Sunday, 15 October 2017

LU Standard Stock / 1923 Tube Stock / Pre 1938 Tube Stock

As the 1920s dawned the London tube network was growing rapidly but there was also a need to replace much of the first generation tube stock which has mostly been built without air operated doors. To fulfil this need for a lot of rolling stock what became known as Standard Stock was built over an eleven year period though in a number of production batches. They have also been called 1923 Tube Stock and Pre 1938 Tube Stock (the 1938 Tube Stock being the next major type to be built).

Information
Number built: 1466
Built: 1923-34
Builder: Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, Cammell Laird,
Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, Leeds Forge,
Metropolitan-Cammell, Union Construction Company
Engine: GEC WT54 or Metropolitan-Vickers MV152 traction motors (630v DC fourth rail)

To start with six experimental cars (5 trailers and 1 control trailer) were ordered in 1922 for evaluation purposes [1], they came from a variety of manufacturers who were given a general specification for the trailers but free to follow their own design internally [2] though the stock generally had the same external appearance. These cars were later known as 1922 Tube Stock or Competition Stock.

The control trailers and motor cars were a Underground Group design with a wooden mock-up being built at Golders Green of what would soon be a very familiar sight to London's commuters [3]. The first production order came in 1923 for 191 cars. Further orders came in subsequent years for extensions to the tube network and also as original plans to retrofit earlier stock with air doors were abandoned. The Standard Stock trains to start with used a mixture of GEC and Metropolitan-Vickers electrical equipment, the equipment being stored in switch compartments behind the cabs in the motor cars.

As the 1920s continued more orders were placed but differences were made to the design. Production builds in 1926 and 1927 began to have British Thomson-Houston traction equipment which had been used on earlier tube stock and proved to be more reliable than GEC and MV's equipment [4]. The 1927 batch also had modified bogies with smaller wheels. Batches made in the 1930s had electro-pneumatic brakes and modified control equipment to allow for higher speeds. After the completion of the final production batch in 1934 a total of 1466 cars had been built comprising 645 motor cars, 270 control trailers and 551 trailers.

Standard Stock operated on the Northern, Piccadilly and Bakerloo Lines of the Underground. Later on they were also ran on the Central Line. Originally built as 5-car trains later batches were ordered as 6 or 7 cars, some were later run as 8 car trains [5]. Some shorter formations were also run such as on the Piccadilly Aldwych branch [6].

By the 1950s the Standard Stock fleet was starting to wear out, many had been stored in the open air during the war and this hadn't done them much good. They were unable to cope with the more intensive service patterns required. Replacement took place in the early 1960s with the last Standard Stock passenger trains being run on the Northern City Line in 1966. Some continued in departmental use until 1978.

The story of Standard Stock was not over though. In the late 1960s the Isle of Wight was in need of EMUs for its soon-to-be electrified Island Line. A number of Standard Stock cars became the Class 485 and 486 EMUs for British Rail [7]. They served on the Isle of Wight until 1991, nearly 70 years after the building of the first experimental cars!
Preserved 3327 at London Transport Depot

Former L131 departmental vehicle at LTM Depot Acton

Front view of 3327

Cab of 3327 
3327 interior

Note the switch compartment behind the cab

[1] Brian Hardy, Underground Train File Tube Stock 1933-1959 (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 21
[2] J. Graeme Bruce, The London Underground Tube Stock (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 53
[3] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014) p. 65
[4] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood, 2015) p. 48
[5] Piers Connor, "The London Electric Train: a post-script", Underground News No. 670 (October 2017) p. 683
[6] Antony Badsey-Ellis & Mike Horne, The Aldwych Branch (Capital Transport, 2009) p. 68
[7] Brian Hardy, Tube Trains on the Isle of Wight (Capital Transport, 2003) p. 13

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Class 55 (English Electric 3,300hp Diesel-Electric "Deltic")

In the early days of British Rail dieselisation the largest locomotives were known as the Type C with over 2,000hp. However it was soon clear that more powerful locomotives would be needed for the principal expresses and heaviest freight though none existed at the time - until the arrival of English Electric's incredible Deltic prototype in 1955 with 2 innovative Napier Deltic engines and 3,300hp to play with. BR revised its power classifications to the now familiar Types 1 to 5 with the Type 5 for locomotives over 3, 000hp [1].

With high power and a relatively low weight (the Deltic was 32 tons lighter than a Class 45 but brought 800hp more to the table) the Deltic proved itself on top BR expresses and a production order for 22 was made to replace ex-LNER Pacifics on the East Coast Main Line [2]. The production Deltics differed in appearance to the prototype and construction, one problem with the prototype had been its awkward size which limited its route availability, the production Deltics were somewhat slimmer and a bit longer [3].

Information
Number built: 22
Built: 1961-62
Builder: English Electric Vulcan Foundry
Engine: 2 Napier Deltic 18-25 diesels
Power: 3, 300 hp (2, 460 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

The Class 55s as they became known performed admirably on the ECML until being replaced by the High Speed Train in the late 1970s with a final withdrawal from service at the end of 1981. Although they still had a lot to offer the Class 55s were expensive to maintain and the small fleet made them uneconomic. Six Class 55s were preserved as well as the prototype, the diesels (along with the Western Class 52s) attracting a level of popularity and interest not seen since the end of steam.

This wasn't the end of the Deltic story however, in the mid-1990s the Class 55s made a return to National Rail service with 4 being mainline certified [4] and are often used for charter services and spot hire, even hauling freights.
D9002 at Kidderminster SVR

55 019 at Kidderminster SVR

55 019 at Bewdley

D9002 again

55 019 approaches a train

Side view of D9002


[1] Brian Haresnape, Early Prototype and Pilot-Scheme Diesel Electrics (Ian Allan, 1981) p. 11
[2] Haresnape, Prototypes p. 31
[3] Brian Haresnape, Production Diesel Electrics Types 4 and 5 (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 42
[4] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (Second Edition) (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 48

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Class 373 Eurostar e300

A dream for many years the Channel Tunnel was finally opened in 1994, the Class 373 Eurostar e300 was built for high-speed intercity services between London and the continent. The Class 373 is part of the French TGV family though designed to fit in the smaller British loading gauge. The Class 373 was designed to use 25kV AC overhead line power, 3kV DC overhead (for use in Belgium) and 750v DC third-rail for use in the South of England. Some French owned sets could also use 1.5kV DC overhead. However the DC third rail provision was removed when the 25kV AC overhead-line electrified HS1 railway line was opened in Kent [1].

Information
Number built: 733 (31 20-car and 7 16-car sets + 1 spare power car)
Built: 1992-96
Builder: GEC Alsthom 
Engine: Alsthom traction system (25kV AC OHLE, 3kV DC OHLE & 750v DC third rail)
Power: 16, 400 hp (12, 200 kW) 25kV AC
7, 600 hp (5, 700 kW) 3kV DC
4, 600 hp (3, 400 kW) 750v DC third-rail
Formation: (20 car) Driving Motor (DM)+Motor Standard (MS)+
Trailer Standard (TS)+TS+TS+TS+
Trailer Brake Kitchen (TBK)+Trailer First (TF)+
TF+Trailer Brake First (TBF) +TBF+TF+TF+TBK
+TS+TS+TS+TS+MS+DM

The Class 373s were ordered for British Rail and the French and Belgian state railways SNCF and SNCB for services from London to Paris and Brussels. Some of the British sets were shorter (at 16 cars - known as 373/2 - the rest of the fleet is 373/1). These "North of London" sets intended for services from the continent to British cities in the North along the WCML and ECML however these services never came to fruition. After rail privatisation the British Rail owned sets were owned by Eurostar.

For a number of years in the early 2000s some Class 373s were leased to GNER for services from London Kings Cross to York and Leeds however there were some problems and restrictions in using the trains due to their length and power needs.

Since the arrival of the new Class 374 e320 some Class 373s have been scrapped, others have been refurbished. Some French owned sets are now used on domestic services with SNCF.
Preserved 3308 at NRM York

Side view of 3308

A Eurostar approaches St Pancras International, over a somewhat older mode of transport!

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 281

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Class 117 (Pressed Steel Co. Suburban Services 3-car)

The Class 117 DMU was another first generation DMU built to the standard BR Derby design but manufactured by Pressed Steel, who had spare capacity at the time. These units were built for the modernisation of the London division of Western Region [1] and were built for high density routes. They had toilets in the trailer but originally had no gangways so if you were in one of the motor cars you were ought of luck! Gangways were later fitted and the units received full refurbishment in the late 1970s [2]

Information
Number built: 123 cars (41 3-car sets)
Built: 1959-61
Builder: Pressed Steel
Engine: 2 BUT (Leyland) 6-cyl diesels per power car
Power: 600 hp (450 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Brake Standard (DMBS)+Trailer Composite Lavatory
(TCL)+Driving Motor Standard (DMS)

Some units later moved to Birmingham where they operated on the Cross City line and in Scotland. They remained on Cross City and London services until well into the 1990s and the last were finally withdrawn in 2000. Twelve cars have been preserved.
W51354, a DMBS, at Rowsley South

08 830 and W51534

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 72
[2] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Multiple Units: The First Generation (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 59

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Kerr Stuart 4421

Kerr Stuart was a locomotive manufacturer based in Glasgow and Stoke-on-Trent which started in the 1880s. The company went into receivership in the early 1930s, its assets being bought up by Hunslet. Although mostly known for narrow and standard gauge steam locomotives towards the end of Kerr Stuart's existence they also built a number of diesel locomotives of which 4421 was one.

Information
Number built: 2
Built: 1929
Builder: Kerr Stuart
Engine: Mercedes-Benz 6-cylinder diesel
Power: 90 hp (1,305 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 6wDM

4421 was one of two locomotives built in 1929 as demonstrators for industrial use, it worked on a standard gauge branch line of the otherwise narrow gauge Ravenglass & Eskdate Railway from Murthwaite to Ravenglass hauling wagons loaded with crushed granite. When the quarries were closed in 1953 4421 then worked as an industrial locomotive with the National Coal Board being rebuilt with a Dorman diesel engine in 1959. It moved onto Rom River Reinforcement in the late 1960s before finally being preserved at the Foxfield Railway in 1985.

Kerr Stuart diesel locomotives like 4421 used mechanical transmission with a chain final drive. The diesel engine of 4421 had a JAP petrol engine to start it. After being rebuilt with the Dorman engine 4421 had an electric starter.
4421 at the Foxfield Railway

Thursday, 28 September 2017

LU 1992 Tube Stock (Central Line)

The 1992 Tube Stock (1992TS) was built for the Central Line in the early 90s to replace ageing 1962 Tube Stock. As well as the Central Line an order of stock was added for the Waterloo & City Line too, then still British Rail owned, as the Class 482. The 1992TS is based on the 3 1986 Prototype Tube Stock trains which ran a series of trials in the late 1980s [1]. They were the first production stock fitted with solid state traction equipment [2].

Information
Number built: 680 cars (8-car sets)
Built: 1991-94
Builder: BREL Derby / ABB Derby
Engine: 4 Brush LT130 traction motors per car (630v DC fourth rail)
Power: 1, 984 hp (1, 472 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Non Driving Motor (NDM)+NDM+NDM+NDM+NDM+NDM+DM

Eighty five 8 car sets were built for the Central Line making up 680 cars in total, 175 being Driving Motors and the rest Non Driving Motors. Some NDMs are also fitted with de-icing equipment. The make-up of an 8-car formation can vary though DMs are always at the outer ends of course. The NDMs lack cabs but do have shunting controls accessible via an external cabinet.

The 1992TS has not been a trouble-free design for London Underground, despite the fact it was based on years of work with the prototype fleet there were a number of teething problems that delayed and hindered the entry into service. In 2003 a train of 1992TS derailed at Chancery Lane, after a traction motor became detached from one of the bogies following a sheered bolt, injuring 32 passengers [3][4]. The entire fleet was taken out of service (both Central and Waterloo & City fleets) for bolts to be checked and faulty ones replaced. In 2010-11 the bogies were replaced by a new design by Siemens [5]. However the 1992TS is the worst performing fleet on LU in terms of reliability and availability [6].

The 1992 Tube Stock fleet will be replaced as part of Deep Tube Upgrade in the 2020s, under current plans the 92TS fleet will be replaced near the end of the decade or early in the next [7]. To keep the fleet going until then the Central Line Improvement Programme (CLIP) will be carried out in the next few years by Bombardier. The upgrade includes replacing the DC traction system with a Mitrac AC system [8], on board computer, communication system and refreshing and updating the interior to make it RVAR compliant.
91013 at Leytonstone

Aboard a DM

Departing Mile End heading West

91289 at White City

[1] John Glover, ABC London Underground (Ian Allan, 1997) p. 64
[2] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015)  p. 105
[3] "Thirty hurt after Tube crash" BBC News <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2694361.stm>
[4] John Glover, London's Underground 12th Edition (Ian Allan, 2015) p. 76
[5] Connor p. 105
[6] Central Line Heavy Overhaul Programme Lift (TfL Paper) <http://content.tfl.gov.uk/rup-20150212-part-1-item10-central-line-overhaul.pdf>
[7] Kim Rennie, Underground and Overground Trains (Capital Transport, 2017) p. 19
[8] "Bombardier for Central Line retractioning", Modern Railways (October 2017) p. 83

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Class 321 (BREL York ER/LMR Outer Suburban Services)

The Class 321 was built for Network South East for services out of Liverpool Street into Essex along the Great Eastern Main Line. A second batch was built for semi-fast services between Euston and Birmingham on the West Coast Main Line [1]. A third and final batch was built for West Yorkshire PTE services between Doncaster and York. Two sister classes were also built, the Class 320 for services in the Strathclyde area and the Class 322 for the Stansted Express [2]. The DC EMU Class 456 also has a similar appearance.

Following the negative reaction in some quarters to earlier EMUs built in the 1980s the Class 321 had a deal of attention paid to its external appearance with the aim to produce a train "eye catching" on the outside and comfortable on the inside [3].

Information
Number built: 468 (117 4-car units)
Built: 1988-90
Builder: BREL York
Engine: 4 Brush TM2141B traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 438 hp (1, 072 kW)
Formation: (321/3) Driving Trailer Composite Open (DTCO)+Motor Standard
Open (MSO)+Trailer Standard Open Lavatory (TSOL)+
Driving Trailer Standard Open (DTSO)

The original NSE batch became known as the 321/3 with the London Midland batch the 321/4 (they have more first class seats than the 321/3s [4]) and the Yorkshire units 321/9. Unlike the other sub-classes these units did not have first class seating and so had 2 DTSOs instead of a DTCO and a DTSO.

321/3s still work on the Great Eastern route, thirty of the units are receiving a "Renatus" refurbishment and upgrade which includes new air conditioning, seating and wi-fi. Some 321/4s have been transferred to bolster the 321/3 fleet.

Class 321s are currently operated by Greater Anglia and Northern. Both fleets are due for replacement by new build EMUs at the end of the decade.
Greater Anglia (but in Great Northern livery) 321 408 at Romford

321 408 heads off Colchester bound

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 256
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 236
[3] Alec Swain, Overhead Line Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1990) p. 76
[4] John Glover, Eastern Electric (Ian Allan, 2001) p. 131