Blackpool Corporation Standard Cars

Blackpool Corporation Transport, which had amalgamated with the Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad in 1920, were in desperate need of new trams by the early 1920s. The Standard Cars were built to be fully enclosed and more geared to commuter traffic than earlier trams which had prioritised the tourist trade (and had been rather open to the elements).

Number built: 42
Built: 1923-29
Builder: Blackpool Corporation Transport Dept. / Hurst Nelson
Engine: 2 British Thomson-Houston B265C electric motors (550v DC OHLE)
Power: 70 hp (52 kW)

The trams were all double deckers and originally with open balconies though later refits enclosed these also on some trams. The trams were built at Blackpool Corporation's own workshop, for accounting reasons some trams were classed as "rebuilds" of earlier trams made by Hurst Nelson though very little in practice was retained.

Although withdrawals began in the 1940s the Standard Cars survived in service until 1966. One of the preserved cars, Number 40, which was withdrawn in 1963, was the last open balcony tram (and hence first generation electric tram) to remain in service in the country.
Number 40 at Crich Tramway Museum

Number 49, also at Crich

Another view of Number 40

The open balcony is fully visible in this view of Number 40

Class 508 (BREL York Suburban Services 3-car)

The Class 508, part of the 1972 Standard PEP design like the Class 313 and 507, was built for the Merseyside DC third rail network to replace older stock. However as there was a desperate need for new stock on Southern Region they served there initially until the new Class 455 could be built [1]. The Class 508s were built as 4-car sets with an extra trailer instead of 3-car sets as originally intended but after four years when they were finally transferred to Merseyside the extra trailer was removed and became part of the Class 455/7 [2].

Number built: 172 cars (as built 4-car sets now 3-car sets)
Built: 1979-80
Builder: BREL York
Engine: 8 GEC G380AZ traction motors per unit (750v DC third rail)
Power: 880 hp (657 kW)
Formation: As built: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+
Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+TSO+Battery Driving Motor Standard Open (BDMSO)

Not all sets went North, some remained in the South East as Class 508/2 though none of these are now in service. In the early 2000s three sets worked alongside the Class 313 on the Euston-Watford route [3] as Class 508/3 but nowadays the only 508s in service are the twenty seven Class 507/1s sets operated by Merseyrail along with the Class 507.

They are now amongst the oldest passenger rolling stock still in service though Merseyrail plan to replace them with the new Class 777 within the next couple of years [4].
Merseyrail 508 130 at Birkenhead Park

508 123 at Sandhills

508 114 at Waterloo

Aboard 508 123

507 005 and 508 138 at Birkenhead North

508 126 at Seaforth & Litherland

[1] Brian Haresnape & Alec Swain, Third Rail DC Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1989) p. 74
[2] Bruce Oliver, Southern EMUs Before Privatisation (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 86
[3] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 389
[4] "Five shortlisted for new Merseyrail trains", Today's Railways UK No. 171 (March 2016)

W. G. Bagnall 3147-3150

No. 3150 is one of three diesel-mechanical shunters built by W. G. Bagnall in 1959 for operation at the NCB Wolstanton colliery in Stoke-on-Trent.

Number built: 3
Built: 1959
Builder: W. G. Bagnall
Engine: Gardner 8L3 diesel
Power: 204 hp (152 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 0-6-0DM

While the three shunters were built to the standard W. G. Bagnall design mechanically they were very similar to the British Rail Class 03.

Wolstanton No. 3, as 3150 was known, worked at the colliery until production winded down in 1985. It was sold for scrap but rescued for preservation and has been on the Foxfield Railway ever since. The other two locomotives were scrapped.
3150 at Dilhorn Park

3150 at Caverswall Road

Running around the train at Dilhorn Park 
3150 bears the name Wolstanton No. 3

Class 175 Coradia 1000

The Class 175 is part of the Coradia DMU family along with the Class 180. They were built for long-distance services in Wales and the North West in the early privatised era [1]. The fleet was originally operated by First North Western, then Wales & Borders before being transferred to Arriva Trains Wales in 2004 where they still remain. Some were leased to First TransPennine Express for a time.

Number built: 70 (27 2 or 3-car sets)
Built: 1999-2001
Builder: Alstom Birmingham
Engine: Cummins N14 diesel per car
Power: 900 hp (670 kW) / 1, 350hp (1, 005kW)
Formation: (175/0) DMSL (Driving Motor Standard Lavatory)+DMSL
(175/1) DMSL+MSL (Motor Standard Lavatory)+DMSL

The Class 175 has two sub-classes, the 175/0 being 2-car sets (eleven sets) and the 175/1 3-car (sixteen sets). All Class 175 cars are powered, and - more importantly for long-range routes - have toilets!
Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) 175 009 at Cardiff Central

ATW 175 003 at Crewe

Another ATW train at Crewe, this time 175 115

An unidentified ATE 175/1 departs Crewe

ATW 175 004 at Hereford

ATW 175 002 at Crewe

[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2018) p. 164

Douglas Southern Electric Tramway Double Decker Toastrack

Open sided trams with bench seating, known as "toastrack" trams were popular in seaside towns and attractions such as at Blackpool. No. 1 built for the Douglas Southern Electric Tramway on the Isle of Man was interesting as it was a double decker toastrack. It ran along the Douglas Marine Drive along a ledge cut from a cliff face.

Number built: 14
Built: 1896
Builder: Brush Traction
Engine: 2 Westinghouse 12A electric motors (DC OHLE)
Power: 50 hp (37 kW)

The tram had a capacity of seventy five passengers, an interesting feature being that passengers could only board and alight from one side of the tram (due to the cliff face). The tramway ran until 1939 when the line was closed due to the Second World War. After the war No. 1 it was restored and is now preserved at Crich Tramway Museum. The tramway alas never reopened.
No. 1 at Crich

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

The Class 321 was built for Network South East for services out of London Liverpool Street into Essex along the Great Eastern Main Line. A second batch was built for semi-fast services between London Euston and Birmingham New Street 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. The Class 321 may also be fitted to test hydrogen fuel cells.

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 321 434 and 339 at London Liverpool Street

Inside a Greater Anglia 321

Greater Anglia (but in Great Northern livery) 321 408 at Romford

321 408 heads off Colchester bound

Renatus refurbished 321 at Southend Victoria
Greater Anglia 321 339 at Stratford
[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

Harsco Rail Stoneblower

Stoneblowers are specialised machines used by Network Rail to maintain ballast under track. Sensors on the Stoneblower measure the alignment of the ballast under the track down to 0.5mm, and then if needed the track is lifted and small stones are blown into any spaces found [1] using compressed air. This is claimed by Network Rail to be more durable than using a tamper as it doesn't disturb the existing trackbed and can extend the life of track [2].

Number built: 14
Builder: Pandrol Jackson / Harsco Rail

Network Rail maintains a fleet of stoneblowers built by Pandrol Jackson who were later bought by Harsco Rail. Eleven work on straight track with three Multipurpose Stoneblowers for switches and crossings. The latter three were developed by Harsco Rail and Network Rail, who are considering replacing their older machines with more of these advanced multipurpose machines.
Two views of DR80201 passing through Warwick

On the front of DR80201 is a crane used for loading stone

[1] Royston Morris, Railway Maintenance Vehicles & Equipment (Amberley Publishing, 2017) p. 15
[2] Network Rail. Track treatment fleet <>