Thursday, 26 November 2015

Class 40

The Class 40 was one of the early classes of diesel locomotive built by British Railways as part of their modernisation plan which would ultimately replace steam. Class 40s served across the rail network being allocated to London Midland, Eastern, North Eastern and Scottish Regions. Initially the class was used on top link expresses though their performance, while adequate on some routes like the West Coast Main Line, was not on other routes and they were replaced by more powerful locomotives on expresses before long.

One drawback with the Class 40 was their weight, at over 130 tons, and the long 1-Co-Co-1 bogies with extra unpowered wheels to carry the bulk. One Class 40 gained a bit of notoriety early in it's career as it was hauling the train involved in the Great Train Robbery in 1962.

Information
Number built: 200
Built: 1958-62
Builder: English Electric
Engine: English Electric 12CSVT Mark 2
Power: 2, 000 hp (1, 490 kW)

The popular Class 40, known as the Whistler due to the sound they make, continued to serve BR well, much of the time on freights and secondary passenger duties. Withdrawals began in the late 1970s and all were withdrawn by 1985 though 7 have been preserved though not all currently in running order.
40 106 at Highley

40 118 at Tyseley Loco Works

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Class 108 [Updated]

The Class 108 was the second of the so-called "Derby Lightweight" DMUs being a lot lighter in construction than other units like the Class 114. The Class 108 was designed for branch line and local services having a low-density interior and toilets and were allocated to British Rail's London Midland and Eastern Regions. They served as 3-car sets, some later reverting to 2-cars, until the early 1990s.

Information
Number built: 333 cars
Built: 1958-61
Builder: BR Derby
Engine: 2 BUT AEC / Leyland 6-cyl diesels
Power: 300 hp (220 kW)

Because of the good condition of the Class 108 units on withdrawal a number went into departmental service and also preservation. Over 30 cars are currently preserved and most of these operational on various heritage lines.
Preserved Class 108 on the Severn Valley Railway

Cab view
Preserved Class 108 DMU at Duffield