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 The 1983ts was withdrawn from the Jubilee in the Summer of 1998.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

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Ruston & Hornsby 165 series (including Class D1/3 and Class 97/6) [Updated]

Ruston & Hornsby built hundreds of small industrial shunters between 1947 and the mid-1960s [1] known as the 165 series which had diesel-mechanical (DM) and diesel-electric (DE) transmission versions. Although most went to industrial users 2 165DS 0-4-0 shunters were sold to British Railways as the Class DY1 and later renamed D1/3 [2]. Incidentally the prototype of this type of shunter was loaned to the LNER for a short period just before nationalisation for testing and evaluation. The 2 D1/3s worked in the Stratford area until withdrawal in the late 1960s. One was preserved along with a good number of ex-industrial 165s.

Information for Class D1/3
Number built: 2
Built: 1956
Builder: Ruston & Hornsby
Engine: Ruston 6VPHL
Power: 165 hp (123 kW)

Five 0-6-0 165DE shunters were also bought for departmental service by BR Western Region's civil engineering department, the first arriving in 1952 and the rest 1959 [3]. These were known as the Class 97/6 [4] and served until the late 1980s and early 90s at locations like Radyr, Taunton, Reading and Swindon [5] mainly shunting long welded rail trains [6]. Three of the locomotives have been preserved.
Former 97/6 shunter PWM 654 (97 654) now preserved at Rowsley South

Former ICI Chemical Works shunter 402803 (165DE) at Wirksworth

Former Patent Shaft Steelworks shunter 418596 (165DE) (with faux BR number D2961 and livery) at Bridgnorth

Former BIP Chemicals shunter 31920 (165DM) at Bewdley

[1] Ray Hooley, Engine Production Years <>
[2] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Shunters (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 52
[3] Paul Smith & Shirley Smith, British Rail Departmental Locomotives 1948-1968 (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 19
[4] Haresnape, Shunters p. 79
[5] Colin J. Marsden, Departmental Stock (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 108
[6] Heritage Shunters Trust Stock List (2016) p. 12