Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Class 139

The Class 139 is unique on the British Railways system being powered by an experimental flywheel system. The flywheel stores energy, being charged by a Ford diesel engine when the railcar is at rest, and also recycles kinetic energy from the brakes and from downhill operation[1]. London Midland operates the railcar along the short Stourbridge branch between Stourbridge Junction and Town[2]. Two Class 139s have been built. There is also a prototype built in 2002 which was used to prove the concept and ran on a number of heritage lines for testing and was referred to as the Class 999.

Information
Number built: 2
Built: 2007-08
Builder: Parry People Movers
Engine: Ford DSG423 diesel driving flywheel
Power: 86 hp (64 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Second (DMS)

The Class 139 is a small railcar (less than 9m long) though has seating capacity for over 20 people plus over 30 standing.


The Class 139 began operation on the Stourbridge branch in 2009 releasing a Class 153 for other duties. The Class 139s are not allowed on any other part of the network and have their own little "depot" at Stourbridge Junction[3].
LM 139 002 at Stourbridge Town

Interior view

Cab view

LM 139 002 at Stourbridge Junction

[1] PPM Technology <http://www.parrypeoplemovers.com/technology.htm>
[2] Where can i ride on a PPM railcar <http://www.parrypeoplemovers.com/popup-faq22.htm>
[3] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 118

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Class 180

The Class 180 is part of the Coradia 1000 family like the Class 175 though has a very different appearance with a sleek streamlined exterior [1]. The Class 180 was built for First Great Western to supplement High Speed Trains on services out of Paddington, like the iconic HST they can also reach 125 mph. Unfortunately the Class 180s had a number of faults and problems and their entry into service was delayed until the end of 2001, over a year late.

Information
Number built: 70 (14 5-car sets)
Built: 2000-01
Builder: Alstom Birmingham
Engine: Cummins QSK19 diesel per car
Power: 3, 750 hp (2, 800 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)+Motor First Lavatory (MFL)+
Motor Standard Lavatory (MSL)+Motor Standard Lavatory
Restaurant Buffet (MSLRB)+DMSL

FGW (now GWR) replaced most of their 180s with extra HSTs they received from cascades elsewhere (they have kept 5 sets for services on the Cotswold Line) but the 180s have found further use with other operators. Now they are operated by GWR, Grand Central and Hull Trains. They have also been operated by Northern Rail for a time.
Grand Central 180 105 at Kings Cross
GWR 180 106 at Worcester Foregate Street

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 166

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Class 482 / LU 1992 Tube Stock (Waterloo & City) [Updated]

The Class 482 replaced the 50 year old Class 487 units on the short (2.37km long) Waterloo & City Line [1] in 1992. The line is nowadays part of London Underground but until 1994 was part of British Rail (and it's predecessor constituents) [2]. The Class 482s are pretty much identical to the 1992 Tube Stock ordered at the same time for the Central Line [3], and indeed were among the first of the combined 700 cars to be built [4]. They have some equipment differences such as no Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and Automatic Train Protection (ATP) systems unlike the Central Line trains, the Waterloo & City uses tripcock protection instead.

Although each Class 482 is a 2-car set (one car being powered) they operate in pairs, semi-permanently coupled. As each 2-car set only has a cab at one end they operate in pairs of sets with the cabs at the outer ends.

Information
Number built: 20 (10 2-car sets)
Built: 1992
Builder: ABB Derby
Engine: 4 Brush LT130 traction motors per car (630v DC fourth rail)
Power: 496hp (368kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Motor Standard Open (MSO)
+MSO+DMSO

Originally as built the Class 482 wore Network South East [5] livery nowadays they are in standard LU corporate livery. Their time as part of BR was pretty short though they kept their NSE colours until a major refurbishment in 2006.

The Class 482s are unique in that their line has no overground portions (the Victoria Line has an above ground depot though all passenger services are underground) and if they require heavy maintenance (such as the above mentioned refurbishment) that cannot be performed at the small underground depot at Waterloo they need to be lifted out by crane!

Unlike their predecessors the Class 487 which used 660v DC third rail the Class 482 uses 630v DC fourth rail like the rest of the London Underground. At the time of manufacture the Class 482 (and 1992 Stock) were highly advanced EMUs though have had their fair share of technical problems. One major problem occurred on the Central Line in 2003 when a traction motor broke off the bogie of a train causing a derailment. All of the stock on the Central and Waterloo & City Lines was taken out of service for some time for the replacement of worn and faulty bolts.

The trains will be replaced as part of the Deep Tube Upgrade (formerly known as New Tube for London) in the 2020s. When exactly has not yet been finalised as its possible the Waterloo & City Line could be changed first to allow for in-service testing of the new trains however earlier plans have specified near the end of the decade or early 2030s.
65501 at Bank

The Waterloo depot can be seen in the background

Aboard, note the handrails in Waterloo & City cyan

Arrival at Bank



[1] Ben Muldoon, London Underground Rolling Stock Guide (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 69
[2] John Glover, London's Underground (12th Edition) (Ian Allan, 2015) p. 76
[3] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 364
[4] John C. Gillham, The Waterloo & City Railway (Oakwood Press, 2001) p. 388
[5] John Glover, London Underground Rolling Stock in Colour (Ian Allan, 2009) p.88

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Andrew Barclay 371

Andrew Barclay have been building railway rolling stock since 1840 and still exist today as part of Wabtec. They are probably best known for shunters, building hundreds of steam, diesel and fireless shunters for various railway companies and industrial users. AB 371 from 1945 was one of a number of diesel mechanical shunters built for the British Army to a standard design as Army 235.

Information
Built: 1945
Builder: Andrew Barclay
Engine: Gardner 6LX diesel
Power: 150 hp (112 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 0-4-0

Army 235 served with the Army for decades, being situated at depots at Bicester, Eskmeal, Morton-on-Lugg and finally Long Marston [1] into the 1980s. After leaving service 235 spent some time as a static exhibit at the National Army Museum before being transferred to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway in the 2000s where it now works as part of the engineering fleet.
Army 235 at Havenstreet
A similar shunter, AB 376 built 1948, worked for British Gypsium, now preserved at Tyseley

[1] Ray King, British Industrial Diesel Locomotives (Traction & Rolling Stock Advertiser, 2006) p. 11

Friday, 13 January 2017

Class 357 [Updated]

The Class 357 was built to modernise services on the London, Tilbury & Southend line out of Fenchurch Street [1]. Two batches of this EMU, part of the "Electrostar" family, were built which have the same front end of the Turbostar DMUs. They were built to replace Class 312s and allow other EMUs to be cascaded to other routes.

Information
Number built: 269 (74 4-car sets)
Built: 1999-2002
Builder: Adtranz / Bombardier
Engine: Adtranz traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 2, 010 hp (1, 500 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Motor Standard Open (MSO)+
Pantograph Trailer Standard Open Lavatory (PTSOL)+DMSO

The original batch of 46 sets is known as the 357/0 and were built in the late 1990s though production and reliability problems delayed their entry into service for a number of years. A second batch of 22 sets was ordered to replace the remaining 312s, these are the 357/2s and entered service in the early 2000s. A number of these have been modified to 357/3 standard which includes more space by changing the 3+2 seating to 2+2 (reducing the number of seats of course) and with a revised interior design. All 357s have been upgraded with regenerative braking.

All are operated by c2c, though some have been loaned to NX East Anglia for a time. They are due to be replaced by c2c by 2019 though will no doubt find new work elsewhere.
357 001 at West Ham

357 021 at Fenchurch St


[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 272

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

LU 1995 Tube Stock

The 1995 Tube Stock fleet was built in the late 1990s to modernise the Northern Line replacing 1959 and 1972 Tube Stock. Externally the 95ts looks very similar to the 1996 Tube Stock built concurrently for the Jubilee Line though is in 6-car sets [1] not 7 and has different electrical equipment and internal layouts.

Information
Number built: 636 (106 6-car sets)
Built: 1996-1999
Builder: GEC Alstom Birmingham
Engine: 4 Alstom ONIX three-phase AC induction motors per motor car (630v DC fourth rail)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+Non-Driving Motor (UNDM)+UNDM+T+DM

The 95ts has an AC traction control system unlike earlier tube stock which has DC. It has an Alstom ONIX three phase insulated gate bipolar transistor drive (IGBT) drive which supplies variable voltage and frequency to four traction motors per motor car [2]. This is considered more efficient than DC drive and lighter (for example AC motors have no brushes) giving a better power/weight ratio. The IGBT drive can switch high currents very rapidly with a smoother and more even acceleration than earlier systems including the Gate Turn Off system used on the 96ts [3].

The fleet has served well and was given a refresh in 2013 with new seats and improved interiors. The forthcoming extension of the Northern Line to Battersea (due to open in 2020) [4] and a possible splitting of the 2 Northern Line branches into separate lines will require more rolling stock. Its possible extra 95ts will be made to augment the fleet [5].
51646 at Embankment

De-icing equipped 51721 at Golders Green 
51637 at Golders Green

[1] Ben Muldoon, London Underground Rolling Stock Guide (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 50
[2] TfL London Underground Rolling Stock Information Sheet (4th Edition)
[3] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015) p. 175
[3] Northern Line extension <https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/northern-line-extension>
[5] Connor p. 188

Friday, 6 January 2017

Class 315 [Updated]

The Class 315 was built in the early 1980s for the modernisation of the 25kV Overhead line electrified Great Eastern suburban lines out of London Liverpool Street replacing the Class 306 [1]. They remain on these duties today as well as the Shenfield Metro. They were the last EMUs built of the 1972 PEP standard design and share a lot of similarities with the likes of the Class 313 and 507.

Information
Number built: 244 (61 4-car sets)
Built: 1980-81
Builder: BREL York
Engine: 8 Brush TM61-53 or 8 GEC G310AZ traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 880 hp (657 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+Pantograph Trailer Standard Open (PTSO)+DMSO

Twenty of the Class 315s had GEC traction motors and the rest Brush from new, however the traction motors are pretty interchangeable and nowadays a mixture can be found on a unit. The Class 315s began life in British Rail blue and grey before being repainted in Network South East livery.

Following privatisation they have worn Greater Anglia and NXEA liveries but currently are operated by London Overground and TFL Rail. They will be replaced on these services by new EMUs in a few years though could find a new home elsewhere having being refurbished in the mid-2000s [2].
TfL Rail 315 859 at Stratford

Greater Anglia 315 822 at Cambridge Heath

Greater Anglia 315 812 and a Class 317 at London Liverpool St


TfL Rail 315 828 and 3 other 315s at London Liverpool St
[1] Alec Swain, Overhead Line Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1990) p. 66
[2] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 240

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Class 44

The first of the "Peaks", the Class 44 was the most powerful batch of diesels built in the post-Modernisation Plan pilot-scheme, though also the heaviest! [1] Weighing 133 tons (and that was with some modifications to reduce weight) the Class 44 were imposing locomotives with their 1Co-Co1 bogie wheel arrangement with extra load bearing wheels like the Class 40 and the Bulleid prototype main line diesels. The Class 44 derived a lot of their internals from the LMS prototypes 10000/1 and the SR Bulleid locomotives 10201-3.

Information
Number built: 10
Built: 1959-60
Builder: BR Derby
Engine: Sulzer 12LDA28 diesel
Power: 2, 300 hp (1, 715 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 1Co-Co1

Although there were some early issues with the bogies which could crack or catch fire if maintenance was lax the Class 44s were a successful design and were followed by the uprated series production Class 45 and 46. All three classes of locomotives are known as the Peaks which came from the Class 44 being named after British mountains.



When they first entered service they were used on express passenger services though were soon supplanted by more powerful machines and spent most of their careers, especially the final years, on freight duties in the London Midland Region area [2]. Scrapping began in the late 1970s as the Class 44s were surplus to requirements with the last leaving service in 1980 [3]. Happily two have been preserved.
Three views of the preserved D8 at Peak Rail's HQ Rowsley South


[1] Brian Haresnape, Early Prototype & Pilot Scheme Diesel-Electrics (Ian Allan, 1981) p. 77
[2] John Vaughan, Diesels on the London Midland (Ian Allan, 1981) p. 62
[3] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 47