ undertook its first passenger duties at the Severn Valley Railway over the period from June 17th-20th, working three timetabled trains on each day. A relay problem on the first day caused a small delay, and resulted in the loco operating on the other power unit. The relay was changed later that day.

The pictures below were take by Stuart Page from the DPS support crew on June 18 and show the loco at both Bridgnorth and Kidderminster.


SVR workings this week

Both D9009 ‘ALYCIDON’ and 55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’ have now undergone an oil change and are now available for service. 55019 is due to undertake its first passenger workings of the season at the Severn Valley Railway this week, and is booked to operate the following services on Tuesday-Friday (June 17th-20th):

11.40 Kidderminster-Highley

14.05 Highley-Bridgnorth

15.20 Bridgnorth-Kidderminster

ELR & SVR roster update

D9009 will not be working at the ELR this weekend (June 14th/15th) and the diesel diagram will now be covered by 37324.  As many of you will be aware, both D9009 and 55019 require an oil change and the Society is working with suppliers and heritage rail operators to ensure that the matter is brought to a swift conclusion and minimum disruption is caused to the season’s operating programme.

At the Severn Valley Railway, the footplate experience with 55019 on June 16th has been rescheduled to take place on August 21st. On a more positive note,  additional running days will take place on Saturday July 12th and Saturday August 30th when the loco will operate the Timetable ‘C’ diesel diagram. Watch this space for more details regarding September workings.