London Underground 1996 Tube Stock

The Jubilee Line Extension in the 1990s (at the time the largest construction project in Europe) extended the Jubilee Line out into East London out to Stratford. The 1996 Tube Stock was designed for this extension, initially the idea was to refurbish and augment the Jubilee Line's existing 1983 Tube Stock fleet but London Underground calculated that a fleet of brand new trains would cost about the same [1] and last much longer. The new trains were designed to avoid some of the shortcomings of the 1983TS including the passenger bottle necks caused by the single doors [2].
96110 and friend at the Northern terminus Stanmore

The 1996 Tube Stock looks very similar to the Northern Line's 1995 Tube Stock and indeed the two fleets were built alongside each other. However the 1996TS is technically less advanced than the 1995TS as the specification was locked down earlier. Although both have AC motors the 1996TS controls them using a Gate Turn-Off (GTO) Thyristor [3] derived from the one used on the Class 465 EMU (the 1995TS uses the more advanced Insulated Gate Bi-polar Transistor (IGBT) drive). They also have different cab designs, electrical systems, bogies and interiors.

Number built: 441 (63 7-car sets)
Built: 1996-98, 2005
Builder: Metro-Cammell, GEC Alsthom, Alstom (2005 build)
Motor: 4 GEC Alsthom LT200 three-phase induction motors
per motor car (630v DC fourth rail)
Power: 480 hp (360 kW) per motor car
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+Uncoupling Non-Driving Motor

The 1996TS entered service before the Jubilee Line Extension had been completed and was originally a 6-car set (made up of 2 3-car units) [4]. In 2005 London Underground ordered more cars in order to lengthen the trains up to 7-cars and also bought 4 new complete sets. While the original 1996TS final assembly was at the former Metro-Cammell factory in Birmingham, by 2005 that factory was in the process of closing down. The new cars and trains were built at an Alstom factory in Spain instead.

The 1996TS is currently receiving a mid-life refresh which includes improved and more accessible interiors and better passenger information [5]. London Underground at one stage planned to add some new build to augment the fleet though these plans have now been put on hold.
96095 heads into Bond Street

96007 arrives at Finchley Road

96103 at Kilburn

96075 and friend at the Eastern terminus Stratford

96066 at West Ham

[1] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014) p. 167
[2] Mike Horne, The Jubilee Line (Capital Transport, 2000) p. 63
[3] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015) p. 175
[4] Ben Muldoon, London Underground Rolling Stock Guide (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 38
[5] Modern Railways (March 2017) p. 13

Plasser and Theurer 09 Series Tamper

The Plasser and Theurer 09 series supplement earlier tampers (which tamp or pack down the ballast under sleepers to maintain a firm track bed), including the company's 08 Series also used by Network Rail. The 09-3X tampers, known by Plasser and Theurer as Tamping Express, have been built since 1996 and over three hundred have been delivered worldwide [1]. They operate on three sleepers at a time and offer higher performance than earlier types. The tamper also has an Automatic Guiding Computer and each sleeper bank can be lifted or lowered individually to cope with track of lower quality.
Network Rail 09-3X DR73114 at Derby

Information for 09-3X-D-T
Number built: 7
Builder: Plasser & Theurer
Power: 630 hp (496 kW

Although the tampers used by Network Rail are usually owned by third parties Network Rail own a fleet of seven 09-3X-D-T tampers [2].
Another view of DR73114

DR73114 is named Ron Henderson

[1] "Unrivalled for twenty years", Plasser and Theurer press release <>
[2] Colin J Marsden, Rail Guide 2016 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 208

Class 323

The Class 323 is a fleet of high-density electric multiple units built in the early 1990s for British Rail. They were built to replace older EMUs coming to the ends of their lives and to supply the Birmingham Cross-City Line which was finally being electrified with new rolling stock [1]. Forty three three-car units were built by Hunslet Transportation Projects during 1992-3 for the Cross City Line and the North West for services to Manchester Airport.
WMR 323 205 at University

Number built: 129 (43 3-car sets)
Built: 1992-93
Builder: Hunslet TPL
Motor: 4 Holec DMKT 52/24 traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 566 hp (1, 168 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Pantograph Trailer
Standard Open Lavatory (PTSOL)+DMSO

The Class 323 proved unreliable when first delivered, the traction package causing a number of problems especially with cooling. It was a couple of years after delivery before they became fully operational. Later on however Northern's fleet has won awards for its reliability.

Twenty six sets currently serve with West Midlands Railway (previously London Midland) and seventeen with Northern Rail, operating on electrified commuter lines around Birmingham and Manchester. The EMUs have just completed a retractioning programme replacing the original Gate Turn-Off thyristor equipment with a more advanced Integrated Gate Bipolar Transistor set-up [2].

West Midlands Railway's 323s are due for replacement from 2020 by a Bombardier Aventra family EMU with most of the sets moving to Northern. The Northern fleet is meanwhile being refurbished with LED lighting, new passenger information screens and an accessibility compliant toilet [3].
WMR 323 201 at Barnt Green

WMR 323 232 at Crewe

WMR 323 243 at Chester Road

WMR 323 413 at Four Oaks

Northern 323 232 again, this time at Manchester Piccadilly

[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 262
[2] Ian Walmsley, "A traction heart transplant", Modern Railways (March 2017) p. 43
[3] "First refurbished 323 for Northern", Modern Railways (December 2019) p. 84

Glasgow Corporation Transport Standard Class

In common with other large street tram concerns in the bigger cities Glasgow Corporation built most of their trams in house. Over a thousand single truck trams were built of what became known as the Standard Class, the second most numerous class of British trams ever built after the London Transport E/1.
Glasgow Corporation 686 [1], the first to be built

Number built: Over 1000
Built: 1898-1924
Builder: Glasgow Corporation Transport
Motor: (Later trams) 2 MV101DR electric motors (DC OHLE)
Power: 120 hp (90 kW)

The Standard Class was constructed over a long period and saw a number of improvements and refinements over that time, older trams being retrofitted and updated. The Standard Class can be split into four phases, the first being open topped double deckers (see image above). Phase two trams had a top cover but open vestibules. Some covering was included on the vestibles in phase three but passengers and crew had to wait until phase four until there was full cover from the elements! Electrical equipment and front dash panels were also upgraded over time.

The trams survived in service until the late 1950s when the Glasgow tram system was in it's final few years. Six Standard Class trams have been preserved.
Preserved Glasgow 22, an example of a later Standard Class tram

Lower floor, Glasgow 22 is restored largely how the tram would have been in 1922

Glasgow 22 has a windscreen and protection for the motorman

Entrance on Glasgow 22, the tram is preserved at Crich

[1] Sidney H Short, "Electric Railway Practice in Great Britain", Electric Railway Journal (October 1899) Vol XV No. 10 p. 671

Class 158 Express Sprinter

The Class 158 DMU is one of the mainstays of cross country routes having being built as express DMUs in the early 1990s to replace loco-hauled trains and older DMUs on provincial and regional services [1]. Nearly two hundred sets were built and they currently serve with multiple Train Operating Companies across Britain. Some have been converted to Class 159.
In EMT days 158 770 at Derby

Number built: 354 (182 2 and 3 car sets)
Built: 1990-92
Builder: BREL Derby
Engine: Cummins NTA855R1/3 or Perkins 2006-TWH diesel engine per power car
Power: 350 hp (260 kW) or 400 hp (300kW) per vehicle
Formation: 2-car : Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)+DMSL
or DMSL+Driving Motor Composite Lavatory (DMCL)
3-car : DMSL+Motor Standard (MS)+DMSL

The Class 158 operates as either a 2 or 3-car set, mostly with a Cummins engine though a few were fitted with Perkins engines instead. Currently the fleet is split into the 158/0 and 158/9 sub-classes. The latter were originally 2-car sets but were beefed up into 3-car by the addition of an extra driving coach though the cab of this is locked out of use.

The Class 158 is in operation with Northern, Scot Rail, Transport for Wales, South Western Railway, Great Western Railway and East Midland Railway (formerly East Midland Trains). Twelve 3-car sets were also built by BREL Derby for the Thailand state railway and also continue in service.
Northern 158 787 at York

Transport for Wales 158 825 at Cardiff Central

Back in Arriva Trains Wales days 158 826 passes through Smethwick Rolfe Street

EMT 158 854 approaches Duffield

EMT 158 856 at Sheffield

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 140

Hudson Hunslet 4wDM Shunters

Robert Hudson began producing narrow gauge locomotives for industrial use in 1911, at first steam locomotives in partnership with Hudswell Clarke. Later locomotives with internal combustion engines were built, these in partnership with the likes of Kerr Stuart. From 1937 Hudson went into partnership with the Hunslet Engine Company and the locomotives began to carry a Hudson Hunslet badge. These were simple locomotives usually powered by a 20 hp/15 kW) Alisa Craig diesel with chain drive.
Hudson Hunslet 3621 (1947) at the Statfold Barn Railway

Information for typical Hudson Hunslet 4wDM
Builder: Robert Hudson / Hunslet Engine Company
Motor: Alisa Craig CF2 diesel
Power: 20 hp (15 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 4wDM

The locomotives were simple in design without any enclosed cabs though there were options to add these if the customer required. Later versions, built in the 1950s, had more powerful engines, up to 50 hp (37 kW) and were slightly more refined in design though largely unchanged. A number of these shunters have been preserved both in the UK and abroad.
Atlas, Hudson Hunslet 2463 (1944) served with the MOD at Long Marston

Cab of Atlas

Another view of 3621

Rear view of Atlas, both this and 3621 are 610mm gauge locomotives