Thursday, 30 June 2016

Class 416 2-EPB

The Class 416 2-EPB EMU was built for to supplement suburban services on the Southern Electric services in the 1950s, they were the first Southern units along with the 4 car Class 415 4-EPBs to have Electro Pneumatic Brakes (hence the Alpha codes) [1]. There were 2 types of manufacture, the 416/1 used underframes from withdrawn 2-NOL units [2] and the 416/2 was based on the Mark 1 coach design.

A version of the Class 416 was also built for the South Tyneside electrified network between Newcastle and South Shields, these differed by having greater luggage space with a larger guard's area, express ratio gearing [3] and a modified front end [4] to North Eastern Region requirements. When the Tyneside electrified network was "de-electrified" in the early 1960s these units were sent to join the other 416s in Southern Region.

Information
Number built: 256 (128 2-car units)
Built: 1953-56
Builder: BR Eastleigh
Engine: 2 English Electric EE507 traction motors (660-750v DC third rail)
Power: 500 hp (370 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Brake Standard (DMBS)+Driving Trailer Standard (DTS)

"Tyneside Units" had first class accommodation and ran as DMBS+
Driving Trailer Composite (DTC)

The Class 416 continued in service into the 1980s with a number refurbished as 416/3s and 416/4s. Withdrawals began in the mid-1980s beginning with the "Tyneside" units and all were withdrawn by 1995. Some driving trailers were also used to help form the Class 206 "Tadpole" DEMUs [5].

Five units have been preserved.
"Tyneside" 5793 at the Electric Railway Museum

6307 at the Electric Railway Museum

Front view of 5793

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 320
[2] Brian Haresnape & Alec Swain, Third Rail DC Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1989) p. 34
[3] David Brown, Southern Electric Vol 2 (Capital Transport, 2010) p. 196
[4] Haresnape & Swain p. 38
[5] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Multiple Units: The Second Generation & DEMUs (Ian Allan, 1986) p. 36

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Class 378

The Class 378 "Capitalstar" was the centre piece of the modernisation of Transport for London's commuter rail network which was reorganised as London Overground. The Class 378 is part of Bombardier's highly successful Electrostar family though there were a number of differences for London Overground [1] including tube style longitudinal seating, wide gangways and LU tripcocks. Originally they were built as 3-car sets but were soon augmented with a 4th car. Later on increasing demand saw them further strengthened to 5-car sets.

Information
Number built: 285 (57 5-car sets)
Built: 2009-15
Builder: Bombardier
Engine: 3 Bombardier traction motors per motor car (750c DC third rail or 25kV AC OLHE)
Power: 3, 200 hp (2, 400 kW)
Formation: 378/1: Driving Motor Open Standard (DMSO)+Motor Open Standard (MOS)+
Trailer Open Standard (TSO)+MOS+DMSO
378/2: DMSO+MOS+Pantograph Trailer Standard Open (PTSO)+MOS+DMSO

The Class 378s operate on most lines in the London Overground network with the 378/1s being 750v DC third rail equipped and the 378/2s dual voltage with 25v AC overhead line electric collection as well [2]. Strengthening of the fleet to 5-car sets has now been completed [3] though overcrowding continues to be a problem on the Overground, and likely will continue until new EMUs begin to displace the 378s in a couple of years time from some routes allowing service frequencies to be increased.
378 144 at Peckham Rye

378 213 at Queen's Park

378 151 and 378 141 at Dalston Junction

378 223 at Imperial Wharf

[1] John Glover, London's Overground (Ian Allan, 2012) p. 106
[2] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 290
[3] Underground News No. 654 (June 2016) p. 348

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Class 121

Of all the hundreds of units built across many classes only one first generation DMU remains in service, and that is the Class 121 "Bubble Car" which can still be found on the Aylesbury-Princes Risborough branch. The Class 121, like the Class 122, is a single-car DMU though unpowered trailers with cabs at one end were also built to supplement capacity during peak demand [1].

Information
Number built: 26 cars (16 DMBS 10 trailers)
Built: 1960
Builder: Pressed Steel
Engine: 2 AEC or Leyland 1595 diesels per DMBS
Power: 300 hp (220 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Brake Standard (DMBS)+[Driving Trailer Standard (DTS)]

The Class 121s were allocated to British Rail's Western Region working on lightly used branch lines in Cornwall and along the Thames Valley. Originally in BR green they later carried BR blue and grey and some also received Network South East livery [2]. In the privatisation era they have worked with Silverlink and Arriva Trains Wales as well as their current operator Chiltern Railways.

The Class 121 outlasted all other first generation DMUs and a small number are still in service having been fitted with central door locking to meet current safety standards [3]. A number of Class 121s also found a new role in departmental service and were renumbered in the Class 960 sequence. They have been used for route learning, track surveying and sandite depositing. Three 121/960s remain in service, 5 DMBS and 2 trailers have been preserved to date.
W55023 at Chinnor

Chiltern 960 014 at Aylesbury

W55024 / 960 010 at Chinnor

[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Multiple Units, the First Generation (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 60
[2] Gavin Morrison, British Railway DMUs in Colour (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 33
[3] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 80

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Class 444

Along with the Class 450 the 444 forms the third rail DC portion of the Desiro family of multiple-units on British metals. The type was ordered for South West Trains to replace slam door stock on long-distance services running on the former Souther Region Western Section [1]. They mostly can be found on Waterloo to Weymouth and Portsmouth services.

Information
Number built: 225 cars (45 5-car sets)
Built: 2003-04
Builder: Siemens Transportation
Engine: 1TB2016-0GB02 traction motors (750v DC third rail)
Power: 2, 682 hp (2, 000 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Trailer Standard
Open (TSO)+TSO+Trailer Standard Buffet (TSRMB)+
Driving Motor Composite Open (DMCO)

The Class 444 differs from the 450 being 5-car sets and with a low-density seating arrangement [2]. Like the 450 the 444s are equipped with a pantograph well and could be converted in future to 25kV AC overhead line electric collection though there are no plans for any such conversion. Like most new types the 444s had a few teething problems when entering service but quickly became very reliable units and indeed received the Golden Spanner award for being Britain's most reliable trains in 2010 [3].
SWT 444 011 at Clapham Junction

SWT 444 044 at Portsmouth Harbour Station

SWT 444 042 and friend at Waterloo

[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 344
[2] John Balmforth, South West Trains (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 66
[3] Siemens Desiro Class 444 wins award as most reliable train <http://www.transportweekly.com/pages/en/news/articles/78314/>

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Class 222

The Class 222 Meridian is similar to the Class 220 and 221 in being new generation high speed diesel units though have a different interior to the other units with more space available due to more components being fitted under the floor. They were originally built for Midland Main Line and Hull Trains [1].

Information
Number built: 143 cars in 23 4, 5 and 7-car sets
Built: 2003-05
Builder: Bombardier Brugge
Engine: Cummins QSK9R diesel per car
Power: (222/0 7-car) 5, 250 hp (3, 920 kW)
(222/0 5-car) 3, 750 hp (2, 800 kW)
(222/1) 3, 000 hp (2, 240 kW)
Formation: 7-car : Driving Motor First (DMF)+Motor First (MF)+MF+Motor
Standard Shop Buffet (MSRMB)+Motor Standard (MS)+MS+
Driving Motor Standard (DMS)
5-car : DMF+Motor Composite (MC)+MSRMB+MS+DMS
4-car : DMF+MC+MSRMB+DMS

After the franchise change on the Midland main line they were transferred to East Midland Trains and the Hull trains (which were known as "Pioneers") were later transferred to EMT who remain the sole operator. They work the majority of EMT expresses out of London St. Pancras.
EMT 222 017 at Nottingham

EMT 222 005 at Derby

Another view of 222 005, this time at Leicester

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 177

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Class 66

As the Black 5 and Class 47 were to previous generations the Class 66 is to this one: the universal locomotive than can be seen pretty much anywhere on the national railway network. With a huge fleet of 446 (most of which are still in service) available it handles the bulk of freight traffic and indeed more than any other class is the face of British railfreight.

The Class 66 was based conceptually on the Class 59, a US/Canada built freight locomotive bought in small numbers by private companies to haul trains in the latter days of British Rail. The 66 uses the same body shell meaning there are many aesthetic similarities to the 59 but the 66 has a different engine model and traction equipment [1].

Information
Number built: 446
Built: 1998-2016
Builder: Electro-Motive Diesel
Engine: EMD 12N-710G3B-EC
(66/9) EMD 12N-710G3B-T2
Power: 3 ,300 hp (2, 3460 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

The Class 66 was initially ordered by EWS (now part of DB Cargo) in the early days of rail privatisation, the first order was for 250 with subsequent carry-on orders continuing until 2016 when the final batch arrived in the UK. No further new 66s are likely due to changes in EU emission rules (they arn't the only new build locomotives to fall foul of this). Further locomotives have been built by EMD for operators in Europe and elsewhere, some of these being later imported to join the British fleet.


The very final Class 66 or "Shed" as they are known by enthusiasts was painted in British Railways lined green and named "Evening Star" after the last steam locomotive built for British Railways [2], some might say that "Evening Shed" might be a more suitable name of course!

Sub-class Details
66/0 Original 250
66/3 Extra locomotives now operated by DRS
66/4 DRS and Freightliner operated
66/5 Freightliner operated
66/6 Freightliner operated, re-geared for heavier trains, lower top speed
66/7 GB Railfreight operated
66/8 Colas operated 
66/9 With lower emissions engine

The Class 66 is currently operated by DB, Colas, Freightliner, GB Railfreight and DRS. The vast majority are still in service, 2 have been written off following accidents.
DB 66 020 passes through Stafford

DB 66 082 hauls a freightliner through Tamworth High Level

GB Railfreight 66 753 passes through Leamington Spa, part of the final batch of 66s

66 019 at the rear of a triple-header light engine through Cardiff Central

[1] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition 2nd Edition (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 66
[2] "GBRF Names Last 66 Evening Star", Railways Illustrated No. 161 (July 2016)