Sunday, 30 July 2017

Class 376 Electrostar

The Class 376 is part of the huge Electrostar family of EMUs built to replace life-expired slam door stock on the former Southern Region's third rail network. The Class 376 is based on the Class 375 though has a number of differences, most notably the lack of front gangway doors.

Information
Number built: 180 (36 5-car sets)
Built: 2004-05
Builder: Bombardier
Engine: 8 Bombardier traction motors (750v DC third rail)
Power: 2, 682 hp (2, 000 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Motor Standard Open (MSO)
+Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+MSO+DMSO

The Class 376 was designed for high-volume inner suburban routes between London and Kent [1]. The 376 has wider metro-style sliding doors to help speed up passenger loading and unloading (and thus reduce dwell times). All are currently operated by Southeastern.
Southeastern 376 003 at London Cannon St

376 012 and 017 at Cannon St

Another view of 376 003

Aboard a DMSO (376 007)

Southeastern 376 007 at New Cross

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 285

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

BEL 2 / NSR 1 Battery Locomotive

Battery powered trains go back a bit further in railway history than many people imagine. BEL 1 and BEL 2 were two similar battery electric shunters built in the early 20th century for the LMS' predecessor railways. BEL 1 was built for the Midland Railway at it's Derby Works later working in British Railways colours at Poplar Dock in East London [1]. It was withdrawn and cut up in 1964.

Information
Number built: 2
Built: 1913, 1917
Builder: Derby Works / NSR Stoke Works
Engine: 2 BTH traction motors (battery electric)
Power: 82 hp (61 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Bo

BEL 2 was built as NSR 1 for the North Staffordshire Railway at Stoke during the First World War, originally working at a copper works. It was withdrawn and restored to its original livery at Crewe in the mid-1960s and joined the National Collection at York [2].
Two views of BEL 2 at NRM York


[1] Brian Haresnape, Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 20
[2] Paul Smith & Shirley Smith, British Rail Departmental Locomotives 1948-1968 (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 22

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Class 45 (BR/Sulzer 2,500hp Type 4 Diesel-Electric)

The Class 45 was the largest of the 3 "Peak" classes (the others being the prototype Class 44 and the follow-on Class 46 with different equipment) [1]. The Class 45s were the motive power mainstays of the Midland Main Line from the 1960s into the early 1980s. Like the other Peak classes the Class 45s were powerful locomotives though this power came at a price of high weight. Weighing in at over 130 tons they had to have 1Co-Co1 bogies with extra non-powered wheels to help spread the weight on the rail.

Information
Number built: 127
Built: 1960-62
Builder: BR Derby & Crewe
Engine: Sulzer 12LD28B diesel
Power: 2, 500 hp (1, 864 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 1Co-Co1

Design wise the Peaks shared some of their appearance with the LMS 10000 prototype diesel-electrics and North American practice with their bonnet noses - though the bonnets were noticably shorter than the English Electric Class 40 and Class 37.  The large grills on the side of the locomotive were intended to try and produce a cleaner design and hide the many apertures that had appeared on earlier and contemporary locomotive designs [2].


The Class 45 consisted of 2 sub-types, the 45/0 with steam train heating and the 45/1 with electric train heating. The arrival of the High Speed Train in the 1980s displaced them from express work though they continued on secondary passenger services and freights into the late 1980s. They were finally withdrawn by 1989 outlasting the other Peaks by a few years. Eleven have been preserved though not all currently are in working order.
45 060 at Kidderminster SVR

45 041 at Chinnor

45 140 at Birmingham New Street (K Davies Collection)

Front view of 45 041

Side view of 45 041 at Princes Risborough showing the large bogie

[1] Brian Haresnape, Production Diesel-Electrics Types 4 and 5 (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 31
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 116

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Class 401 2-BIL

The Class 401 2-BIL (2 Bi-Lavatory - signifying the trains were 2 cars with a lavatory in each car) were built by Southern Railway in the mid-1930s as a development of the 4-LAV. The first 10 motor cars built by Metro-Cammell & BRCW with the rest built by Southern Railway itself at its Eastleigh and Lancing Works.

Information
Number built: 304 (152 2-car sets)
Built: 1935-38
Builder: (First batch) Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, Metro-Cammell
(Later batches) SR Eastleigh, Lancing Works
Engine: 2 MV/EE339 traction motors, some later replaced by EE507C (660-750v DC Third Rail)
Power: 550 hp (410 kW) (EE339) / 500hp (279kW) (EE507C)
Formation: Driving Motor Brake Third class Lavatory (DMBTL)+
Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory (DTCL)

The 2-BILs were designed for long-distance semi-fast services on the newly electrified lines to Eastbourne, Portsmouth and Reading [1], later also being used on the Waterloo-Portsmouth route.

They had full-width bodies with a corridor and the aforementioned toilets [2] which were needed in both cars as there were no gangways between them [3]. The earliest were built with Metropolitan-Vickers power equipment with the rest built with English Electric.

The 2-BIL was a successful type and remained in service until 1971 with a number of sets receiving BR Blue livery [4]. A couple were also used as hauled coaching stock in surplus 4-SUB trailers as the 7-TC though it was not a true push-pull set [5]. One 2-BIL set has been preserved by the National Railway Museum.
Preserved 2090 at NRM Shildon

2067 at Farnham (K Davies Collection)

Another view of 2090

2034 in BR Blue, location unknown (K Davies Collection)

Cab side view of 2090


[1] Colin J Marden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 300
[2] David Brown, Southern Electric Vol 2 (Capital Transport, 2010) p. 104
[3] Alan Williams, Southern Electric Album (Ian Allan, 1977) p. 24
[4] Bruce Oliver, British Railway Southern Region Electrics in Colour (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 19
[5] Brown p. 112

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Central London Railway 1903 Stock / LU Sleet Locomotives

The Central London Railway (which eventually became the London Underground's Central Line) was the first true "tube" railway in London [1]. It initially used electric locomotives hauling trailers but as soon as the railway opened in 1900 it was drawing complaints from properties above the line about excessive vibration, this was found to be caused by the heavy locomotives and their large unsprung weight [2]. The locomotives were replaced in 1903 by electric multiple units, known as 1903 Stock, some new build and some converted from the loco-hauled trailers.

Information
Number built: 259 (88 motor cars, 99 trailers, 72 control trailers)
18 Sleet Locomotives
Built: 1900-03, 1913
Sleet Locomotives converted 1939
Builder: Ashbury Railway Carriage & Wagon Company
Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company
Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage & Wagon Company
(later Metro-Cammell)
Brush
Engine: (Original) 2 British Thomson-Houston traction motors per motor car
(Ealing) 2 GE212 traction motors per motor car (550v DC third rail)
(Sleet) GE66 traction motors (630v DC fourth rail)
Power: (Original) 500 hp (372 kW)
(Ealing) 960 hp (720 kW)

The new motor cars were built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company (BRCW) and Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage & Wagon Company (later renamed Metro-Cammell), the original trailers having been built by the Ashbury Railway Carriage & Wagon Company and Brush. In 1908 some trailers were converted to control trailers to allow for shorter trains in the off-peak [3].

The fleet was augmented in the 1910s with the extension of the line to Ealing, extra stock was built by Brush with more powerful traction motors (the original stock was found to be underpowered when used in a lengthy formation). In the 1920s all stock was retrofitted with air-doors.

The CLR became part of London Underground in 1933 (and was renamed the Central Line soon afterwards). The 1903 Stock was replaced by Standard Stock as the CLR's central third rail system was replaced by the standard LU fourth rail.

Some 1903 Stock lived on as sleet locomotives. These were built by taking 2 driving ends to make a single locomotive [4]. Most sleet locomotives survived in service until the mid-1980s though as tube stock began to have its own de-icing equipment fitted their role reduced over the years but could also be used to clear leaves from the line. One locomotive ESL107 has been preserved, it is the only 1903 Stock to have survived.
Sleet locomotive ESL 107

Cab of ESL 107

[1] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014) p. 29
[2] J. Graeme Bruce & Desmond Croome, The Twopenny Tube (Capital Transport, 1996) p. 15
[3] Brian Hardy, Underground Train File Tube Stock 1933-1959 (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 5
[4] John Glover, London Underground Rolling Stock in Colour (Ian Allan, 2009) p. 31

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Class 150 Sprinter (BREL York Provincial Sector 2 & 3-car)

In the late 1970s British Rail was faced with the problem that most of the 1950-60s built first generation DMU fleet was approaching the end of its life. British Rail explored a number of different options for possible replacements including the Class 210 DEMU prototype which was regarded as an excellent train but too pricy [1] and cheap and cheerful railbuses like the Class 141 which had too many disadvantages for BR's liking. In the end BR went for an update of the kind of DMU form they were used to.

The Class 150 Sprinter was designed to revitalise the DMU fleet and remains in service today mainly in the Midlands, North of England and Wales. The Class 150 had a rival in the Metro-Cammell built Class 151 [2] (and indeed made use of some work Metro-Cammell had already done on next generation DMUs) but following an extensive series of tests the 150 proved to be the more popular with BR (the fact the 151 was late didn't help matters), and series production was given the go-ahead [3]. One of the 150 prototypes was fitted with the transmission from the 151 for tests, this was re-designated the Class 154 [4] though it has now been restored to a standard 150.

Information
Number built: 276 (137 2 and 3-car sets)
Built: 1984-87
Builder: BREL York
Engine: Cummins NT855R4/5 per vehicle
Power: 855 hp (639 kW) / 570 hp (426 kW)
Formations: Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)+Motor Standard (MS)+
Driving Motor Standard (DMS) (150/0)
DMSL+DMS (150/1 and /2)

The Class 150 comes in either 2 or 3 car sets, most these days apart from the prototypes are 2 car though for a time some 150/1s were in 3 car formations [5]. The original 150/0 prototypes remain in service, the main difference with them being smaller fuel tanks. The initial series production version was the 150/1 with the 150/2 having front-end gangways. There is also the small 150/9 in service with GWR which are hybrid 3-car sets with a driving car as the centre car. The Class 150 is currently in service with GWR, London Midland, Arriva Trains Wales and Northern.



An extra 2-car set was built for British Rail as the Class 950 Track Recording Unit which apart from body modifications for various test equipment is mechanically the same as the rest of the Class 150 fleet.
London Midland 150 109 at Bedford

Northern 150 211 at Liverpool Lime Street

Arriva Trains Wales 150 213 and 258 at Cardiff Central

Northern 150 225 at Harrogate

Arriva Trains Wales 150 235 at Bidston 
Northern 150 103 at York


[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Multiple Units - the second generation and DEMUs (Ian Allan, 1986) p. 54
[2] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), "BREL Class 150 Sprinter", Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 211 February-March 2015 (Classes 150-156 Second Generation DMUs), p. 4
[3] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013), p. 128
[4] Modern Locomotives Illustrated 211, p. 13
[5] Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide, p. 128

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Advanced Passenger Train - Experimental (APT-E)

In the late 1960s British Rail began to look into high speed trains in order to compete with road and air transport for long intercity routes. Although BR would have loved to have been able to construct entirely new routes such as in France and Japan which were not constrained by the legacy of Victorian planning and loading gauge they knew there would not be the funding available for this and so instead looked into how to produce high speed trains that could run on existing BR rails. One way to increase speeds was thought to be a tilting train that could handle curves much faster and more comfortably than existing stock and the Advanced Passenger Train - Experimental (APT-E) was built to help develop and test tilting technology [1].

Information
Number built: 4 (1 4-car set)
Built: 1972
Builder: Metro-Cammell / BR Derby
Engine: 8 Leyland 350 gas turbines
Power: 2, 384 hp (1, 778 kW)

Gas turbines were chosen for the APT-E in order to produce the desired power-to-weight ratio (it was decided not to produce an electric APT-E so it wouldn't be restricted as to the routes it could be tested on) [2]. The early design of the APT-E owned more to aeronautical than railway practice but in the end a faceted wedge was chosen for the shape of APT-E [3].

The bodies of APT-E, 2 power cars and 2 trailers were built by Metro-Cammell, a light weight construction from sheet aluminium. They were married to articulated bogies which were designed to improve ride at speed by "part-steering" the train through curves [4]. One trailer was filled with test equipment with the other having some seating to test passenger experience in a tilting train however it was never used in revenue earning service.

The APT-E began operations in 1973 (delayed by industrial action) and ran until 1976 which it was withdrawn from service (the high cost of gas turbines contributing to the decision) and preserved at the National Railway Museum. In its time it reached 152.3mp/h [5], then a new British railways speed record. It was followed by the Class 370 APT-P which was hoped to be the future of the British Rail intercity fleet but ultimately the project failed, however tilting technology was later used in trains that run down the WCML and ECML to this very day.

Interestingly the APT-E project grew out of the High Speed Freight Vehicle (HSFV 1) project in the early 1960s, the fruits of which included the underframe and suspension of the Class 140 Pacer railbus!
Preserved APT-E at NRM Shildon
Test gear laden trailer car 
View of the articulated bogie and body profile

APT-E

Front on view

[1] Colin J. Marsden, 25 Years of Railway Research (OPC, 1989) p. 30
[2] Ibid. p. 31
[3] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 188
[4] Brian Haresnape, High Speed Trains (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 34
[5] Marsden, p. 33

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Class 60 (Brush Traction 3,100hp Type 5 Diesel-Electric)

The Class 60 was a third generation of Type 5 heavy freight locomotive built by British Rail in the late 1980s. It was designed for the Trainload Sector which included coal, oil and metal loads. The Class 60 used a version of the engine which had been tested in the Class 37/9 and a shared body shell with the Class 92, itself an updated and simplified version of the Class 47 / 56 outline [1]. The extra available power of the Class 60 allowed for longer trains and for double heading using older classes of diesel to be eliminated.

Information
Number built: 100
Built: 1989-93
Builder: Brush Traction
Engine: Mirrlees MB275T diesel
Power: 3, 100 hp (2, 300 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

With the influx of Class 66s post-privatisation many Class 60s were withdrawn from service with at times the vast majority of the fleet out of use. However in the last few years a number have been returned to traffic and refurbished and should see service until the late 2020s at least [2]. They can be usually seen on oil trains and aggregate traffic.
DB 60 100 at Kidderminster SVR

DM 60 092 heads through Tamworth

60 066 takes a steel train through Cardiff Central

Cab side view of 60 063

DB 60 063 at Derby





[1] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 246
[2] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 64

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Class 950 Track Recording Unit

Unlike most of the powered Network Rail fleet the Class 950 did not have an earlier life in revenue earning service. The Class 950 was built for the then-Research Division of British Rail in 1987 using the Sprinter Class 150/0 as a base. Following delivery the Class 950 was fitted out with specialist equipment for its role as a Track Recording Unit [1].

Information
Number built: 2 (1 2-car set)
Built: 1987
Builder: BREL York
Engine: Cummins NT855R5 diesel per vehicle
Power: 570 hp (426 kW)

The Class 950 began service in late 1987 and can be used where the track is not suitable or able to support locomotive hauled Network Rail trains.



Originally the unit was classified the Class 180 though was later reclassified 950. It is now in Network Rail service and in NR yellow livery [2]. One of the cars (999 601) looks very similar to a standard Sprinter power car though 999 600 has a very different window and grill arrangement along the side.
950 001 at Derby

999 601

999 600

[1] Colin J. Marsden, 25 Years of Railway Research (OPC, 1989) p. 50
[2] Colin J. Marsden, Rail Guide 2016 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 203