Unique gathering of Class 55s and their prototype.
A landmark event took place at NRM Shildon on October 7-9 that brought together all seven surviving Deltic locomotives for the first time. The 'Magnificent Seven' weekend attracted more than 10,000 people to see the six surviving production locos reunited with prototype DP1.
The event was held to celebrate 50 years since the introduction of the production fleet to service in 1961. The full line-up comprised Nos. DP1 'Deltic' and 55002 'King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry' from the National Collection; Nos. 55009 'Alycidon', 55015 'Tulyar' and 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' from the Deltic Preservation Society; and Nos. 55016 'Gordon Highlander' and 55022 'Royal Scots Grey' from Beaver Sports.
Five of the locos arrived by rail on October 6. No. 55022 hauled 55016 from the East Lancashire Railway to Barrow Hill to collect 55009, then on to Northallerton to pick up 55002 and 55019 from the Wensleydale Railway. No. 55015 arrived seperately by road while DP1 was already at Shildon.
The weekend event included evening photoshoots on October 7 and 8, while during the day Nos. 55002 and 55019 made numerous runs along the museum's demonstration line. Visitors were also allowed into the cabs of both DP1 and 55009.
The Deltics revolutionised services on the East Coast main line between London and Scotland. The fleet of 22 locos were in service from 1961 to 1982 - originally intended as a stop gap between steam and electrification, but eventually giving way to the diesel HST instead – and are one of the most popular types of BR diesel loco.