Friday, 30 December 2016

LU 1972 Tube Stock [Updated]

The 1972 Tube Stock fleet which still operates on the Bakerloo Line is the oldest fleet of passenger rolling stock still operating on London Underground and in fact any rapid transit system in the UK! [1] They will finally be replaced by new rolling stock under the Deep Tube Upgrade programme though this will not occur until the late 2020s at the earliest under current plans. The entire fleet is currently undergoing a refurbishment programme [2] to keep them going until then though the 72ts was found to be in even worse condition than first thought with a lot of work needed to repair and replace cracked and corroded parts of the structure. The interiors have also been smartened up with new moquette on the seating and improved flooring [3].

Number built: 441 (63 7-car sets, 30 Mark 1, 33 Mark 2)
Built: 1972-74
Builder: Metro-Cammell
Engine: 4 LT115A traction motors per motor car (630v DC fourth rail)
Power: 1, 680 hp (1, 264 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+T+DM+Uncoupling Non Driving Motor (UNDM)+T+DM

The 1972 Tube Stock was built to replace 1938 Tube Stock which was fast becoming life expired in the early 1970s. To save time the new stock was based on the 1967 Tube Stock which had just been built for the Victoria Line [4]. Although they look very similar there are sufficient differences to mean the 1967 and 1972 fleets were not interchangeable (though surplus 1972 stock were later used to augment Victoria Line services). The 72ts comprises 4 and 3 car sets which together make a 7-car train.

The first 30 sets were known as the Mark 1, none of these remain in passenger service as built though a couple have been preserved including an ex-Northern Line 4-car set at Aldwych disused tube station for training and filming purposes [5]. The second batch of 33 cars was the Mark 2 which has a slightly different interior and some equipment and control differences. The 72ts initially served on the Northern (Mark I) and Jubilee (Mark II) Lines though the latter were later were transferred to the Bakerloo Line where they remain in service. Thirty six sets are operated by the Bakerloo Line, the vast majority Mark IIs but with a couple of Mark Is converted to be compatible.

Due to their age the 72ts fleet in many ways is unique on London Underground, they are the only tube trains to retain some transverse seating and the last stock to be fitted with the once standard Westinghouse air brake [6]. They are due to remain in service until the late 2020s at least and some will likely remain in service beyond that date in departmental service, with 2 motor cars already part of the new Asset Inspection Train.
Bakerloo Line 3535 at Kensal Green

Bakerloo Line 3661 at Oxford Circus

Preserved Mark I 3530 at LT Museum Depot, Acton

Interior of Mark I stock at Aldwych

Bakerloo Line 3553 at Queens Park

[1] Underground News Number 654 (June 2016) p. 344
[2] "Bakerloo Line Fleet Weld Repairs" <>
[3] Underground News Number 655 (July 2016)
[4] J. Graeme Bruce, The London Underground Tube Stock (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 109
[5] Anthony Badsey-Ellis & Mike Horne, The Aldwych Branch (Capital Transport, 2009) p. 103
[6] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015) p. 72

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Class 360

The Class 360 is part of the Desiro family of EMUs though unlike their cousins such as the Class 450 they do not have end unit gangways (though some test units were built with these, later removed [1]). The main batch of these EMUs, the Class 360/1, was built to replace the Class 312 on services out of Liverpool Street to Clacton-on-Sea, Ipswich and Colchester originally for First Great Eastern but nowadays operated by Greater Anglia.

Number built: 109 (25 4 or 5 car sets)
Built: 2002-05
Builder: Siemens
Engine: 1TB2016-0GB02 three-phase traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 341 hp (1, 000 kW)
Formation: 360/1: Driving Motor Composite Open (DMCO)
+Pantograph Trailer Standard Open (PTSO)+
Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+DMCO
360/2: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)

Another batch (360/2) of 5-car sets are operated by Heathrow Connect on London Paddington - Heathrow stopping services. One set is also operated by Heathrow Express on the Heathrow Central-Terminal 4 shuttle.
Heathrow Express 360 205 at Old Oak Common depot

Another view of 360 205

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 275

Friday, 23 December 2016

Class 170 [Updated]

The Class 170 Turbostar is one of the largest fleets of new generation DMUs built post-privatisation. The Class 170 typically operates on regional and long-distance (cross country) services and is a development of the Class 168 Clubman DMU [1]. Indeed later built 168s and 170s have a very close resemblance (some Class 170s have been re-classified as Class 168/3s - see photo below). The follow-on Turbostar DMUs Classes 171 and 172 also look near identical meaning the Turbostar "look" is a very common one on British rails.

Number built: 331 (122 2 and 3-car sets)
Built: 1998-2005
Builder: ABB Derby / Bombardier Derby
Engine: MTU 6R 183TD13H diesel per car
Power: 1, 266 hp (945 kW) / 844 hp (630 kW)
Formation: Typically Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)+Motor Standard (MS)+
Driving Motor Composite Lavatory (DMCL) or DMSL+DMCL
(170/3): DMCL+Motor Standard Lavatory Restaurant Buffet (MSLRB)+DMSL
(170/4): DMCL+MS+DMCL

The Class 170 is used throughout the rail network, the largest fleet is operated by ScotRail but Cross Country and London Midland also have sizeable fleets. Greater Anglia are the other current operator. Previous operators include South West Trains [2], Hull Trains and First TransPennine Express.

There are a number of sub-classes though all share the same specification and equipment. The differences being in seating arrangements.
X Country 170 518 at Tamworth

London Midland 170 634 at Barnt Green

X Country 170 397 at Derby
Former TPE Class 170 now Chiltern Class 168 325 (at Lapworth)

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 154
[2] John Balmforth, South West Trains (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 58

Friday, 16 December 2016

Class 67 [Updated]

The Class 67 is a mixed traffic locomotive originally intended for 125mp/h operation on postal trains and other exclusive services like the Royal Train [1]. By the time they had arrived from Spain the intended post services had gone so they have been involved on charter, passenger and other general duties instead. When they arrived they were restricted to 110 mp/h because of the high axle load but bogie modifications have restored their design speed. Problems with exceeding the loading gauge also delayed their introduction into service.

Number built: 30
Built: 1999-2000
Builder: Alstom Meinfesta / General Motors
Engine: GM 12N-710G3B-EC diesel
Power: 3, 200 hp (2, 386 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

A major duty for the Class 67 has been on Chiltern Railway's expresses from London to the Midlands though they were replaced by newer Class 68s. They can often be seen around the network but maybe arn't utilised heavily enough to justify the high cost of building and bringing them over.
Royal Train allocated 67 006 at Derby

EWS liveried 67 008 at Birmingham Moor Street

67 010 brings a charter into Bridgnorth

DB liveried 67 018 at Birmingham Snow Hill

[1] Colin J Marsden, Traction Recognition (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 76

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Network Rail High Definition Switches and Crossings Video Inspection Train

The fleet of Windhoff built Multiple Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) perform a wide variety of departmental duties for Network Rail and supporting companies. One specialist MPV is the High Definition Switches & Crossings Video Inspection Train DR 98008 which originally was part of Network Rail's fleet of Overhead Line MPVs[1]. This is a double cab single car vehicle (most MPVs have cabs at one end only and operate in pairs).

Number built: 1
Built: 1999-2001, 2012
Builder: Windhoff
Engine: 2 Railpac diesel engines
Power: 710 hp (530 kW)

It is used by Network Rail's Asset Information department with visual inspection equipment especially for switches and crossings (pointwork in other words). It is also fitted with a version of the Plain Line Pattern Recognition (PLPR) system, which compares video footage of the track with a database of track fixings so broken fixings and irregularities can be detected [2], for switches and crossings. It is also fitted with a track geometry system.
DR 98008 at Derby
Full length view
[1] Colin J Marsden, Rail Guide 2013 (Ian Allan, 2013) p.204
[2] "DR98009" On Track Plant,

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Class 47 [Updated]

The Class 47 is the largest single class of mainline diesel locomotive built for British railways with a total of 512 built in the 1960s [1]. They became the standard Type 4 diesel locomotive and have operated on all parts of British railways on passenger, freight and engineering services. Most have been withdrawn now but there are still around 30 in mainline service. Thirty-three have also been rebuilt and re-engined as Class 57s.

Number built: 512
Built: 1962-68
Builder: Brush / BR Crewe
Engine: Sulzer 12LDA28-C diesel
Power: 2, 580 hp (1, 920 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

The Class 47 was built to allow British Railways to finally withdraw steam traction on mainline services by 1968 and became the definitive second generation diesel locomotive for BR. Originally they were a follow-on from the Class 45/46 Peaks and indeed the first 20 Class 47s replaced the last 20 Class 46s on order [2] with some of the equipment used (and in subsequent locomotives) was chosen because it was left over from the Peak order. The Class 47 has an uprated version of the Sulzer powerplant but with a flat front as mandated by British Rail and took advantage of improvements in technology to be a Co-Co not a 1Co-Co1.

There were some teething problems as might be expected with such a big class, the Sulzer diesels needed to be derated to 2, 580hp to reduce wear and tear on the engine, but the Class 47 soon became the mainstay of heavy duty services. Five locomotives were fitted with the Sulzer V12 12LVA24 engine and classified as Class 48 though were later converted back into "normal" Class 47s.

Sub-class Details
47/0 Original with train steam heating boilers
47/3 Dedicated freight locos with no train heating
47/4 Fitted with electric train heating
47/6 Single loco fitted with Rushton 16RK3CT engine testing for later Class 56
47/7 Fitted for push-pull services 
47/8 Fitted with extra fuel tanks
47/9 47/6 loco later fitted with engine to test for Class 58 

Known as "Duffs" by rail enthusiasts, surviving Class 47s are still used on a variety of services such as charters, spot-hires and engineering services. Over 30 have been preserved to date most in working order. One Class 47 even works charters in Hungary, when the class was being built in the 1960s few would have suspected that might happen! [3]
47 812 passes through Derby 
47 237 at Tyseley

47 580 at Crewe

47 773 at Tyseley

47 798 at the National Railway Museum

[1] Colin J Marsden, Traction Recognition (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 40
[2] Brian Haresnape, Production Diesel-Electrics Types 4 and 5 (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 52
[3] "47 375 named Falcon", Railways Illustrated No.166 (December 2016) p. 10

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Class 172 [Updated]

The Class 172 is a member of the Turbostar family (such as the Classes 170 and 171). It is similar to the Class 170 but has diesel-mechanical transmission and a more austere interior to suit inner-suburban routes. They are also lighter due to a different bogie being used.

They were ordered for London Overground, Chiltern Railways and London Midland and they remain in service with these operators [1] though the London Overground sets could be cascaded elsewhere once the Gospel Oak-Barking Line (which they operate on) is electrified in the next couple of years. Chiltern 172s cannot be fitted with tripcocks (a safety system used by London Underground) unlike their other DMUs because of the bogies used which means they cannot operate on the Aylesbury via Amersham Line unless running with another so-equipped DMU.

Number built: 117 (39 2 or 3 car sets)
Built: 2010-11
Builder: Bombardier Derby
Engine: MTU 6H1800R83 diesel per vehicle
Power: 968hp (720kW) / 1, 449hp (1, 080kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard (DMS)+DMS or
DMS+Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL) or
DMSL+Motor Standard (MS)+DMS

It is in service with London Overground (Class 172/0), Chiltern Railways (Class 172/1) and London Midland (Class 172/2 and 172/3). The London Midland examples have end-gangways. The 172/3 are 3-car sets with the other sub-classes being 2-car.
London Midland 172 331 at Worcester Shrub Hill

London Overground 172 008 at Gospel Oak

London Midland 172 345 at Stratford-upon-Avon

Chiltern 172 102 at Princes Risborough

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 162

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Class 91

Finally in the 1980s BR got the go-ahead and funds for the electrification of the East Coast Main Line (originally it was supposed to have taken place at the same time as the WCML), for this they needed a new fleet of express passenger locomotive. These were the Class 91 which were coupled to Mark 4 coaches with a Driving Van Trailer on the other end [1]. This system was also called the Intercity 225 (replacing the Intercity 125 as it did on the ECML) though the trains couldn't go 225mp/h, just a mere 140mp/h! However this has been restricted to 125mp/h in everyday use, on a test train one Class 91 has reached 162mp/h in 1989 (the British locomotive speed record).

Number built: 31
Built: 1988-91
Builder: BREL Crewe
Engine: GEC G426 traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 6, 080 hp (4, 533 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

Unusually the Class 91 is asymmetric with a streamlined cab at one end and a blunt ended one at the other. It can operate fully in either direction though of course usually travels pointy-end first, especially when hauling an express. The blunt end cab is fully operational and indeed the Class 91 can travel at up to 110mp/h this way around. As built the Class 91s were 91/0s but became 91/1s after refurbishment [2].

They remain on express duties on the ECML though will be replaced by a new generation of high speed trains in the next few years. They are currently operated by Virgin East Coast, before that East Coast, NX East Coast, GNER and BR Intercity. What happens to them next is currently unknown, although their reliability could be better it is likely they will find further use cascaded to other routes.
Virgin EC 91 109 at Kings Cross

91108 in East Coast livery at York

[1] Gavin Morrison, AC Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 80
[2] Colin J Marsden, Traction Recognition (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 92

Thursday, 24 November 2016

DLR B90/B92/B2K Stock

The Docklands Light Railway is a growing light rail network in the East of London which has supported the redevelopment of the former docklands area. Unlike other lines which have been built in response to demand the DLR was built to attract people to a previously run down area [1]. The B90/B92/B2K fleet is a second generation of trains which supplemented and then replaced the original P86/89 Stock.

All DLR trains are automatically controlled though carry a Passenger Service Agent who can control the train if necessary via a locked console. The trains do not have cabs and so are popular with passengers who can get a great front view of travel! The DLR trains consist of a single articulated car[2] though can operate in multiples of up to 3. Some DLR trains have now being augmented with an extra car in the middle, the entire fleet will eventually be upgraded this way. The DLR operates off 750v DC third rail like most railways in London though in the DLR's case power is picked up from the underside of the conductor rail, the top and sides having plastic covers.

Number built: 94 (23 B90, 47 B92, 24 B2K)
Built: 1991-2002
Builder: Bombardier
Engine: Brush TM2111A traction motors (750v DC third rail bottom contact)
Power: 375 hp (280 kW)

The B2K cars differ from the 2 earlier batches in that they have been modified to adhere to accessibility regulations and have contrasting colour doors and handrails and internal LCD screens. The earlier cars are being bought up to standard during refurbishment.
B2K stock #12 at Royal Albert

B90 stock #43 at Poplar depot

B92 stock #79 at Prince Regent

B2K stock #94 at Poplar depot

[1] Oliver Green, The London Underground (Ian Allan, 1987) p. 67
[2] Colin J Marsden, Rail Guide 2013 (Ian Allan, 2012) p. 256

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Class 74

In the late 1960s Southern Region required some more electro-diesels for the Bournemouth electrification scheme. Instead of building more Class 73s BR decided to rebuild 10 Class 71 DC electric locomotives as these could be more powerful than the Class 73s and rebuilds were thought to be cheaper than building new locomotives [1]. As with other Southern locomotives they could work in multiple with multiple units and other SR locomotives and be used for push-pull operations.

Number built: 10
Built: 1958-60 (Electric locomotives)
1967-68 (Rebuilds)
Builder: BR Doncaster, rebuilds at BR Crewe
Engine: 4 EE532A traction motors (750v DC third rail)
Paxman 6YJXL diesel
Power: 2, 300 hp (1, 715 kW) electric
650 hp (485 kW) diesel
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

While the Class 74 seemed a great idea the execution let it down. The conversions were not simple with a lot of modifications and strengthening needed to fit the additional equipment [2]. Reliability in the early days was poor, the Paxman diesel not being as reliable as the English Electric unit in the Class 73, there were numerous problems with the complicated control equipment (the Class 74s were test beds for new thyristor controls [3]) and crews disliked the noise of the engine due to the location of the engine silencer near the cab.

By the late 1970s SR saw it had enough Class 33s and 73s to cover traffic requirements and the Class 74s were withdrawn by 1977 as non-standard. All have been scrapped though a Class 71 has been preserved.
74 009, location and photographer unknown

[1] Brian Haresnape, Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 78
[2] David Brown, Southern Electric Vol 2 (Capital Transport, 2010) p. 220
[3] R.L. Vickers, DC Electric Trains and Locomotives in the British Isles (David & Charles, 1983) p. 81

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Class 312

The Class 312 was based on the earlier Class 310 and built for the Great Northern Line from Kings Cross to Royston, the Great Eastern and also 4 sets for the West Coast Main Line [1]. The Class 312 was the last Mark 2 based EMU to be built by British Rail. It was also the last new build with slam doors to be built.

Number built: 196 (49 4-car sets)
Built: 1975-78
Builder: BREL York
Engine: 4 EE546A traction motors (6.25 (312/1 only) / 25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 080 hp (810 kW)
Formation: Battery Driving Trailer Standard Open Lavatory (BDTSOL)+
Motor Brake Standard Open (MBSO)+Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+
Driving Trailer Composite Open Lavatory (DTCOL)

Twenty six sets were allocated to the Great Northern as 312/0 but they were transferred to the Great Eastern due to their unsuitability for driver only operation [2]. Sets for GE Liverpool Street services were fitted for dual voltage (6.25 as well as 25 kV AC) as 312/1. The WCML sets (312/2) were restricted to 75mp/h running so they could run in multiple with the Class 310. When they were later transferred to join the rest of the fleet on Great Eastern the speed restriction was removed.

By the end of the 1980s the fleet was concentrated on the Great Eastern and London, Tilbury & Southend Railway. In the privatised era some returned to the WCML and were operated by Central Trains, the rest were operated by c2c, First Great Eastern and LTS Rail. At the turn of the century they were gradually withdrawn from service with the last being withdrawn in 2004, the fact they were Mark 2 based and having slam doors meaning they had shorter lives than some EMUs have had. Two cars have been preserved at the Electric Railway Museum.
78037 at the Electric Railway Museum

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 232
[2] Alec Swain, Overhead Line Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1990) p. 59

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Class 82

The Class 82 (or AL2) was another of the 5 classes of locomotive built for the West Coast Main Line electrification. The Class 82 used Metropolitan-Vickers equipment though the locomotive building was sub-contracted out to Beyer Peacock [1]. The Class 82 used a number of components in common with the Class 81 though were overweight to British Rail's specification due to a sturdier more traditional method of construction. To get back within the weight limit some parts of the structure were replaced with aluminium or fibre glass and lighter versions of some items of electrical equipment were fitted [2].

Number built: 10
Built: 1960-62
Builder: Beyer Peacock / Metropolitan-Vickers
Engine: 4 Metropolitan-Vickers 189Z traction motors (6.25 / 25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 3, 300 hp (2, 460 kW) continuous
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

Although they also had problems with their mercury-arc rectifiers like some of the other early electric locomotives they had less problems with them though the rectifiers were replaced with silicon-diode as with the other classes in the early 1970s. One problem the Class 82 did have at times was a tendency to overheat when stationary if the equipment was still running due to inadequate ventilation [3].

One was withdrawn due to fire damage in 1966, another in 1971, but the rest survived into the 1980s but began to be withdrawn as sufficient more modern traction was available. Two survived (along with 2 Class 83s) on Euston empty stock movements until 1987. One (82 008) has been preserved.
82 005, photographer unknown

82 008, photographer unknown

[1] Gavin Morrison, AC Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 11
[2] Brian Haresnape, Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 49
[3] Morrison p. 11

Thursday, 27 October 2016

LU 1983 Tube Stock [Updated]

The 1983 Tube Stock must rate as one of the least successful types of train London Underground has operated in recent decades. While most types of stock have long careers (often into their fourth decades) the 1983ts entered service in 1984 but only lasted until 1998 with some stock only having about 10 years service. The stock was built for the new Fleet Line which became the Jubilee Line when it opened in 1979. The stock was built in 2 batches with 15 6-car sets ordered in 1982 and a second batch of 16 and a half in 1986 [1].

Number built: 189 (31½ 6-car sets)
Built: 1983-86
Builder: Metro-Cammell
Engine: Brush LT122 traction motors
Power: 960 hp (720 kW) (630v DC fourth rail)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+DM+[DM+T+DM]

The 1983ts was based on the sub-surface D78 Stock in some ways including the use of single leaf doors [2]. When the trains were being designed passenger levels on the tube were in decline but levels picked up dramatically after the trains were built. The single-leaf doors proved to be a problem for slow unloading and loading at stations, the resulting increased dwell times causing numerous problems on the line. There were also problems with reliability of the electrical equipment. The 1983ts bought with it a number of technical innovations such as Kiepe design traction equipment[3], unfortunately many of them proved to be unsuccessful.

When the Jubilee Line Extension was being planned in the 1990s the initial plan was to refurbish and upgrade the 1983ts to match the new 1996 Tube Stock then being designed for the Jubilee. In the end though it was thought cheaper to withdraw the 1983ts and just run 1996ts on the line. The 1983ts was withdrawn from the Jubilee in the Summer of 1998.

There were attempts to re-use these (relatively) new trains. One plan was for them to go to the Piccadilly but this proved to be too expensive. They were also considered for the Isle of Wight Island Line but were considered too "digital" and the Island Line decided to hold out for 1973 Tube Stock instead (they are still waiting). Some cars have been preserved including 4 cars used as artists studios on top of a building in Shoreditch. Others are used for emergency services training in Sunderland and Derbyshire. Some stored stock was only removed and scrapped in 2015 though it had been badly vandalised by then.
Preserved 3734 at Acton Depot

Interior of 3734

Cab of 3734

3733 and 3662 in Shoreditch

[1] John Glover, ABC London Underground (Ian Allan, 1997) p. 63
[2] J. Graeme Bruce, The London Underground Tube Stock (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 120
[3] D.K. Ware, "London's 1983 Tube Stock", Proceedings of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers Vol 198D:11, p. 158

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Class 25 [Updated]

Following on from the Class 24 the Class 25 Type 2 diesel-electric locomotive was built in large quantities in the 1960s and became a very common sight on British Rail in the late 1960s and 1970s and into the 1980s. However the early 25s shared the design flaws of the 24 such as the layout of the engine room which hindered maintenance, the position of air intake louvres and filters (some of which got so filthy they stopped working) and the draughtiness of the cab largely thanks to the seldom used gangway doors [1]. During the long production run a number of improvements were made which are detailed below.

Number built: 327
Built: 1961-67
Builder: BR Derby, Darlington, Crewe and Beyer Peacock
Engine: Sulzer 6LDA 28B diesel
Power: 1, 250 hp (932 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

The Class 25s were mixed traffic locomotives though spent much of their time on freight (not all were fitted with train heating boilers) but also some cross-country passenger services [2]. As the 1980s wore on the changing nature of the freight business meant they were too underpowered and regional cross country passenger duties were increasingly going over to multiple units. They were all withdrawn by 1987 though 20 have been preserved.

Class 25 sub-classes are listed below but there were also differences within sub-classes too especially with respect to train heating provision (or lack of).

D7629 at Wirksworth

Sub-class Details
25/0 Original, very similar to Class 24 but with uprated engine
25/1 Improved lighter traction motor and other weight saving measures
25/2 Redesigned interior, air filter louvre layout and cab with gangway doors removed
25/3 Final version with improved equipment
25/9 Locomotives dedicated to mineral traffic
Another view of D7629 at Wirksworth

Withdrawn Class 25 seen at Tyseley in the late 1980s

[1] Brian Haresnape, Production Diesel-Electrics Types 1-3 (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 33
[2] John Vaughan, Diesels on the London Midland (Ian Allan, 1981) p. 30

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Clayton Devonport Locomotives RTU 1 & 2

These 2 locomotives were built for the Royal Navy in 2000 by Clayton Equipment and spend their time at Devonport. One can imagine the cargos they handle (which is no doubt top secret) are often very sensitive! The locomotives, which are known as Dennis (RTU 1) and Henry (RTU 2) [1], have a Clarke hydraulic transmission and a Clayton spur and bevel final drive [2]. One interesting feature of the shunters is that they have 2 sets of buffers at different heights.

Number built: 2
Built: 2000
Builder: Clayton Equipment
Engine: Deutz BF6M1013E diesel
Power: 194 hp (145 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 4wDM

RTU 2 Henry at Wirksworth

Front view of RTU 2 Henry, on trial after an overhaul at Clayton

[1] Industrial Locomotives 13EL (IRS, 2003) p. 66
[2] Ray King, An Introduction to British Industrial Diesel Locomotives (Traction & Rolling Stock Advertiser, 2006) p. 16

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Class 370 [Updated]

The Advanced Passenger Train (APT) project begun in the early 1970s was supposed to be the future of InterCity travel on British Rail, so much so that the High Speed Train was seen as a bit of a stop-gap. The APT unfortunately never came to fruition despite over a decade of development and failed to enter service though the Class 370 came (fairly) close.

Number built: 44 (6 7-car sets - though making 3 trains + 2 spares)
Built: 1977-78
Builder: BR Derby / ASEA
Engine: 4 ASEA/LJMA 410F traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 4, 000 hp (2, 983 kW) (per power car - 2 are used in a train)
Formation: Driving Trailer Second (DTS)+Trailer Second (TS)+Trailer Unclassified
(Restaurant) (TU)+Trailer Buffet Second (TRSB)+Trailer First (TF)+
Trailer Brake First (TBF)+Non-Driving Motor (M)+

The Class 370 was an EMU which built on the experience gained from the gas-turbine powered APT-E in the early 1970s [1]. The Class 370, often referred to as the APT-P, was designed to be able to travel at 125mp/h along the West Coast Main Line, the coaches tilting to allow for the increased speed on legacy tracks. The tilting unfortunately proved the APT's Achilles Heel causing a lot of trouble. The project was finally cancelled in the mid-1985s. It was not a complete waste however as some of the technology developed was later used on the InterCity 225 and also used on the Pendolino sets which now run on the WCML (among other places) - though these were not built in the UK.

Each of the 6 Class 370 sets built consisted of 7 vehicles, a non-driving motor car and 6 passenger carrying cars. Two sets made up an in-service rake with the 2 motor cars being in the centre of the train.

The Class 370 had a number of "interesting" features, notably the train's power cars which had no passenger gangway access meaning that there was no passenger access between the 2 halves of the train while in motion (and also wasted a lot of platform space). Buffet facilities therefore had to be duplicated. The limitations of the central power cars were well known during testing and a production (or "squadron service") version of the Class 370 would have had a single power car at one end of the train. In the end this is what was used on the Class 91.

Seven cars have been preserved including a 6-car rake at the Crewe Heritage Centre and a Motor car at the Electric Railway Museum.
370 003 at Crewe Heritage Centre

Interior view
Cab view

Preserved Motor car at the Electric Railway Museum, inset shows data panel

[1] Brian Haresnape, High Speed Trains (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 70

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Class 83

As with the early diesel locomotives British Railways ordered a number of different AC electric locomotives in small batches (for a total of 100 locomotives) for the electrification of the West Coast Main Line. Unlike the diesels however BR exerted a lot more control over the Classes 81 to 85 which looked very similar but differed in internal equipment used. Fifteen of the 100 locomotives ordered were by English Electric as the AL3 later Class 83. Unfortunately while English Electric diesel locomotives were hard to beat the Class 83 disappointed [1].

Number built: 15
Built: 1960-62
Builder: English Electric Vulcan Foundry
Engine: 4 EE435A traction motors (25kV AC OLHE)
Power: 2, 950 hp (2, 200 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

The Class 83s were lighter (three tons less than the Class 82 for example) and less powerful than the other prototype classes though English Electric considered this a virtue as it made them cheaper to build, a quarter of the price of a Deltic! The main weakness of the Class 83 was with their mercury-arc rectifiers which gave a lot of trouble and a time in the late 60s the entire class was put into storage [2].

In the early 1970s they were restored into service with silicon-diode rectifiers and continued in service until the early 1980s their relative lack of power compared to other electric locomotives saw them surplus to requirements and withdrawals began. A few managed to survive in service until the end of the decade on Euston empty coaching stock duties and even received Intercity livery. One of these 83 012 has been preserved.
83 013, locations and photographer in all photos unknown
83 012 in Intercity livery
83 015 looking a bit worse for wear

[1] Gavin Morrison, AC Electric Locomotives in Colour (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 13
[2] Brian Haresnape, Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 53