Clayton Class 17 Bo-Bo D8568



Designed by

Clayton Equipment Company Limited


50ft 7″





D8568, delivered new to Haymarket (64B) in January 1964, transferring to Polmadie (66A) in September 1968, was one of a fleet of 117 Type 1 locomotives for the Scottish Region of BR, where they were usually seen in pairs because of their relatively low power of 900hp and varying degrees of reliability. The Class 17 ‘Claytons’ were short-lived with many lasting less than 10 years. D8568 was withdrawn in October 1971.

The loco had a short life of just eight years with BR, spent its life in BR green and is the sole survivor of the 117 that were built. It’s fair to say these weren’t BR’s most successful locomotives. The Class 17s spent their working life in Scotland and the Northeast, mainly on freight workings.

D8568 was the lucky one; in the late summer of 1972 it was bought for industrial use by Hemelite of Harpenden Cement Company, then sold on again in 1977 to Ribble Cement in Clitheroe.

It was put up for sale again in 1982 and a bid was accepted from The Diesel Traction Group, which took ownership of the locomotive in 1983. It’s been a good servant, but we’ve made a few improvements and modifications to the locomotive over the years to improve its reliability.

During the overhaul, we replaced cylinder head gaskets and carried out some wiring modifications to the Paxman six-cylinder engines. We lifted the cab roof off, also No 1 end nose bonnet to facilitate access to the engine compartment, and rewired where necessary. The cab was completely refurbished, and the loco received a total repaint.

The owners’ group chose to paint the locomotive in BR blue with a half yellow warning panels in 2019/20 as a ‘what might’ve been’ if the loco had survived longer in BR service. Despite the fact they never ran in this variation, we think the result is stunning and it made a huge impact at the SVR’s Diesel Bash event in May this year, after its mechanical overhaul in the TMD at Kidderminster. Of course, it will be a simple process to revert it to an authentic livery, by simply putting full yellow warning panels on the front ends and changing the buffer beam colour from red to black; however its current livery gives enthusiasts a superb opportunity to see the loco in a potential scenario.

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View the locomotive roster to find out when Class 17 D8568 is next working