D306 / 40106 ATLANTIC CONVEYOR
40106 was one of 20 Class 40's (40105 to 40124) built at the Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn factory in Darlington, allowing production capacity at Vulcan Foundry to build the 22 production Deltics.
Privately owned, based on the Nene Valley Railway, near Peterborough, 40106 was the second Class 40 to enter preservation, but the first to be returned to operational condition.
After years of anonymous hard work with the rest of the fleet, by 1978 the loco was among a handful of Class 40's which still hadn't been repainted into Corporate Blue and yellow. During her last works overhaul at Crewe in September 1978, the loco was repainted into blue and yellow, but shortly afterwards, it was then decided to repaint the loco in Dark Brunswick green with full yellow ends. This repaint was apparently carried out before she left works. 40106 then became a favoured loco on railtour and other special passenger workings for several years.
40106 took part in the 'Rocket 150' celebrations at Rainhill, in May 1980, appearing on national television. She was withdrawn from BR traffic in April 1983, being deemed 'life expired' and less useful having only vacuum train brakes. The pioneer Class 40, D200, had been restored to operational condition, and became the replacement for 40106 as favourite on special passenger duties. D306 was bought by her proud owner, Gerald Boden, in March 1984.
40106 was unloaded onto GCR metals on 18th April 1984, the 26th anniversary of D200's inaugural working from London Liverpool Street. The power unit was restarted in a matter of days, on 23rd April. On 11th August 1984, the now renumbered D306 was named "ATLANTIC CONVEYOR", in memory of the Cunard cargo ship and those on board who lost their lives in the 1982 Falklands war. The name was dedicated by John Brocklehurst, Chief Officer of the ship. Although in keeping with the naming tradition of the Class, this upset many of the purist 40 followers, as the loco did not carry a name in BR service. Following the naming ceremony, D306 worked its first passenger train in preservation, becoming the first Class 40 to do so.
The loco gained world-wide attention in a brief film career. Cleverly disguised as D326, the loco was used in a re-enactment of the 'Great' Train Robbery for the hit movie "Buster" . Filming took place at the Great Central Railway on 29th October 1987.
40106 left the GCR for the Nene Valley Railway on 21st February 1990. The loco gained undercover accommodation at her new home, and has also seen far more passenger work: while her GCR service totalled 1410 miles, up to the end of 1998 she had run 4870 miles on the NVR .
The loco works regularly during the summer season and is always kept in pristine condition. The boiler was restored to operational condition several years ago, although no winter duties exist as far as we know.
Diesels traditionally operate at Nene Valley Railway every month from April to September. Please check the latest news page for Class 40 running information, or contact the Nene Valley Railway for confirmation and more details on 01780 784444.
Further information is also available on the Mayflower Group website.
Operating status: operational
Steam heat status: steam heat generator not currently certified
Livery: Dark Brunswick green, full yellow ends
Running number: D306