Sunday, 26 March 2017

Class 325

The Class 325 was developed as a cost-effective alternative to using locomotive hauled stock for parcels traffic. Originally British Rail planned to convert Class 307 EMUs for parcels traffic but the age of the 307 caused a rethink. BR decided instead to have new purpose built units. The Class 325 is based on the Class 319 mechanically [1] (though with a Networker style cab) and is a very versatile unit able to operate on AC overhead or DC third rail electric routes. It can also be used as loco hauled stock with electric or diesel locomotives.

Information
Number built: 64 cars (16 sets)
Built: 1995-96
Builder: ABB Derby
Engine: 4 GEC G315BZ traction motors (25kV AC OLHE or 750v DC third-rail)
Power: 1, 438 hp (1, 072 kW)
Formation: Driving Trailer Postal Mail Van (DTPMV)+Motor Postal Mail Van (MPMV)+
Trailer Postal Mail Van (TPMV)+DTPMV

Each car has 2 sets of roller shutter blinds and can carry up to 12 tons of mail. The cars have no gangway access and indeed no access from the cabs to the rest of the driving trailers for security reasons.



Technically the 325 have been fine no doubt due to the off the shelf nature of much of the equipment used, its only problem being available work. Royal Mail moved away from using the railway in the early 2000s and the fleet spent some time in store largely unemployed but following new contracts they have found a use again. All but one set remains in service, the other was scrapped following damage and cannibalisation for spares.

325 016 arrives at Stafford

Another view of 325 016

Sideways view showing Royal Mail loco and roller shutter

325 007 arrives at Stafford


[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 264

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

LU S7/S8 Stock

The S Stock fleet is a standard fleet of trains for London Underground's sub-surface lines, the order for over 1, 400 cars being claimed to the biggest single order for rolling stock for a British railway [1]. The S Stock has replaced A Stock on the Metropolitan Line, C Stock on the Circle and Hammersmith & City Lines and finally D Stock on the District Line in early 2017.

Information
Number built: 1, 403 (192 7 and 8 car sets)
Built: 2009-17
Builder: Bombardier Derby
Engine: Bombardier MITRAC traction system (750v DC fourth rail)
Formation: (S7) Driving Motor (DM)+Non Driving Motor (NDM)
+NDM+NDM+NDM+NDM+DM
(S8) DM+NDM+NDM+NDM+NDM+NDM+NDM+DM

There are two variants, the S7 which is a 7-car unit for the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City Lines and the 8-car S8 for the Metropolitan Line. The S8 also has some transverse seating while the S7 is all longitudinal. There are 133 S7 trains and 58 S8s. There is also a single S7+1 train which is an 8-car set but has all longitudinal seating. This will be used on the Metropolitan Line's future extension to Watford Junction. The S Stock has "walk-through" open gangways throughout the train to ease passenger movement, an insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) traction system [2] and regenerative braking.



The S Stock is capable of Automatic Train Operation and this will be phased in from 2018 pending signalling upgrades starting with the Western end of the Hammersmith & City [4]. The S Stock entered service on the Metropolitan from 2010, the District, Circle and Hammersmith & City from 2013 [3]. All trains will be in service by the end of 2017.
Metropolitan S8 train at Amersham

District S7 train at Acton Town

Metropolitan S8 train at Baker Street

S Stock train at Derby, en route for some modifications at Litchurch Works

Aboard a Circle Line S Stock train

Hammersmith & City S7 train at West Ham

[1] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014) p. 174
[2] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015) p. 175
[3] Ben Muldoon, London Underground Rolling Stock Guide (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 21
[4] "D Stock bows out", Modern Railways (April 2017) p. 14

Friday, 17 March 2017

Class 90

The Class 90 were part of the third generation of BR Electric 25kV AC locomotives and the last locomotives ordered by BR before sectorisation [1]. They were a development of the Class 87 (and indeed originally were to have been called the Class 87/2 - though the final result was sufficiently different to warrent the creation of a new class). They replaced the first generation AC Electric locos Classes 81-85s. The Class 90s are mixed traffic locomotives and have been used on express passenger and heavy freight services [2]. These days usually the latter.

Information
Number built: 50
Built: 1987-90
Builder: BREL Crewe
Engine: GEC G412CY traction motors (25kV AC OLHE)
Power: 5, 000 hp (3, 728 kW) - continuous
7, 860 hp (5, 861 kW) - maximum
Formation: Bo-Bo

As built they are capable of 110mp/h but just over half the class became dedicated freight locomotives (Class 90/1) with the top speed reduced to 75mp/h, the electric train heating isolated and the brakes improved. After privatisation these were eventually converted back to 90/0 (though some were reclassified as 90/2 for a time).

The Class 90 currently serves with Greater Anglia, Freightliner and DB Scheneker. They have also served with Virgin Trains in the past. One example 90 050 is out of service following a fire.
Freightliner 90 042 heads through Stafford light engine

DB 90 040 and friend head through Stafford
EWS 90 026 leads a convoy through Bletchley

Freightliner 90 046 and friend head through Stafford

Another double header though Stafford! This one led by DB 90 024



[1] Gavin Morrison, AC Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 59
[2] Colin J Marsden, Traction Recognition (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 90

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Class 313 (BR York Suburban Services 3-car)

The Class 313 was the first production EMUs derived from the early 1970s Class 445 4-PEP prototypes [1]. They were built for Greater Northern services out of Kings Cross and Moorgate, the latter taken over from the London Underground Northern Line in 1975. Because of this the Class 313s are dual voltage stock due to the limited clearance in the tunnels - there not being enough space for overhead wires DC third rail collection being used instead, the changeover being at Drayton Park [2].

Information
Number built: 192 (64 3-car sets)
Built: 1976-77
Builder: BREL York
Engine: 8 GEC G310AZ traction motors (25kV AC OHLE and 750v DC third rail)
Power: 880 hp (656 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Pantograph Trailer Standard
Open (PTSO)+DMSO

The introduction into service was not smooth with numerous problems with the doors. Initially they had bi-parting sliding doors where the passengers could give a slight pull on the handle once the train had stopped and the doors would open automatically. Unfortunately passengers could find they could open the doors with sufficient force even while the train was moving. After 1977 the doors reverted to guard control. Some 313s were later reallocated to Great Eastern routes, being only under the wires they had their third rail collection equipment isolated [3].

After privatisation the Class 313s were operated by Silverlink and West Anglia Great Northern. In recent years they have been operated also by Southern on routes around Brighton [4]. As they only operate in third rail territory they have had their pantographs removed. Apart from the former tube stock on the Isle of Wight the Class 313s are the oldest EMUs on the network. The Greater Northern 313s are due to be replaced by new Class 717s in 2018.
Great Northern 313 038 at Finsbury Park

Interior view

At Moorgate terminus

[1] Brian Haresnape & Alec Swain, Third Rail DC Electric Multiple-Units (Ian Allan, 1989) p, 82
[2] Chris Heaps, BR Diary 1968-1977 (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 100
[3] Colin J Marsden, Motive Power Recognition 2: EMUs (Ian Allan, 1982) p. 47
[4] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 237

Friday, 10 March 2017

Class 465 Networker

The Class 465 was built in the early 90s to replace ageing Mark 1 based EMUs like the Class 415 on Kent suburban routes [1]. The replacement of this old stock was seen as a priority in the late 1980s by the then-new Network South East sector of British Rail [2]. The new fleet of EMUs became known as the Networkers. The introduction of the Class 465, and the 2-car fleet of Class 466s, bought with it driver only operation, more spacious interiors and rapid acceleration compared to the 1950s build EMUs they replaced [3].

Information
Number built: 588 (147 4-car sets)
Built: 1991-93
Builder: ABB/BREL York (465/0 and 465/1)
Metro-Cammell (465/2 and 465/9)
Engine: Hitachi TIM2093A (465/0 and 465/1)
Alsthom G352AY (465/2)
Alsthom G352BY (465/9) (750v DC third rail)
Power: 3, 004 hp (2, 240 kW)
Power: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+
Trailer Standard Open Lavatory (TSOL)+DMSO (465/0, 465/1 and 465/2)
Driving Motor Composite Open (DMCO)+TSO+TSOL+DMCO (465/9)

In 2005 34 465/2s were rebuilt for longer routes and had first class seats added to the 2 driving cars, these became 465/9. The original Brush traction motors on the 465/0 and 465/1 were replaced with Hitachi equipment in 2009 to improve reliability.



All Class 465s were delivered in Network South East livery. Following privatisation they wore Connex South Eastern and latterly Southeastern Trains colours. Currently all are still operated by Southeastern.
Southeastern 465 175 at London Victoria

Southeastern 465 023 passes Peckham Rye

Southeastern 465 012 passes New Cross

Southeastern 465 188 at London Victoria


[1] Colin J Marsden (ed.) "The Networker Family", Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 233 February-March 2017 (Networker, Juniper & Javelin Stock) p. 4
[2] Bruce Oliver, British Railway Southern Region Electrics in Colour (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 13
[3] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 361

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Class 04

The Class 04 was a development of the 0-4-0 shunter the Drewry Car Company built for the LMS before the war (see LMS 7050), the first example being a demonstrator built for the LNER just before nationalisation in 1947 [1]. Series production began in BR days a few years later performing a role similar to the Class 03 (which is almost exactly the same mechanically and similar looking). Drewry being a design and sales company rather than an actual manufacturer (for most of the company's life) sub-contracted the building of the locomotives out to the Vulcan Foundry and Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns [2].

Information
Number built: 142
Built: 1948, 1952-62
Builder: Drewry Car Company
Engine: Gardner 8L3 diesel
Power: 240 hp (152 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 0-6-0

However as the amount of shunting needed fell in the 1960s BR decided to standardise on the Class 03 for the small shunter role and the Class 04s began to be withdrawn from the late 1960s onwards. All were gone by 1972 though a number were sold for re-use by industrial railways both at home and abroad. Eighteen have been preserved.
D2229 at Rowsley South (as are the two other shunters below)

D2337, also preserved at the Heritage Shunters Trust

D2272

[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Shunters (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 38
[2] Ray King, British Industrial Diesel Locomotives (Traction & Rolling Stock Advertiser, 2006) p. 17

Friday, 3 March 2017

Class 323

The Class 323 is a fleet of high-density electric multiple units built in the early 1990s for British Rail. They were built to replace older EMUs now coming to the ends of their lives and to supply the Birmingham Cross-City Line which was finally being electrified [1]. Forty three 3-car units were built by Hunslet Transportation Projects during 1992-3 for the Cross City Line and the North West for services to Manchester Airport.

Information
Number built: 129 (43 3-car sets)
Built: 1992-93
Builder: Hunslet TPL
Engine: 4 Holec DMKT 52/24 traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 566 hp (1, 168 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Pantograph Trailer
Standard Open Lavatory (PTSOL)+DMSO

The Class 323 proved unreliable when first delivered, the traction package causing a number of problems especially with cooling, and it was a couple of years after delivery before they became fully operational. Later on however Northern's fleet won awards for its reliability.


They currently serve with London Midland and Northern Rail, operating on electrified commuter lines around Birmingham and Manchester. The EMUs have just completed a retractioning programme replacing the original Gate Turn-Off thyristor equipment with a more advanced Integrated Gate Bipolar Transistor set-up [2].
LM 323 201 at Bescot Stadium

Northern 323 239 at Crewe

LM 323 210 and 202 at Lichfield City

LM 323 208 at Erdington



[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 262
[2] Ian Walmsley, "A traction heart transplant", Modern Railways (March 2017) p. 43