Georail Heritage Volunteer Group



Georail Heritage Volunteer Group (GHVG) was established in 2015 to enable like minded volunteers to restore specific railway locomotives and rolling stock back to operational condition

Heritage Railway Association Diesel & Electric Locomotion Restoration Award WINNER 2023.


Brake Van B954406



Image 1. Brake Van B954406 following complete restoration, located in sidings at GCR Quorn in preparation for Goods Galore 2018. All copyright restrictions apply from Geoscenics collection.

Image 2. Brake Van B954406 (note air brake pipes on the van side, these pipes are fitted to a valve which is operated from inside brake van - Only brake van fitted with this system at Darnall wagon works in 1985 as part of the refit for work on East Coast main line electrification). Located in sidings at GCR Quorn in preparation for Goods Galore 2018. All copyright restrictions apply from Geoscenics collection.

Image 3. Brake Van B954406 in traffic on mixed freight at GCR passing through Quorn 2020. All copyright restrictions apply - kindly supplied by Peter Salmon collection.

Image 4. Brake Van B954406 in traffic on up stopping freight at GCR passing through Swithland 2021. All copyright restrictions apply - kindly supplied by Peter Salmon collection.


Image 5. Brake Van B954406 in traffic on up stopping freight at GCR passing through Swithland 2021. All copyright restrictions apply - kindly supplied by Peter Salmon collection.


Image 6. Brake Van B954406 on Pick Up Goods at GCR Railways at Work event at Quorn 2022. All copyright restrictions apply - kindly supplied by Peter Salmon collection.


Image 7. Brake Van B954406 on Mixed Freight at GCR Autumn Gala at Swithland 2022. All copyright restrictions apply - kindly supplied by Peter Salmon collection.

BR 20t Standard Brake Van - B954406 built at Darlington in 1958 - as part of LOT 3129 which included a batch of 845 units costing £1397.00 each. B954406 was in traffic as diagram CA005B. 

This unit transferred to departmental use following modification at Darnall Wagon Works, which included air pipe fitted on the side and wasps on the veranda for work on the East Coast region, electrification. Following these modifications B954406 was back in traffic on 11th May 1985 as diagram ZT006Q. The Brake Van was the last from LOT 3129 in revenue use and worked the last few years on Channel Tunnel operations. B954406 was fully rebuilt and restored by Georail Heritage Volunteer Group (GHVG) between 2015 and 2018. The livery is Bauxite pre 1962 wagon colour with Eastern decals.

This Brake Van is on loan to Great Central Railway (GCR) for operations on events at the GCR heritage railway. This particular Brake Van is easy to identify during these events with the distinctive air pipes on the cab side following the Darnall works modifications in 1985 and we believe the only unit with this specific air pipe configuration in existence.

Follow the links below to YouTube short videos:




Andrew Barclay Locomotive AB400 "Duke of Edinburgh"

Image 1. Andrew Barclay No400DM "Duke of Edinburgh" at Lever Brothers Port Sunlight, image taken at Port Rainbow. All copyright restrictions apply - kindly supplied by Mike Lister collection.

Image 2. Duke of Edinburgh on nights at Lever Brothers Port Sunlight with Tommy Nolan working the points at No 4 Soapery. All copyright restrictions apply - kindly supplied by Mike Lister collection.

Image 3. Duke of Edinburgh on loan to Ministry of Energy (fuel depot at Mollington) 1967. Fitted with spark arresters. All copyright restrictions apply - kindly supplied by Mike Lister collection.

Image 4. Duke of Edinburgh was owned by Ellis and Everard at the Bardon quarry as No 28 - April 1983. All copyright restrictions apply.

Image 5. Duke of Edinburgh at GCR Quorn awaiting collection for restoration 2019. All copyright restrictions apply - kindly supplied by David Ardon collection.

Image 6. Duke of Edinburgh during restoration of the desk 2020. All copyright restrictions apply - Geoscenics collection.


Image 7. Duke of Edinburgh during restoration with original manufacture plates No400 and new name plates are fitted 2022. All copyright restrictions apply - Geoscenics collection.


Image 8. Duke of Edinburgh during restoration repaint into original Brunswick Green as new to Lever Brothers in 1956. All copyright restrictions apply - Geoscenics collection.

Andrew Barclay No400DM named "Duke of Edinburgh" by Royal Approval at Port Sunlight.

Andrew Barclay No400 Diesel Mechanical shunter was manufactured new for Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight following a specified design requirement for heavy and powerful standard gauge locomotives as part of the transition from steam to diesel.

In total 9 diesel mechanical locomotive to this specific design had been ordered by Lever Brothers for Port Sunlight between 1948 to 1956, from Andrew Barclay at Caledonia Works in Kilmarnock. No400 was one of the final 2 locomotive delivered to this design, No400 arrived at Port Sunlight on 05th June 1956 with No 401 arriving a few days later. Andrew Barclay No400 had an operating weight of 34ton with maximum operating speed of 12mph (Port Sunlight was speed limited to 9mph) and a tractive effort of 32,000lbs. These locomotives all had Gardner 8L3 industrial application diesel engine and Wilson Self Change 3 speed gear box through Wiseman 14.25:1 reduction final drive. The locomotive was formally named "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1956 which was always painted on the bonnets, this has been changed to cast name plates on the cab sides, above the manufacturer plates as part of the restoration (image 8). The locomotive was loaned to Ministry of Energy (fuel) at Mollington in 1966 for 1 year, then returned to Port Sunlight (image 3). With the reduction in rail operations at Port Sunlight in the 1970's with some locomotive sold off. The Duke was sold to Oldham Brothers (scrap and demolition Company), then sold on to Ellis and Everard Quarry, late becoming Bardon Quarries (image 4). The locomotive was given to Great Central Railway in the early 1980's who operated it until 2018, then destined for scrap (image 5). The Duke of Edinburgh was purchased for complete restoration by Georail Heritage Volunteer Group (image 5) in 2018.

The restoration included rebuild of the Gardner 8L3 and Wilson Self Change Gear box (with manufacture and fitting of major parts), overhaul of the air system and a complete re-wire.

During the restoration original components and items had to be over hauled with retaining of the original parts and features was critical, this included all the cab gauges and instruments. The cab doors and side windows had to be replaced as they were beyond restoration, so new oak doors and side cab windows, both with toughened glass were made and fitted as per original design.

The Duke of Edinburgh has currently completed its restoration and repainted back to original colours of Brunswick Green (ex works) as delivered to Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight on 05th June 1956. As part of the restoration the buffer beam (originally painted red as Image 1, later red and white chevrons as image 5) has been replaced with yellow and black wasps).

This iconic Andrew Barclay locomotive "Duke of Edinburgh" is the only remaining operational example of the 9 original Port Sunlight diesel locomotive, all other examples have been scrapped, following this amazing and total restoration over 4 years has been restored back to full working order and original livery.

BR Tube Wagon B7322837


BR Tube Wagon B732837 22T Lot 2867 Built in Darlington 1956.

Built similar to LMS design, BR design diagram 1/448 STV. Total of 2350 built at 32 foot long.

This unit is vacuum braked with steel floor added as part of the restoration over a 6 months period - back to complete working order.

Hunslet 7183



Hunslet 7183 delivered 19th January 1972 to Angelsey Aluminium (purchased from Stenalines site owners). Powered by a TS Cummins (Supercharged) -252HP, Torque Converter British Twin Disc CF11500 and GM415 Final Drive. Operating Weight 35tons - maximum speed 14mph - Tractive Effort 23,000 Ibs.

This locomotive is currently under restoration.

Museum and Gala Events

The  Andrew Barclay locomotive No400 "Duke of Edinburgh" (1956) along with BR Brake Van B954406 (1958) and our BR Tube Wagon B732837 (1956) are all available for heritage railway galas and events from operating brake van rides to shunt displays in the North West region - Contact Mike at - georailservices@btinternet.com or call 07811 673341.

If you are interested in getting involved with railway locomotive or wagon restoration, just email georailservices@btinternet.com or call 07811 673341 for more details on the award winning Georail Heritage Volunteer Group (GHVG).

Georail Heritage Volunteer Group (GHVG) are part of Georail Services Ltd a corporate member of Heritage Rail Association (HRA).

Image above - HRA Small Volunteer Group runner up 2022.

Image above - HRA Diesel & Electric Locomotion Restoration WINNER 2023.

Duke of Edinburgh Restoration Project.

Image above - HRA Awards 2023 (Brian Simpson - HRA, Mike Mazurkiewicz - GHVG, Paul Lewin - Host)

FOR SALE

Arbil Sleeper Lifting Beam for 7 sleepers (without chains and cert) - price on application



ABTUS ABT 4026 LT Gauge (1yr old calibration required) - price on application



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