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