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COMING SOON - our brand new WLA website

with much improved on-line store and exclusive WLA members' area



Spring is in the Air

Which means it's time for the WLA Spring 2022 Raffle with a fantastic first prize of £500 cash. A second cash prize of £250 is not to be sniffed at and could be used to purchase another 00 gauge Western - Ranger in maroon SYP is coming soon. Finally the third prize is £100 cash. Tickets are being posted out to members and are also available in the on-line store


Spring is in the Air

Which means it's time for the WLA Spring 2022 Raffle with a fantastic first prize of £500 cash. A second cash prize of £250 is not to be sniffed at and could be used to purchase another 00 gauge Western - Ranger in maroon SYP is coming soon. Finally the third prize is £100 cash. Tickets are being posted out to members and are also available in the on-line store


News Flash

To celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the nation, the Western Locomotive Association will be renaming one of their locomotives, and all WLA hauled services for the 2022 operating season on the Severn Valley Railway will be hauled by D1040 Western Queen.


2022 operating dates will be published soon, starting of course with the Severn V​alley Railway Spring Diesel Festival from 19th to 22nd May.


So come and mix with royalty and enjoy the sight and sound of a majestic Class 52 Western diesel hydraulic locomotive on a 32 mile round trip from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth.


Photo - D1040 Western Queen at Exeter Stabling Point (Barry Gay)


New Western Quiz and Puzzle Books


Two newly released quiz and puzzle books by Mike Woodhouse who was a Locomotive Engineering Craft Apprentice when the Westerns were introduced and boarded D1000 when she was brand new at Old Oak in December 1961. He was at Laira when the last members of the class were withdrawn and rode D1023 to the 1991 Laira Open Day.

Available in the online store

WLA BUSINESS PLAN

The Western Locomotive Association has published its Three Year Business Plan for 2021 to 2024 - the plan includes an Executive Summary, Mission Statement, Company Values, SWOT Analysis and Strategy & Objectives. A copy of the Business Plan can be downloaded  here.

An updated copy of the WLA's Guidance for Volunteers, Committee and Working Members is included with the Business Plan and can also be downloaded here.


Work on our Westerns

Out with the old, in with the new

Two shiny new air receivers were trial fitted on 1062 on Saturday 24th October.

This is one of the old receivers.

and this is one of the new receivers. This is the start of work over the winter to help resolve the issues which prevented Courier running on 23rd October.

Midweek Update from Jeff Targett - Rangers instrumentation panel progress. Looking very nice...... 25/09/2019

How many shafts?

Tired but happy after all the bolts were finally torqued up.

Marty and Ranger seem to spend a lot of time together!

If this carries on we'll have as many Westerns as Class 50's - bring it on!

Danger men at work!

Nice shiny shaft

Chairman gets stuck in!

ABOVE: Jeff checking more miles of wiring and connections as '62 is prepared for the running season ahead.

ABOVE: Swindon's finest ... D1015 & D1013 as captured by Russ Targett .... who'd have thought we'd still see this kind of image in 2020! Brilliant!

WLA is the first Diesel Preservation Group to offset the carbon dioxide generated by running our locomotives. You can help by buying a tree, see full details in online store

D1013 WESTERN RANGER BOGIE OVERHAUL APPEAL

The WLA has launched an appeal to fund the overhaul of D1013 Western Ranger's bogies - help us to return D1013 to active service and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her introduction into BR service in 1962. Full details on the D1013 Bogie Appeal page 

STOP PRESS

IF YOU USE AMAZON FOR ON-LINE SHOPPING THEN YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO WLA EVERY TIME YOU SHOP AT NO COST TO YOU

JOIN THE WESTERN LOCOMOTIVE ASSOCIATION

For full details of membership benefits and options, please click here

DRIVER FOOTPLATE EXPERIENCE

Unfortunately we are unable to offer Driver Footplate Experiences until further notice because of Coronavirus restrictions. We hope to restart DFE's in 2021, the SVR website gives more details here

MAKING A BEQUEST

If you would like to know more about making a bequest to the WLA, please click here

WORKING MEMBERS

PLEASE REMEMBER - Working Members must be members of the SVR as well as the WLA. This is mandatory for governance and insurance purposes. Guidance note available here 

Why we're here........

The “Westerns” were always a little special, ever since their inception in 1961, and were the final development of the Western Region diesels using hydraulic transmission. Other regions based their designs on electric transmissions utilising large medium-speed diesel engines. The “Westerns” married superb bodywork styling and German-designed high-speed Maybach engines and Voith transmissions to produce a locomotive that was extremely powerful and considerably lighter than an equivalent diesel-electric.

A decision to rationalise the diesel locomotive types on British Rail marked the beginning of the end for the diesel-hydraulics. The “Westerns” were the last survivors and struggled on magnificently despite their neglected state until the final locomotives were withdrawn in February 1977.

With their impressive design, awesome engine sound and fabricated aluminium and steel name and number plates, the “Westerns” had many marks of distinction. All 74 “Westerns” were named, proud names such as “Western Glory”, “Western Thunderer” and “Western Crusader”, and these endeared them to enthusiasts who saw them as the last sign of the spirit and traditions of the Great Western Railway.

The demise of the mighty “Westerns” evoked a fanatical following, the like of which had not been seen since the end of steam traction, and this led to the early efforts of the W.L.A. to preserve an example of the class. The results of these efforts, “Western Courier” and “Western Ranger”, can be seen on the Severn Valley Railway today.

A selection of photographs taken in Kidderminster Traction Maintenance Depot - a fabulous facility.