Thursday, 29 September 2016

Class 317 [Updated]

The Class 317 EMU is another class of multiple unit based on the Mark 3 coach design similar to the Classes 150 and 455 among others. Built in the early 1980s they are hard working veterans still carrying thousands of passengers daily into London. The 317 was the first British Rail multiple unit designed for driver only operation though this did result in a delay in their introduction into service because of a dispute with the unions [1][2]. All of the 317's service life to date has been on suburban services to London from the likes of Bedford, Luton and Cambridge though for a time in the late 1980s they did venture as far afield as Birmingham.

Number built: 288 (72 4-car sets)
Built: 1981-82, 1985-86
Builder: BREL York
Engine: 4 GEC G315BZ traction motors (25kV AC OLHE)
Power: 1, 328 hp (990 kW)
Formation: Driving Trailer Standard Open (DTSO)+Motor Standard Open (MSO)+
Trailer Composite Open (TCO)+DTSO

The Class 317 was built in two batches, the first batch 317/1 was built for St Pancras to Bedford services. A second batch 317/2 was built a little later for services out of Kings Cross. In the late 1990s some units were refurbished and upgraded, including fitting a new pantograph, as the 317/6. In the mid-2000s some 317s were refurbished as 317/7 for the Stansted Express, 317/5 for Greater Anglia services while others were refurbished and updated as 317/8.

Despite a long life already the 317 could remain in service for another 20 years with plans for a major rebuild and refurbishment and the fitting of new traction motors and equipment however if this life extension does take place it will be on different rails to where they are at present. They are due to be replaced by new Electrostar and Aventra EMUs from current routes over the next couple of years.

317 652 at Cambridge Heath

317 667 at Liverpool Street

Another view of 317 652 at Cambridge Heath
[1] Alec Swain, Overhead Line Electric Multiple-Units (Ian Allan, 1990) p. 71
[2] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 81

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Class 310

The Class 310 was built for high-density semi-fast services along the West Coast Main Line from London to Northampton and Birmingham [1]. The 310s were the first EMUs based on the Mark 2 coach had a lot of effort put into them by British Rail, the exterior design was thanks to the Design Panel and used curved glass on the windscreens (later a maintenance nightmare and was replaced by flat glass), a lot of work was put into the quality of the ride and the 310s were the first series built multiple units to have disc brakes [2].

Number built: 200 (50 4-car sets)
Built: 1965-67
Builder: BR Derby
Engine: 4 EE546A traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 080 hp (810 kW)
Formation: (310/0) Battery Driving Trailer Standard Open Lavatory (BDTSOL)+
Motor Brake Standard Open (MBSO)+Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+
Driving Trailer Composite Open Lavatory) DTCOL

All 310s were originally 4-car sets, later a number was reduced to 3 car sets (310/1) for use on local services around Birmingham. The 310/0s later worked on the London, Tilbury and Southend line after being replaced on the WCML. In the post-privatisation era they were operated by LTS Rail and Central Trains but all were withdrawn by 2002. Unfortunately none have been preserved.
Regional Railways 310 109 at Barking (Photographer unknown)

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 230
[2] Alec Swain, Overhead Line Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1990) p. 52

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Class 46

Following the success of the 10 Class 44 pilot scheme Type 4 diesels BR went ahead with a production order which was split between 127 Class 45s and 56 Class 46s (there were to be 20 more but the order was changed to the Class 47 instead). The Classes 45 and 46 are very similar mainly differing from the electrical equipment used, Crompton Parkinson for the 45 and Brush for the 46 [1].

Number built: 56
Built: 1961-63
Builder: BR Derby
Engine: Sulzer 12LDA28-B diesel
Power: 2, 500 hp (1, 864 kW)
Formation: 1-Co-Co-1

From their entry into service in the early 1960s the Class 46s could be seen on cross-country expresses and long-distance freights though these services switched over to newer motive power like the HSTs during the 1970s and withdrawals of the Class 46 began in 1977, by 1984 all had been withdrawn from revenue earning service. All 46s were fitted with steam heating only which became a problem as the amount of steam heated coaching stock was reduced by BR [2].

Most were scrapped though one, 46 009, was destroyed as it was deliberately driven at speed into a nuclear flask (unmanned of course!) to test the strength of the flask [3]. A couple entered service with the Railway Technical Centre to provide motive power for test trains, 46 035 Ixion was also used for a number of experiments including the performance of separately excited traction motors and equipment to reduce wheel spin [4]. Three (including both of the RTC 46s which are shown below) have been preserved.
46 045/D182 at Kidderminster SVR

46 035 Ixion at Rowsley South

Another view of D182 in early BR Blue

[1] Brian Haresnape, Production Diesel-Electrics Types 4 and 5 (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 31
[2] John Vaughan, Diesels on the London Midland (Ian Allan, 1981) p. 75
[3] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 93
[4] Colin J Marsden, 25 Years of Railway Research (OPC, 1989) p. 81

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Class 507 [Updated]

These units, part of the 1972 Standard Design High Density Stock family, were built to replace the life-expired Class 502 in the late 1970s on the Merseyside third-rail DC electrified network [1]. They are very similar to the Classes 313 and 508 (with whom they share the Merseyrail network) [2].

Number built: 33 3-car sets
Built: 1978-80
Builder: BREL York
Engine: 8 GEC G310AZ traction motors (750v DC third rail)
Power: 880 hp (657 kW)
Formation: Battery Driving Motor Second Open (BDMSO)+Trailer Second Open (TSO)+
Driving Motor Second Open (DMSO)

As built they could carry 230 passengers in a 2+3 seat arrangement but since refurbishment at Eastleigh in the early 2000s that has been changed to a less sardine can like (and warmly welcomed by passengers) low density 2+2 arrangement (seating reduced to 186 [3]). The Class 507s (and 508s) are due to be replaced by new EMUs within the next couple of years [4].
Merseyrail 507 021 at New Brighton

Merseyrail 507 014 at Hamilton Square

Merseyrail 507 003 at Hall Road

Merseyrail 507 024 at Sandhills

[1] Jonathan Cadwaller & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 23
[2] Brian Haresnape & Alec Swain, Third Rail DC Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1989) p. 73
[3] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 386
[4] "Five shortlisted for new Merseyrail trains", Today's Railways UK No. 171 (March 2016)

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Class 316 and 457

To help develop the Class 465 "Networker" multiple-unit BR took 4 coaches from the Class 210 DEMU and used them as a test bed, firstly as the Class 457 for DC third rail and later as the Class 316 for AC overhead [1]. The former Class 210s were converted at RTC Derby and then ran for a while on Southern Region. The 457s were fitted with three-phase traction motors which allowed for significant energy savings over earlier types of motor [2].

Number built: 4 (1 4-car set)
Built: 1989-90 (Class 210s originally built 1981)
Builder: BREL Derby
Engine: Brush three-phase traction motors (750v DC third rail (457) 25kV AC OHLE (316))
Power: 1, 140 hp (850 kW) 
Formation: (457) Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+TSO+DMSO
(316) DMSO+Pantograph Trailer Standard Open (PTSO)+TSO+DMSO

Later they returned to Derby and were converted to AC traction by inserting a PTSO from a Class 313 and worked AC electrified lines North of the Thames. Of the 4 cars used 2 have been converted to and form part of Class 455/9 EMUs, and 67300 has been preserved.
67300 at the Electric Railway Museum

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 355
[2] Alec Swain, Overhead Line Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1990) p. 80

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Class 23

The success of the revolutionary Deltic diesel engine and the Deltic prototype saw British Railways explore the possibility of putting a single cut-down version of the engine in a smaller mixed-traffic locomotive in the Type B (later 2) power classification. The Class 23 "Baby Deltic" was hence born for services on the Great Northern network [1]. With hindsight the experiment and resulting small fleet of Type 2 locomotives was an unnecessary mistake. There was found to be no real advantage over similar sized locomotives with traditional diesel engines but the Deltic also bought with it extra complexity and cost [2]. The Baby Deltics owed little to their larger brethren except for the engine technology and in design and cab terms owed a lot to the Class 40.

Number built: 10
Built: 1959
Builder: English Electric
Engine: Napier T9-29 Deltic diesel
Power: 1, 100 hp (820 kW)
Formation: Bo-Bo

The fleet was refurbished in 1963 and modernised with a 4 character headcode replacing the original headcode discs and gangway doors [3]. They continued to serve though had high maintenance costs and passengers and crews found they had excessive noise and fumes in operation. With these disadvantages and being such a tiny fleet there was no way the Baby Deltics could survive the fleet rationalisation at the end of the 1960s and all were withdrawn from normal service by 1971. One survived with the Railway Technical Centre and hauled test trains until 1975 [4] but was scrapped like the rest of the class. No Baby Deltics now exist though the Baby Deltic Project aim one day to built a replica.
D5901 at Doncaster in 1959, photographer unknown

[1] John Vaughan, Diesels on the Eastern (Ian Allan, 1982) p. 31
[2] Brian Haresnape, Early Prototype and Pilot Scheme Diesel-Electrics (Ian Allan, 1981) p. 72
[3] Haresnape p. 75
[4] Colin J. Marsden, 25 Years of Railway Research (OPC, 1989) p. 67

Thursday, 1 September 2016

LU 1973 Tube Stock

The 1973 Tube Stock fleet was ordered to replace the mixture of 1938, 1959 and 1962 that operated on the Piccadilly Line. A larger fleet was also ordered for the extensions of the Piccadilly to Heathrow Airport in the late 1970s [1] with the trains entering service from 1975.

Eighty six 6 car units were ordered with an extra 3 car unit for the Aldwych branch, 76 are needed for peak time operation. The trains usually operate with 2 UNDMs in the middle though 20 units can operate as a complete 3 car unit with 2 DMs at either end though trains usually contain 6 cars. When the Aldwych branch of the Piccadilly Line was still operating then a single 3-car unit was used on it [2].

Number built: 519 (86.5 6-car units)
Built: 1974-77
Builder: Metro-Cammell
Engine: 4 LT118 traction motors per motor car (630v DC fourth rail)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+Uncoupling Non+Driving Motor
(UNDM)[+UNDM+T+DM] (some as DM+T+DM)

At 18m long the 1973ts cars are longer than previous tube stock (usually 16m) which allowed for 6 car trains instead of 7 as was the case before with virtually the same capacity but a reduced cost due to smaller number of bogies, car bodies et cetera [3]. The 1973ts was refurbished by Bombardier in the late 1990s and has regularly been London Underground's most reliable fleet of stock [4].

The 1973ts is due to be replaced by the New Tube for London in the mid 2020s. It is possible that some 1973ts cars could live on to be used to replace the ageing 1938ts/Class 483s on the Isle of Wight Island Line.
157 at Acton Town

On the approach to Acton Town

At Hammersmith

Airport bound train at Acton Town
[1] John Glover, London Underground Rolling Stock in Colour (Ian Allan, 2009) p. 8
[2] Anthony Badsey-Ellis and Mike Horne, The Aldwych Branch (Capital Transport, 2009) p. 72
[3] J. Graeme Bruce, The London Underground Tube Stock (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 114
[4] John Hawkins, "LU Train Reliability", Underground News No. 644 (August 2015), p. 458