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Class 33/0 33065 'Sealion'

Class 33/0 33065 'Sealion'

Technical Details:

Depot Allocations:

Withdrawn – February 1997 at Stewarts Lane

Originally ordered in 1957 as part of the modernisation of Britain's railways, the British Rail BRCW Type 3 (later a Class 33) was constructed specifically for the Southern Region of British Railways and constructed at the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon works between 1960 and 1962. Originally numbered between D6500 and D6597 a total of 98 Class 33's were constructed and they gained the nickname 'Cromptons' quite early on due to their electrical equipment being manufactured by Crompton Parkinson.

Designed for pulling coaching stock and freight the Type 3 was fitted with an 8-cylinder Sulzer Diesel engine which produced a total of 1,550hp, an increase from the British Railways Sulzer Type 2 (later the Class 26s) which was fitted with a 6-cylinder Sulzer power unit that produced 1,160hp. The Southern Region's traffic requirements varied with the Summer season being heavy passenger traffic but in the Winter the Class 33s would see more use on freight traffic. The increase in power from the Type 2 to the Type 3 was gained by not including the Steam Heat boiler in the construction, instead introducing Electric Train Heating. 

Once a former mainstay of the Southern Regions diesel traction, having been introduced in 1962, 33063 was withdrawn in 1997 around the time other Class 33's were withdrawn from service. Sold for preservation to Mike Biddell, Blue Triangle Buses in March 1997, 33063 moved by road to Blue Triangle Buses Depot in Rainham, Essex on 6th August 1997 for restoration.

Purchased by the fledging South East Locomotive Group along with sister 33063 in January 2000, both locomotives moved to the East Kent Railway in the March of that year. The locomotive was then started in the July of that year and remained at the East Kent Railway until 2002 before moving to the Spa Valley Railway, initially on loan but following a decision by the South East Locomotive Group to relocate to Tunbridge Wells West both 33063 and 33065 moved to the Spa Valley Railway and it has been their home ever since!

33065 operated a number of Spa Valley Railway services between the Summer of 2003 and August 2008 prior to being withdrawn for a well deserved bodywork and engine overhaul, this is an ongoing project at Tunbridge Wells West with major progress having been made on the bodywork, old wiring removed and various components already overhauled.



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