Brief History of 55002 KOYLI
The legendary Deltic 55002 “The King’s own Yorkshire Light Infantry” (KOYLI)
The Deltic locomotives were the supreme locos of the East Coast Mainline from their introduction in 1961 through to their tearful farewell in January 1982. They were the natural successors to the much-loved A3 and A4 steam locomotives and transformed the performance times of famous trains such as “The Flying Scotsman”.
KOYLI herself became a celebrity locomotive when repainted into the original two-tone green livery in 1980 to mark the impending preservation to the NRM. 55002 took part in many railtours until being withdrawn on the 30 December 1981 just missing out on the farewell tour 3 days later. The locomotive taking up position in the Great Hall. Two months later returning under its own power to York after the ‘Farewell to the Deltics’ event at Doncaster on 27th February 1982. She last ran in 1997 at East Lancashire Railway “Three Deltics” event.
Of interest historically, D9002 (un-named) was the first Deltic to run out of Neville Hill shed, Leeds, when used for driver training duties and was used on the Harrogate Line for such, being the first Deltic into Harrogate, the first on the Yorkshire ( Leeds to Harrogate and return ) Pullman trains during the driver training / experience runs. This information from a retired loco driver of Neville Hill, who until recently lived in Lofthouse Gate, nr Wakefield.
Yet more incredibly, KOYLI hauled the very last Yorkshire Pullman into Harrogate in 1978 just after 8pm in a somewhat grimey state. An incredible 1st and last achievement.