BR Class 14 D9551
D9551 was built at Swindon in 1965. Class 14s are known as ‘Teddy Bears’ by enthusiasts, following a comment by Swindon Works’ erecting shop foreman George Cole who quipped, “We’ve built The Great Bear [GWR No 111], now we’re going to build a Teddy Bear.”
D9551 entered British Rail service in September 1965 at Cardiff Canton. Following a move to Hull Dairycoates shed in January 1967, D9551 was withdrawn from BR service in April 1968 after less than two years and seven months in BR service. It went on to work for the British Steel Corporation at Gretton Brook and Corby. It was purchased for preservation at the West Somerset Railway and subsequently moved to the Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society in 2003.
The locomotive was acquired from Deeside by the SVR Class 14 Company Limited, arriving on the 25th of November 2013. An overhaul took place at Bridgnorth, and on 30th of April 2016, D9551 underwent its first test run on the SVR between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster. This was followed by a loaded test run on 26th October 2016, after which the locomotive was classified as serviceable. Further work and testing took place however before its debut at the Spring Diesel Festival in May 2017.
D9551 carries a non-original golden ochre livery, originally an experimental livery carried by BR Class 52 D1015 Western Champion.
Maintained by a small group of hardworking volunteers, D9551 has become a favourite on the SVR and is a useful and reliable locomotive, successfully completing its duties such as rescue locomotive and tail locomotive for the Steam in Lights trains at Christmas.