A SWINDON-built diesel loco that spent its working life hauling coal in the valleys of South Wales has become the latest addition to the Swindon and Cricklade Railway’s vintage collection.

The 03 class engine, with its smart green British Railways livery, has lived at the attraction’s base for the past 32 years but was in private ownership during all that time. Now the railway has made sure it can stay by buying it.

A popular feature at diesel galas in the past, it was built at the Swindon works in 1958, but was later altered with a cut- down cab so it could work on the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Line because there were a number of bridges that were too low for normal locomotives.

D2152 and the other locomotives on the line worked in pairs shunting in the port and pulling trains up the steep hills. Three of them were needed to bring full coal trains down the tracks.

The railway gradually shut down through the 1960s and the final short section at Kidwelly was closed in 1998.

Bought from British Rail, it moved home to Swindon in 1985, where it has been cared for and worked at the heritage railway, which is preparing to celebrate its 40th year with the return of a diesel gala.

There are also plans to extent the line north up to Cricklade and volunteers have already started clearing the old track bed 60 years since the tracks were pulled up.