Crovan's Gate Works - Engines

Wendell The Works Diesel

Wendell the Works Diesel

As one of the works diesels, Wendell finds his time spent pottering around Crovan’s Gate, helping wherever required and told to go. Assisting in any rescue to help all engines, he often finds himself working overtime with either the smallest or biggest jobs needing to be done, but always is happy to help, and sometimes manages to win over the most up-tight of engines.

Important Information

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: British Railways
LOCO TYPE: Class 47 Diesel
CURRENT LIVERY: British Railways Blue with yellow panels
CREATOR: Christopher

About the Character

After observing the development of engines like BoCo and Bear over the years, the Fat Controller saw potential in using Diesels alongside steam engines; being mixed-traffic and easier to use would make them valid members to his expanding railway. Come early 1980, the workshops at Crovan's Gate had officially been upgraded to suit maintenance for every engine on the railway available, with its own addition of a Diesel fleet to perform various duties on the railway, within the workshops or as-and-when duties on the Other Railway.

Wendell entered service on the Mainland in 1970, nearly 10 years after the Class 47s were first launched. These diesel-electric locos were powerful enough, equipped with a Sulzer twin-bank cylinder and performed splendidly for both passenger and freight duties; even today the Class 47s are widely used on the mainland and Heritage Railways. Wendell - built at Crewe - was one of many of his class which were also fitted with steam heating equipment for train heat duties. However, when the Electric Train Heat system was developed in the 1980's, Wendell's steam heat boiler was removed but never replaced with ETH, relying him to work solely on goods trains.

His presence on Sodor came at a rather convenient time. With Crovan's Gate Works seeking out a full-time Diesel Team for Main Line and Permanent Way duties, Wendell was one of several brought and trialled in the year of 1980. He managed to prove his efforts when James suffered his "deep freeze" episode and Wendell was called out to rescue him, bringing him home without fault and convincing the red engine to neglect his dislike for Diesels since (RWS #28). After that, he became part of the Workshop "family" and is now a regular sight at the Works alongside "Bad Bob" the Works Shunter.

Although very similar to the other Works Diesels in appearance, Wendell is very easy to spot in a crowd. Friendly, brave, determined to please, he gives what he can to justify a job well done and knows the importance of keeping trains running - such as taking care of another engine's duties or rescuing failed trains on the Main Line. His most unusual job was being used as a "back up" power source for several days when the system of Tidmouth Power Station suffered an intense failure (ERS #154).

In recent years, he has has been given extra work on the Peel Godred Branch Line. After being fitted with ERTMS, he and Growler have officially become "Peel Godred Engines", and now both are used on occasion if any of the Electrics are short-handed.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

Wendell is based on the British Rail Class 47 "Brush" diesel locomotives.

Bad Bob

Bad Bob the Works Shunter

This little locomotive has been the faithful if somewhat touchy shunter, pilot and assistant at Crovan’s Gate Works since the 1970s when the 02s were withdrawn from British Railways service. D11 may be the smallest engine on the Fat Controller’s Railway but he by no means allows any engine whatsoever to overpower him – be it in a battle of brute force or wits as his straightforward, mercurial and downright gruff temperament along with his mechanical knowledge of every locomotive type on Sodor usually carries the day. They don’t call him ‘Bad Bob’ for nothing...

Important Information

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: British Railways [built by Yorkshire Engine Co.]
LOCO TYPE: D2600 / TOPS Class 02 0-4-0 Diesel-hydraulic Shunter
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS 154 - Wendell The Works Diesel
CURRENT STATUS: Operating as CVG Works Shunter/Pilot
CURRENT LIVERY: Deep Blue with yellow and black ‘wasptripe’ front and rear panels

About the Character

The engine casually known as ‘Bad Bob’ has a past that he tends to keep a stiff demeanour about. What is known that he was built in 1960 and worked in a shunting yard with his brothers and sisters before being transferred to the Midlands for a short stint before being transferred to the North-Western area of British Railways. It was here that he saw in full the effect of British Railways Modernisation Plans – and took an instant, deeply-engraved dislike to the idea of doing away with steam. With 1968 and the End of British Steam however, it fell to none other than he to shunt the very last of the steam engines at Lostock Hall Shed, as they were still warm into the scrapping sidings. This had a profound effect on him as he saw it being a waste of fine engines -some of the first generation diesels from British Railways in turn being disastrous builds in comparison!

Withdrawn in 1971 by British Railways, he and two others of his clan were immediately sold to the NCB from where for a few years, they continued working against a backdrop of turbulent times; “The Winter of Discontent” of 1974 and mining strikes.

A major accident was the cause for his withdrawal in 1976; whereby his front was damaged and his bufferbeam left crumpled. He would have been sold for scrap but for the intervention of Sir Topham Hatt looking for a small cheap engine to help out at his Works. As a result the engine and parts scavenged from another of the 02s at the NCB site [for spares] were transferred to Crovan’s Gate. Here the engine was repaired quickly and given at first Sudrian blue livery before it was decided a darker livery would suit the grizzled engine Sodor had inherited.

As Yard Shunter, he is also suitable for working the rusted, old rails of the Out Of Use lines, making him one of few able – and even fewer who dare – to tread where engines fear to go. Other duties include marshalling specialist wagons containing parts of the diesel-hydraulic locomotives about the DHAP section as well as moving engines undergoing work.

Over the years Bad Bob has been the guinea pig for a number of experiments at the hands of the Diesel-Hydraulic Advance Project. These include the new jackshaft and transmission system allied with a larger engine unit that allows him to travel at a respectable 35mph – as well as the powerful multi-lens lamp that replaces his one eye. As a result, he is also the DHAP’s number one choice of locomotive when possible.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

The Yorkshire Engine Company was contracted to build twenty of these engines in 1960 for service in areas of restricted loading gauge and curvature such as docks and shunting yards. However, with the rationalisation of British Railways and the downsizing of the shunting yards in order to compete with road transport, these and well as many other engines became surplus to requirements. By 1973 the 02s had been phased out but at least seven live on as do a number of similar machines (with diesel-electric set-up or with larger engines) in preservation.