In early 1950 NSB ordered two 0-6-0 diesel shunters from Drewry Car; it is possible that the two had been built as stock by Vulcan Foundry the year before (Drewry had no manufacturing capability of its own, sub-contracting assembly and production of mechanical parts). As Skd 215 104 and 105 they arrived in Narvik in June 1950, but proved insufficiently powerful and were soon moved south to Oslo. They remained in the Oslo area for the rest of their time with NSB, working at a number of places including Fredrikstad, Halden and Oslo itself, including the harbour area. In the early 1970s they became surplus as they were decidedly non-standard, even though they were still regarded as reliable. 104 was withdrawn in February 1972 and sold to Mesna Kartonfabrik at Lillehammer, where it replaced a 1955-built Ruston 0-4-0. 105 was withdrawn in August 1975 and sold to Mesna for spares the following year. (An alternative version is that 105 was sold to Mesna in 1972, but failed en route: 104 was put back into working order and sent to Mesna instead, while 105 was kept by Mesna for spares.) Mesna went out of business in 1980, but 104 was kept in a heated shed until it passed to the NJK in the spring of 1985; it is now stored on the Krøderbane. 105 was scrapped in June 1983.
The type was basically the same as British Railways' earliest 204 hp (Class 04) Drewry Car shunters (the 990 mm diameter-wheeled 11100-11103), but the cab footplate was 390 mm wider. The forward facing windows were 585 mm wide and 510 mm high, with the outer edge 55 mm from the side; the bottom edge was 1430 mm from the footplate. The rear facing windows were also inset 55 mm, but they were 585 mm high and 510 wide; the bottom edge was 1360 mm from the footplate. The cab-end bufferbeam was the original width for most of its height, but near the top it curved outwards to meet the widened cab footplate. There were a number of extra handrails, mainly horizontal, and lights, as well as a toolbox on the left-hand side in front of the cab. There was an exhaust outlet - looking like it was left over from Mother Hubbard's cottage - on the right-hand side in front of the cab, although this was not original. Livery was at various times red or light green, with a red bufferbeam.
Based on a British HO conversion, the following may be of use to anyone wanting to use the Airfix/Dapol OO kit, which is around 12% too large for HO. The bonnet roof needs to reduced in length and be 'divided' into four sections, rather than three. The bonnet sides should have their height reduced by trimming the bottom, after which the lowest louvre in each section should be removed to maintain equal proportions at both top and bottom; it is still wrong, as the Skd had twenty-one louvres, but the kit has seventeen as on its prototype. (Who will notice? Only louvre-counters, the new rivet-counters.) The bonnet sides should then be split into four sections, each of which is slightly reduced in width to match the top's four sections, before being reassembled; the section adjacent to the cab on the left (behind the toolbox) lacked louvres. The front of the bonnet can be reused in part, but will need a new grille because of the trimming along the bottom edge. Most of the rest will need to be scratchbuilt.
Photos are to be found on: http://www.jernbane.net/norge/skd/skd215/ and http://forsk.njk.no/mdb/ . For the latter choose 'Skiftetraktorer', then 'Skd 215', then 'Vis samtlige bilder av identifiserte enheter.'
Sources: Various copies of På Sporet and above mentioned websites.
Downsizing a Drewry; Phil Burkett; Satellite 1:87 No. 16; October 1998.
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