Southend Pier Railway Diesel Locomotives

Southend-on-Sea's pier is 2.16km long (the longest pleasure pier in the world). Since 1890, when the pier officially opened, a narrow gauge railway has run on the pier conveying visitors and goods along it [1] (an earlier wooden pier had a horse drawn tram travelling along it). Originally the railway used electric vehicles, a toast rack style car and later on fully enclosed vehicles. The original electric railway was closed in 1978 due to it's poor condition.

After a period of of uncertainty the decision was made to build a brand new railway in the 1980s [2]. This new railway uses diesel hydraulic locomotives and push-pull rakes of coaches. The new railway was built to 914mm narrow gauge (the original was 1, 067mm) with a simplified track layout compared to the original. It opened in 1986.

Number built: 2
Built: 1986
Builder: Severn Lamb
Motor: Deutz diesel
Power: 55 hp (41 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 4wDH
The current Southend Pier Railway, which is owned and operated by the local council, has two trains, each consists of a locomotive (which is at the pier end of the train) and six passenger cars. The last and shore end trailer has a driving cab. The two trains have been named Sir William Heygate and Sir John Betjeman.

The line is mostly single with a passing loop at the mid-point, both pier head and shore stations have two platforms so in peak times both trains can be in operation, a single battery electric car is also used in the Winter. Up to one hundred and eighty two passengers can be carried per train [3]. The locomotives can also on occasion propel a flat wagon in order to take provisions up to the pier head.

There are plans to replace the locomotives with new trains (of as as-yet unspecified type) in the next decade.
Sir William Heygate at the pier head station 

The driving railer of Sir John Betjeman at the shore station

The locomotives also have space for push-chairs and other small cargo

Sir John Betjeman heads back to shore

Aboard one of the cars

Sir John Betjeman at the pier station

[1] Keith Turner, Pier Railways & Tramways of the British Isles (Oakwood Press, 1999) p. 49
[2] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), Light Rail (Key Publishing, 2018) p. 94
[3] Turner p. 61

Class 195 Civity

The Class 195, part of CAF's Civity family, is being built alongside the similar Class 331 EMU to replace British Rail built units like the Class 156 for Northern [1]. Deliveries of the Class 195 began in June 2018 and the units entered service in July 2019. The Class 195 is initially being used on services between Manchester Airport and Liverpool Lime Street or Barrow-in-Furness. Other routes will follow as more sets enter service.

Number built: 116 (58 2 or 3-car sets)
Built: 2017-
Builder: CAF
Motor: Rolls-Royce MTU 6H1800R85L diesel per car
Power: (195/0) 1, 046 hp (780 kW) / (195/1) 1, 569 hp (1, 170 kW)
Formation: (195/0) DMSO (Driving Motor Standard Open)+
DMSOL (Driving Motor Standard Open Lavatory)
(195/1) DMSO+MS (Motor Standard) + DMSOL

Fifty eight sets, a mixture of two and three cars, are being built by CAF at it's facilties in Irun Spain and Newport in Wales. More sets could be ordered at a later stage.

The original plan was for the Class 195 to enter service at the end of 2018 but problems with the couplers delayed it. The Class 195 finally entered service at the start of July 2019.
Northern 195 118 at Liverpool Lime Street

Sideview of 195 111 on a test run at Crewe

195 111 approaches Crewe

195 111 at Crewe prepares to head back North

195 118 at Liverpool Lime Street

Another view of 195 111 at Crewe

[1] "New trains for the North", Modern Railways (June 2019) p.15

Class 73 (BR Eastleigh / English Electric 1,420/600hp Electro-Diesel)

Despite the fact that diesel locomotives often spend a fair amount of time operating along electrified routes it is unusual that British Rail only ever built two classes of electro-diesel locomotives (these days known as bi-mode) which could operate both as electric or diesel locomotives, the Class 73 and 74. Both were operated by BR's Southern Region, the Class 73 is the only survivor [1]. A number have been rebuilt and upgraded in the last few years so they look set to remain in service for a long time to come.

The Class 73 is an electric locomotive designed to work with SR's 660-750v DC third-rail system. It also has a small diesel engine for operating on non-electrified lines or if the power is off. They are highly versatile locomotives that served on a whole range of traffic in Southern England, being true mixed traffic locomotives they could be found on passenger and freight services. Their numbers however were steadily reduced in the privatisation era.

Number built: 49, 13 re-engineered
Built: 1962, 1965-67, Re-engineering from 2013-16
Builder: BR Eastleigh / English Electric
Re-engineering by RVEL Derby & Brush Traction
Motor: English Electric 4SRKT Mk II diesel
EE542A or EE546/1B traction motors (750v DC third-rail)
Re-engineered examples with 2 Cummins QSK19
or 1 MTU V8 diesel
Power: 1, 420 hp (1, 059 kW) - Electric
600hp (447kW) - Original EE diesel
1, 500hp (1, 119 kW) - Cummins
1, 600hp (1, 194 kW) - MTU

In the last couple of years there have been two separate re-engining efforts to create the rebuilt 73/9 sub-class [2] (at one stage it was considered creating a new Class 75 but would have cost more in administration and re-certification [3]). The work included replacing the original EE diesel with a much more powerful motor and replacing worn electrical and mechanical components.

Thirteen have been re-engineered to date in two phases. The "Phase 2" Class 73s with MTU diesels have had their third rail equipment removed [4]. As virtually "new" locomotives they will likely serve with Network Rail, GB Railfreight and Caledonian Sleeper for a long time to come (they are expected to last at least twenty-five years). Non-rebuilt Class 73s also remain in service, a number have also been preserved.

Sub-class Details
73/0 Original prototype batch, originally to have been called the Class 72
73/1 Main production batch, higher power output and speed
73/2 Modified for Gatwick Express push-pull duties (coupled to the Class 488 and 489)
73/9 Re-engineered and upgraded examples
73 210 at Wirksworth

Network Rail 73 952 at Kidderminster SVR

GB Railfreight 73 136 cab side view

Cab of 73 952

Network Rail 73 951 at Derby

GB Railfreight 73 136 at Kidderminster SVR

[1] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 82
[2] "Projects", RVEL <>
[3] "Re-engineered/tractioned 73s", WNXX Forum <>
[4] "Caledonian Class 73 contract nears end", Today's Railways UK, March 2016, p. 32

Gateshead and District Tramways

The Gateshead and District Tramways Company began operating steam hauled trams in 1883. The company was taken over by British Electric Traction in 1897 [1] and began the electrification and modernisation of the system a couple of years later. Electric trams began running in 1901. One major problem with the network was a low bridge near Gateshead station which precluded the use of double decker trams on some of the routes. Thus over half the eventual electric fleet of sixty seven cars were single deckers.

As normal single bogie single decker trams struggled with demand the company began to operate extra long double bogied single decker trams, similar to the adjacent Newcastle network, which could carry forty eight passengers seated and officially up to forty standing passengers (though more were carried in practice!)

Information for home built single deckers
Built: 1923-1928
Builder: Gateshead and District Tramways
Motor: 2 Dick Kerr DK31A electric motors (DC OHLE)
Power: 100 hp (75 kW)

After buying earlier trams from elsewhere the company began building their own trams with Dick Kerr electrical equipment in the 1920s at their Sunderland Road Works. These cars remained in service until 1951 when the system was shut down. Nineteen cars were sold to the British Railways owned Grimsby & Immingham Electric Railway and continued working until that system was closed in 1961. Two of the home built tramcars were preserved after being withdrawn by British Railways and have been restored to their Gateshead and District Tramways Company livery.
Gateshead No. 5 preserved at Crich

The tram was restored back to Gateshead livery in the 1960s

[1] Charles Klapper, The Golden Age of Tramways (David & Charles, 1974) p. 130

London County Council B Class Tram

These trams, known as the B Class by London County Council, were to the standard open-topped design of Dick, Kerr of Preston and built by the Electric Railway & Carriage Company. They were smaller than earlier LCC trams, with fifty six seats, and were intended for less busy routes [1].

The trams took their power from an underground electric conduit instead of overhead lines as was more common. The B Class received a number of modifications early on in their lives. They were retrofitted with top covers [2] having originally left passengers on the top deck to the mercy of the elements. One interesting modification was the original reversed staircase was replaced by a direct staircase on Metropolitan Police instruction as the original staircase was considered to obscure part of the driver's view (the very similar preserved Leicester Corporation tram shows how the original staircase looked). The B Class trams were withdrawn from service by 1931 [3].

Number built: 100
Built: 1903
Builder: Electric Railway & Carriage Company
Motor: 2 DK24A later Westinghouse 220 electric motors
(DC Conduit / OHLE)
Power: 84 hp (62 kW)

LCC 106 is preserved at Crich. It was converted to a snow broom after withdrawal from passenger service, it was also fitted with a trolley for overhead electric collection in 1925. It continued in service until 1952 when it was preserved. During the 1970s work began to restore it to a passenger carrying tram and to original open-topped condition.
LCC 106 at Crich

106 carries the London County Council livery
Front on view with Sheffield 510 on the left

[1] R.W. Kidner, The London Tramcar 1861-1952 (Oakwood Press, 1992) p. 57
[2] Robert J Harley, South London Tramways 1903-33 (Middleton Press, 2003) Fig. 111
[3] Kidner. p. 63


The S-1 was a "switcher" (shunter) diesel locomotive built by the American Locomotive Company between 1940 and 1950. A total of five hundred and forty three were built mostly for use in the US but a small number were also sold abroad, five were exported to the Steel Company of Wales' Port Talbot and Margam Smelter in 1949-50 (as 801 to 805).

Information for 801-805
Number built: 5
Built: 1949-1950
Builder: American Locomotive Company
Motor: Alco 539 diesel
Power: 660 hp (490 kW)
Wheel arrangment: Bo-Bo

They were the first Bo-Bo diesel electrics to arrive in Britain after the Second World War and the first American built locomotives in Europe. They survived in service at Port Talbot until the mid-1980s, one reason for their withdrawal was that they required a two man crew compared to other shunters. Three were preserved, two of which are at the Nene Valley Railway and the adjoining Railworld attraction.
804 at Railworld

Cab area of 804

804 carries a fictitious "Union Pacific" livery

804's "nose"

804 was in light blue with wasp stripes livery in service