Sunday, 15 October 2017

LU Standard Stock / 1923 Tube Stock / Pre 1938 Tube Stock

As the 1920s dawned the London tube network was growing rapidly but there was also a need to replace much of the first generation tube stock which has mostly been built without air operated doors. To fulfil this need for a lot of rolling stock what became known as Standard Stock was built over an eleven year period though in a number of production batches. They have also been called 1923 Tube Stock and Pre 1938 Tube Stock (the 1938 Tube Stock being the next major type to be built).

Number built: 1466
Built: 1923-34
Builder: Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, Cammell Laird,
Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, Leeds Forge,
Metropolitan-Cammell, Union Construction Company
Engine: GEC WT54 or Metropolitan-Vickers MV152 traction motors (630v DC fourth rail)

To start with six experimental cars (5 trailers and 1 control trailer) were ordered in 1922 for evaluation purposes [1], they came from a variety of manufacturers who were given a general specification for the trailers but free to follow their own design internally [2] though the stock generally had the same external appearance. These cars were later known as 1922 Tube Stock or Competition Stock.

The control trailers and motor cars were a Underground Group design with a wooden mock-up being built at Golders Green of what would soon be a very familiar sight to London's commuters [3]. The first production order came in 1923 for 191 cars. Further orders came in subsequent years for extensions to the tube network and also as original plans to retrofit earlier stock with air doors were abandoned. The Standard Stock trains to start with used a mixture of GEC and Metropolitan-Vickers electrical equipment, the equipment being stored in switch compartments behind the cabs in the motor cars.

As the 1920s continued more orders were placed but differences were made to the design. Production builds in 1926 and 1927 began to have British Thomson-Houston traction equipment which had been used on earlier tube stock and proved to be more reliable than GEC and MV's equipment [4]. The 1927 batch also had modified bogies with smaller wheels. Batches made in the 1930s had electro-pneumatic brakes and modified control equipment to allow for higher speeds. After the completion of the final production batch in 1934 a total of 1466 cars had been built comprising 645 motor cars, 270 control trailers and 551 trailers.

Standard Stock operated on the Northern, Piccadilly and Bakerloo Lines of the Underground. Later on they were also ran on the Central Line. Originally built as 5-car trains later batches were ordered as 6 or 7 cars, some were later run as 8 car trains [5]. Some shorter formations were also run such as on the Piccadilly Aldwych branch [6].

By the 1950s the Standard Stock fleet was starting to wear out, many had been stored in the open air during the war and this hadn't done them much good. They were unable to cope with the more intensive service patterns required. Replacement took place in the early 1960s with the last Standard Stock passenger trains being run on the Northern City Line in 1966. Some continued in departmental use until 1978.

The story of Standard Stock was not over though. In the late 1960s the Isle of Wight was in need of EMUs for its soon-to-be electrified Island Line. A number of Standard Stock cars became the Class 485 and 486 EMUs for British Rail [7]. They served on the Isle of Wight until 1991, nearly 70 years after the building of the first experimental cars!
Preserved 3327 at London Transport Depot

Former L131 departmental vehicle at LTM Depot Acton

Front view of 3327

Cab of 3327 
3327 interior

Note the switch compartment behind the cab

[1] Brian Hardy, Underground Train File Tube Stock 1933-1959 (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 21
[2] J. Graeme Bruce, The London Underground Tube Stock (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 53
[3] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014) p. 65
[4] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood, 2015) p. 48
[5] Piers Connor, "The London Electric Train: a post-script", Underground News No. 670 (October 2017) p. 683
[6] Antony Badsey-Ellis & Mike Horne, The Aldwych Branch (Capital Transport, 2009) p. 68
[7] Brian Hardy, Tube Trains on the Isle of Wight (Capital Transport, 2003) p. 13

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Class 55 (English Electric 3,300hp Diesel-Electric "Deltic")

In the early days of British Rail dieselisation the largest locomotives were known as the Type C with over 2,000hp. However it was soon clear that more powerful locomotives would be needed for the principal expresses and heaviest freight though none existed at the time - until the arrival of English Electric's incredible Deltic prototype in 1955 with 2 innovative Napier Deltic engines and 3,300hp to play with. BR revised its power classifications to the now familiar Types 1 to 5 with the Type 5 for locomotives over 3, 000hp [1].

With high power and a relatively low weight (the Deltic was 32 tons lighter than a Class 45 but brought 800hp more to the table) the Deltic proved itself on top BR expresses and a production order for 22 was made to replace ex-LNER Pacifics on the East Coast Main Line [2]. The production Deltics differed in appearance to the prototype and construction, one problem with the prototype had been its awkward size which limited its route availability, the production Deltics were somewhat slimmer and a bit longer [3].

Number built: 22
Built: 1961-62
Builder: English Electric Vulcan Foundry
Engine: 2 Napier Deltic 18-25 diesels
Power: 3, 300 hp (2, 460 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

The Class 55s as they became known performed admirably on the ECML until being replaced by the High Speed Train in the late 1970s with a final withdrawal from service at the end of 1981. Although they still had a lot to offer the Class 55s were expensive to maintain and the small fleet made them uneconomic. Six Class 55s were preserved as well as the prototype, the diesels (along with the Western Class 52s) attracting a level of popularity and interest not seen since the end of steam.

This wasn't the end of the Deltic story however, in the mid-1990s the Class 55s made a return to National Rail service with 4 being mainline certified [4] and are often used for charter services and spot hire, even hauling freights.
D9002 at Kidderminster SVR

55 019 at Kidderminster SVR

55 019 at Bewdley

D9002 again

55 019 approaches a train

Side view of D9002

[1] Brian Haresnape, Early Prototype and Pilot-Scheme Diesel Electrics (Ian Allan, 1981) p. 11
[2] Haresnape, Prototypes p. 31
[3] Brian Haresnape, Production Diesel Electrics Types 4 and 5 (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 42
[4] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (Second Edition) (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 48

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Class 373 Eurostar e300

A dream for many years the Channel Tunnel was finally opened in 1994, the Class 373 Eurostar e300 was built for high-speed intercity services between London and the continent. The Class 373 is part of the French TGV family though designed to fit in the smaller British loading gauge. The Class 373 was designed to use 25kV AC overhead line power, 3kV DC overhead (for use in Belgium) and 750v DC third-rail for use in the South of England. Some French owned sets could also use 1.5kV DC overhead. However the DC third rail provision was removed when the 25kV AC overhead-line electrified HS1 railway line was opened in Kent [1].

Number built: 733 (31 20-car and 7 16-car sets + 1 spare power car)
Built: 1992-96
Builder: GEC Alsthom 
Engine: Alsthom traction system (25kV AC OHLE, 3kV DC OHLE & 750v DC third rail)
Power: 16, 400 hp (12, 200 kW) 25kV AC
7, 600 hp (5, 700 kW) 3kV DC
4, 600 hp (3, 400 kW) 750v DC third-rail
Formation: (20 car) Driving Motor (DM)+Motor Standard (MS)+
Trailer Standard (TS)+TS+TS+TS+
Trailer Brake Kitchen (TBK)+Trailer First (TF)+
TF+Trailer Brake First (TBF) +TBF+TF+TF+TBK

The Class 373s were ordered for British Rail and the French and Belgian state railways SNCF and SNCB for services from London to Paris and Brussels. Some of the British sets were shorter (at 16 cars - known as 373/2 - the rest of the fleet is 373/1). These "North of London" sets intended for services from the continent to British cities in the North along the WCML and ECML however these services never came to fruition. After rail privatisation the British Rail owned sets were owned by Eurostar.

For a number of years in the early 2000s some Class 373s were leased to GNER for services from London Kings Cross to York and Leeds however there were some problems and restrictions in using the trains due to their length and power needs.

Since the arrival of the new Class 374 e320 some Class 373s have been scrapped, others have been refurbished. Some French owned sets are now used on domestic services with SNCF.
Preserved 3308 at NRM York

Side view of 3308

A Eurostar approaches St Pancras International, over a somewhat older mode of transport!

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 281

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Class 117 (Pressed Steel Co. Suburban Services 3-car)

The Class 117 DMU was another first generation DMU built to the standard BR Derby design but manufactured by Pressed Steel, who had spare capacity at the time. These units were built for the modernisation of the London division of Western Region [1] and were built for high density routes. They had toilets in the trailer but originally had no gangways so if you were in one of the motor cars you were ought of luck! Gangways were later fitted and the units received full refurbishment in the late 1970s [2]

Number built: 123 cars (41 3-car sets)
Built: 1959-61
Builder: Pressed Steel
Engine: 2 BUT (Leyland) 6-cyl diesels per power car
Power: 600 hp (450 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Brake Standard (DMBS)+Trailer Composite Lavatory
(TCL)+Driving Motor Standard (DMS)

Some units later moved to Birmingham where they operated on the Cross City line and in Scotland. They remained on Cross City and London services until well into the 1990s and the last were finally withdrawn in 2000. Twelve cars have been preserved.
W51354, a DMBS, at Rowsley South

08 830 and W51534

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 72
[2] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Multiple Units: The First Generation (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 59

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Kerr Stuart 4421

Kerr Stuart was a locomotive manufacturer based in Glasgow and Stoke-on-Trent which started in the 1880s. The company went into receivership in the early 1930s, its assets being bought up by Hunslet. Although mostly known for narrow and standard gauge steam locomotives towards the end of Kerr Stuart's existence they also built a number of diesel locomotives of which 4421 was one.

Number built: 2
Built: 1929
Builder: Kerr Stuart
Engine: Mercedes-Benz 6-cylinder diesel
Power: 90 hp (1,305 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 6wDM

4421 was one of two locomotives built in 1929 as demonstrators for industrial use, it worked on a standard gauge branch line of the otherwise narrow gauge Ravenglass & Eskdate Railway from Murthwaite to Ravenglass hauling wagons loaded with crushed granite. When the quarries were closed in 1953 4421 then worked as an industrial locomotive with the National Coal Board being rebuilt with a Dorman diesel engine in 1959. It moved onto Rom River Reinforcement in the late 1960s before finally being preserved at the Foxfield Railway in 1985.

Kerr Stuart diesel locomotives like 4421 used mechanical transmission with a chain final drive. The diesel engine of 4421 had a JAP petrol engine to start it. After being rebuilt with the Dorman engine 4421 had an electric starter.
4421 at the Foxfield Railway

Thursday, 28 September 2017

LU 1992 Tube Stock (Central Line)

The 1992 Tube Stock (1992TS) was built for the Central Line in the early 90s to replace ageing 1962 Tube Stock. As well as the Central Line an order of stock was added for the Waterloo & City Line too, then still British Rail owned, as the Class 482. The 1992TS is based on the 3 1986 Prototype Tube Stock trains which ran a series of trials in the late 1980s [1]. They were the first production stock fitted with solid state traction equipment [2].

Number built: 680 cars (8-car sets)
Built: 1991-94
Builder: BREL Derby / ABB Derby
Engine: 4 Brush LT130 traction motors per car (630v DC fourth rail)
Power: 1, 984 hp (1, 472 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Non Driving Motor (NDM)+NDM+NDM+NDM+NDM+NDM+DM

Eighty five 8 car sets were built for the Central Line making up 680 cars in total, 175 being Driving Motors and the rest Non Driving Motors. Some NDMs are also fitted with de-icing equipment. The make-up of an 8-car formation can vary though DMs are always at the outer ends of course. The NDMs lack cabs but do have shunting controls accessible via an external cabinet.

The 1992TS has not been a trouble-free design for London Underground, despite the fact it was based on years of work with the prototype fleet there were a number of teething problems that delayed and hindered the entry into service. In 2003 a train of 1992TS derailed at Chancery Lane, after a traction motor became detached from one of the bogies following a sheered bolt, injuring 32 passengers [3][4]. The entire fleet was taken out of service (both Central and Waterloo & City fleets) for bolts to be checked and faulty ones replaced. In 2010-11 the bogies were replaced by a new design by Siemens [5]. However the 1992TS is the worst performing fleet on LU in terms of reliability and availability [6].

The 1992 Tube Stock fleet will be replaced as part of Deep Tube Upgrade in the 2020s, under current plans the 92TS fleet will be replaced near the end of the decade or early in the next [7]. To keep the fleet going until then the Central Line Improvement Programme (CLIP) will be carried out in the next few years by Bombardier. The upgrade includes replacing the DC traction system with a Mitrac AC system [8], on board computer, communication system and refreshing and updating the interior to make it RVAR compliant.
91013 at Leytonstone

Aboard a DM

Departing Mile End heading West

91289 at White City

[1] John Glover, ABC London Underground (Ian Allan, 1997) p. 64
[2] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015)  p. 105
[3] "Thirty hurt after Tube crash" BBC News <>
[4] John Glover, London's Underground 12th Edition (Ian Allan, 2015) p. 76
[5] Connor p. 105
[6] Central Line Heavy Overhaul Programme Lift (TfL Paper) <>
[7] Kim Rennie, Underground and Overground Trains (Capital Transport, 2017) p. 19
[8] "Bombardier for Central Line retractioning", Modern Railways (October 2017) p. 83

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Class 321 (BREL York ER/LMR Outer Suburban Services)

The Class 321 was built for Network South East for services out of Liverpool Street into Essex along the Great Eastern Main Line. A second batch was built for semi-fast services between Euston and Birmingham on the West Coast Main Line [1]. A third and final batch was built for West Yorkshire PTE services between Doncaster and York. Two sister classes were also built, the Class 320 for services in the Strathclyde area and the Class 322 for the Stansted Express [2]. The DC EMU Class 456 also has a similar appearance.

Following the negative reaction in some quarters to earlier EMUs built in the 1980s the Class 321 had a deal of attention paid to its external appearance with the aim to produce a train "eye catching" on the outside and comfortable on the inside [3].

Number built: 468 (117 4-car units)
Built: 1988-90
Builder: BREL York
Engine: 4 Brush TM2141B traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 438 hp (1, 072 kW)
Formation: (321/3) Driving Trailer Composite Open (DTCO)+Motor Standard
Open (MSO)+Trailer Standard Open Lavatory (TSOL)+
Driving Trailer Standard Open (DTSO)

The original NSE batch became known as the 321/3 with the London Midland batch the 321/4 (they have more first class seats than the 321/3s [4]) and the Yorkshire units 321/9. Unlike the other sub-classes these units did not have first class seating and so had 2 DTSOs instead of a DTCO and a DTSO.

321/3s still work on the Great Eastern route, thirty of the units are receiving a "Renatus" refurbishment and upgrade which includes new air conditioning, seating and wi-fi. Some 321/4s have been transferred to bolster the 321/3 fleet.

Class 321s are currently operated by Greater Anglia and Northern. Both fleets are due for replacement by new build EMUs at the end of the decade.
Greater Anglia (but in Great Northern livery) 321 408 at Romford

321 408 heads off Colchester bound

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 256
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 236
[3] Alec Swain, Overhead Line Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1990) p. 76
[4] John Glover, Eastern Electric (Ian Allan, 2001) p. 131

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Class 07 (Ruston & Hornsby 275hp Diesel-Electric)

After the Second World War the Southern Railway bought a number of second hand (ex-US Army) steam tank locomotives for the Southampton Docks, the Class 07 was built in 1962 to replace them. The Class 07 was a compromise between small diesel-mechanical shunters and the larger diesel-electric Class 08/09s, having a small wheel base as needed for sharp curves in the docks but being heavier and more powerful in able to shunt heavy Ocean Liner trains [1][2]. They could also be used for local trip working and were fitted with marker lights for this though they were found to suffer from hot axle boxes if running at speed for extended period and so tended to be restricted to shunting.

Number built: 14
Built: 1962
Builder: Ruston & Hornsby
Engine: Paxman 6RPHL Mark III diesel
Power: 275 hp (205 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 0-6-0

The change to container traffic saw the docks area railway system run down, they were redundant by the late 1970s and were withdrawn from BR service in 1977 [3] though a number were sold on for industrial use and one serving in the departmental fleet at Eastleigh Works [4]. A number have also been preserved.
07 001 at the Heritage Shunters Trust 
2987 in BR days (KD Collection)

Another view of the preserved 07 001

[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Shunters (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 73
[2] Heritage Shunters Trust Stock List (2016) p. 9
[3] J.A.M. Vaughan, Diesels on the Southern (Ian Allan, 1980) p. 9
[4] Colin J Marsden, Departmental Stock (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 111

Sunday, 17 September 2017

NER Tyneside Electrics

At the turn of the century many local lines were facing increased competition from the growing network of electric street cars (trams) and like a number of railway companies the North Eastern Railway turned to electric traction for its Tyneside network [4]. The EMUs were built at NER's York workshop with British Thomson-Houston electrical equipment and ran on a 600v DC third rail network which opened between Newcastle New Bridge Street and Benton in 1904, extending to Tynemouth later in the year [5] with further extensions in the following years.

Number built: 157 (3-8 car sets plus MPVs)
Built: 1904-22
Builder: NER York / British Thomson-Houston
Engine: 2 British Thomson-Houston traction motors (600v DC third rail) 
Power: 250 hp (186 kW) final batch 280 hp (208 kW)

The EMUs were built to the NER's style with clerestory roofs. The original batch of 88 vehicles included driving motor cars (both with first/class class compartments and all third [6]), trailers and motor parcel vans which had a compartment for fish! Another 35 cars were built in 1915. However disaster occurred in 1918 when a fire at Walkergate Car Sheds destroyed 34 cars held inside [7].

Thirty-four replacement cars were built between 1920 and 1922. These had more powerful BTH motors (140hp as opposed to the original 125hp motors) and an elliptical roof instead of a clerestory. The original stock was replaced by newer units built by Metro-Cammell in the 1930s but the 1920-22 stock remained in service until it was replaced by Class 416 EMUs in 1955. One 1904 built parcel van has been preserved.
Public domain image [1]

Motor Parcel Van, Public domain image [2]

Public domain image [3]

[1] Charles H Grinling, The ways of our railways (Ward Lock, 1910) p. 172
[2] "Electric express car for the North Eastern Railway of England", Electric Railway Journal Vol XXXIII No. 14 (1909) p. 609
[3] "New motor cars for the North Eastern Railway of England", Electric Railway Journal Vol XXXIV No. 8 (1908) p. 290
[4] Brian Haresnape & Alec Swain, Third Rail DC Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1989) p. 15
[5] David Dunn, Tyneside Electrics: 1 (Book Law, 2016) p. 4
[6] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 182
[7] R.L. Vickers, DC Electric Trains and Locomotives in the British Isles (David & Charles, 1986) p. 56

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Class 414 2-HAP

The 2-HAPs were built for main line semi-fast stopping services to serve London commuters living further afield [1]. Although they were similar to earlier units they were geared for express operations and could reach 90 mp/h [2]. Unfortunately the 2-HAPs suffered from poor riding at speed, a set of bogies from each car was replaced by Commonwealth bogies at the inner end of each pair.

Number built: 418 (209 2-car sets)
Built: 1956-63
Builder: BR Eastleigh
Engine: 2 EE507EA traction motors (660-750v DC third rail)
Power: 500 hp (373 kW)
Formation: DMBSO (Driving Motor Brake Standard Open)+DTC (Driving Trailer Composite)

The initial batch of 2-HAPs were based on Southern Railway designs, using recycled underframes from withdrawn 2-NOLs, and indeed were among the last EMUs built from these production jigs[3]. The next 2 batches were based on the Mark 1 coach, those in the third and final batch were among the last new units built at Eastleigh. The initial batch was later known as the Class 414/1 with BR designed 2-HAPs known as 414/2 and 414/3.

Over the years they saw a number of modifications, some of the SR design 2-HAPs lost their first class accommodation for a time and were renamed 2-SAPs [4]. Others were reformed into 4 car EMUs known as the Class 413 4-CAP. Ten withdrawn DMBSOs were converted into motorised luggage vans for use with the Gatwick Express as Class 489 1-GLVs.

Although some units were withdrawn in the early 1980s the Class 414 remained in service until 1995 and saw nearly 40 years in service. Two sets have been preserved, one is being restored as part of the National Railway Museum sponsored Project Commuter.
4311 preserved at the Electric Railway Museum

4308 preserved at NRM Shildon

Project Commuter restoration work at Shildon

[1] Brian Haresnape & Alec Swain, Third Rail DC Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1989) p. 51
[2] David Brown, Southern Electric Vol 2 (Capital Transport, 2010) p. 198
[3] Alan Williams, Southern Electric Album (Ian Allan, 1977) p. 69
[4] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 318

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Windhoff Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV)

The fleet of Multi Purpose Vehicles has, as the name suggests, a number of roles on the network. A key one being rail cleaning and weed killing. The vehicles were bought by Railtrack to allow the withdrawal of a variety of ex-revenue earning vehicles performing these roles [1] and are based on Windhoff's Cargosprinter unit.

Number built: 32
Built: 1999-
Builder: Windhoff
Engine: 2 Railpac diesels
Power: 710 hp (530 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

MPVs usually operate in pairs, one of the units being unpowered. Most of the vehicle (apart from the cab) is a flat bed - the engine, transmission and other machinery being under the floor in the manner of a DMU. This allows for equipment modules or pods to be installed as per the duty required, such as tanks for rail head cleaning.

Similar vehicles perform a variety of other duties on the network such as the double ended High Definition Switches & Crosses Video Inspection Train.
DR98959 passes through Erdington

DR98958 at Leamington Spa

Unidentified RHTT train at Clapham Junction

[1] Colin J Marsden, Rail Guide 2016 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 218

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Class 01 (Andrew Barclay 153hp Diesel-Mechanical)

The Class 01 was a small class of shunter designed for use in shunting yards where there were tight curves and limited clearances which larger locomotives could not cope with. Four of the class, originally known as Class DY2 then D1/2, were built in 1965 for use for Eastern Region in the Stratford area [1]. A fifth was built a couple of years later for departmental service though returned to capital stock in 1967 [2].

Number built: 5
Built: 1956-58
Builder: Andrew Barclay
Engine: Gardner 6L3 diesel
Power: 153 hp (114 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 0-4-0

Naturally such a small class of locomotive was doomed as the 1960s came to an end amid British Rail's determination to rationalise its locomotive fleet. However 2 of the class had an unlikely reprieve. Their small size meant they were suitable for use on the quarry breakwater tramway in Holyhead [3]. The 2 locomotives survived until 1982 and lasted long enough to carry TOPS numbers as 01 001 and 01 002.

Ironically though these 2 locomotives were scrapped and 2 of the other 3 which were withdrawn in the late 1960s ended up preserved after first being sold for industrial use.

Note: The Class 01 code has been reused in recent years for privately owned shunters that operate on National Rail metals as Class 01/5. These will be examined separately.
Four views of D2953 preserved at the Heritage Shunters Trust

[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Shunters (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 51 
[2] Paul Smith & Shirley Smith, British Rail Departmental Locomotives 1948-1968 (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 25
[3] Rex Kennedy, Diesels & Electrics on Shed: Volume 1 - London Midland Region (Oxford Publishing, 1979) p. 66

Sunday, 3 September 2017

English Electric Type 3B Battery Electric Locomotive

English Electric built hundreds of small electric locomotives for industrial service shunting from 1920 to 1951. Many were the Type 3B which were mostly built at the Dick Kerr works in Preston. While the basic configuration and bodyshell was the same the traction equipment and power collection setup depended on the customer's requirements and could vary greatly. Power collection could be via pantograph, tram pole or third rail. Some also had batteries though depending on the size of battery needed this could require the body being extended.

Information (for Spondon Power Station Locos)
Number built: 3
Built: 1935-46
Builder: English Electric
Engine: 2 English Electric traction motors (200v DC OHLE or battery)
Power: 35 hp (26 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 4w

Coal power stations such as Spondon in Derby were often enthusiastic users of electric shunters [1]. The Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Electric Power Company bought 3 of these locomotives for the Spondon power station. They were used on a mile long branch line to the power station. They remained in service until the mid-1980s when they were replaced by diesel locomotives. Two of the three locomotives have been preserved. Other examples of this type of electric locomotive have also been preserved.
Spondon No. 1 built in 1935, at the Electric Railway Museum

Spondon No.2 at the Foxfield Railway, it was built in 1939

[1] R.L. Vickers, DC Electric Trains and Locomotives in the British Isles (David & Charles, 1986) p. 95

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Class 142 (British Leyland / BREL Derby Local & Secondary Services 2-car)

The Class 142 Pacer is the most controversial train in Britain, a cheaply made DMU from the 1980s still hanging on today with questions asked repeatedly, from parliament downwards [1], about when it will finally be scrapped. The controversy is somewhat unfair as when built the Class 142 was a way to provide cheap rolling stock for branch lines and services that may have otherwise been closed or withdrawn. It has also probably served quite bit longer than was originally intended.

The Class 142 does somewhat resemble a bus on rails [2], because that is precisely what it is! The body is based on that of the Leyland National, a very common bus that could regularly been seen on Britain's roads from the 1970s until recently though wider than earlier bus-based DMUs like the Class 141 [3]. The chassis is a development of a high speed freight vehicle designed in the late 60s. The Class 142 does not have bogies and provides a rather poor ride for passengers and excessive wheel squeal and flange wear on sharp curves.

There are 2 sub-classes but there is little difference between the 142/0 and 142/1 and the distinction is mostly due to when they were built in 2 production series. One difference is that the 142/1 has a simpler roof structure. The Class 142s were originally fitted with Leyland TL11 engines but were re-engined, they also originally had mechanical gearboxes but were later fitted with Voith hydraulic transmission.

Number built: 192 (96 2-car sets)
Built: 1985-87
Builder: BREL Derby / Leyland
Engine: Cummins LTA-10R diesel per car
Power: 450 hp (330 kW)
Formation: DMS (Driving Motor Standard)+DMSL (Driving Motor Standard Lavatory)

The Class 142 has served with British Rail and a number of post-privatisation operators but now only serves with Northern and Arriva Trains Wales [4]. The Class 142 will fall short of accessibility requirements for passenger trains being bought in in 2020 and there are no plans to modify them. So they should be withdrawn by the end of the decade though there is no word yet as to what will replace what is a fairly large fleet...
Northern 142 015 at Shildon

Arriva Trains Wales 142 075 at Cardiff Queen Street

Aboard a Northern 142
Northern 142 023 at York

ATW 142 074 at Cardiff Central

Northern 142 015 and 091 at Darlington

[1] "Nick Clegg demands replacement of outdated "Pacer" trains", The Chronicle <>
[2] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 2011), p. 102
[3] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Multiple Units: The Second Generation and DEMUs (Ian Allan, 1986), p. 64
[4] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013), p. 122

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Class 800 Super Express

The future of high speed intercity services on key routes including the Great Western Main Line and East Coast Main Line are going to be in the hands of the Class 800 Super Express, part of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP). These high speed multiple units are bi-mode electro-diesels (the Class 801 is a pure electric multiple unit version).

Number built: 536 (80 5- and 9-car sets)
Built: 2015-
Builder: Hitachi Kasado & Newton Aycliffe
Engine: Hitachi traction system (25kV AC OHLE)
MTU 12V 1600 R80L diesel

Final construction of the Class 800 is taking place at a new Hitachi factory in Newton Aycliffe though much of the build including the body shells are being made at a Hitachi factory in Kasado Japan. The prototypes were wholly built in Japan.

The Class 800 will be operated by Great Western Railway (800/0 and 800/3) and Virgin East Coast (800/1 and 800/2). GWR plan to introduce them into service in Autumn 2017 and Virgin (who have given them the name Azuma) in 2018. GWR's Super Expresses were originally to have been the pure-EMU Class 801 but because of delays in electrifying the GWML the order was switched to the bi-mode Class 800 which has been designed to be able to switch from diesel to electric (and vice versa) at line speed. However they can only achieve their maximum speed (of up to 140mp/h depending on signalling) in electric mode.
Virgin EC 800 101 on test at York

Another view of 800 101, which was in diesel mode
Cab mock-up at NRM York