I just looked at the CRS website this morning and I noticed that a couple of images were bringing some attention. One that caught my eye was the shot taken by Sid Sponheimer of a train passing the junction of the Bull Point branch, which one of your readers, Ross Griffiths, questioned is it a D63xx Hydraulic or a D600 Warship? Well I have blown the image up and it is definitely a D600 Warship, as Ross pointed out the difference in the nose end and clincher is the loco has co-co bogie's as apposed to the D63xx bo-bo bogie's. Now which one is it? Without a date my guess is the shot was taken in the late 1960's, towards the end of their service, so I think this 'likely' rules out D600 and D602 as they were in BR Blue quite early; so that leaves D603, 604 and 605. Some more sleuthing work, the image seems to a have a light coloured blob on the nose corner (drivers side), which I believe to be a lamp. I have seen another image of Warship at Plymouth station, D603 in BR Green and this loco is carrying a white lamp in the same position and on the same nose end as per the loco in Sid's shot. The use of lamps on first generation diesels wasn't uncommon especially when they were first introduced, but by the mid to late sixties it was a less common practise, but the D600's were notorious for a lot of niggling problems so perhaps a fault with the lights at that end of the loco hence the use of the lamp. So my 'guess' using the above information collated, it is a D600 Warship and it could well be D603 'Conquest', unless Sid can provide further details?
Karl (Friends of Penmere). Message received at 02.15 6th July 2016
Many thanks to you Karl for your time and trouble.
All the best. Sid.
This letter received yesterday afternoon. Many thanks to you Sid for both this letter and your irreplaceable pictures.
I can give an approximate date for Sid's picture: The signal is St Budeaux down home with fixed distant for Royal Albert box. The lower arm reads across the wartime emergency connection to the Southern. The distant signal on the doll is for St Budeaux Victoria Road. The picture therefore pre-dates the closure of the SR line into Devonport (1964).
The D600 warships were notoriously unreliable and the decision was made (after many embarrassing failures) to confine them to west of Plymouth where, I suppose, it was thought they would do less harm.There was a rule in the early diesel years that failures could not simply be shunted into sidings ( for PR reasons, one supposes) and I recall seeing one of them shunted into Camborne goods shed after failing!
I remember seeing the whole class (I think) lined up for scrap at Laira..
Roy. As usual a brilliant source of information - many thanks Roy.
Exeter St Davids