Class 185 Desiro

These DMUs were built to modernise Trans-Pennine routes [1] and at the moment are the latest DMUs running on the network. They are part of Siemens' "Desiro" family and are very similar in many ways to its Desiro EMU cousins like the Class 360.

Information
Number built: 103 (51 3-car sets)
Built: 2005-7
Builder: Siemens Transportation
Engine: Cummins OSK19 diesel per car
Power: 2, 250 hp (1, 680 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Composite Lavatory (DMCL)+Motor Standard
Lavatory (MSL)+Driving Motor Standard (DMS)

The Class 185s are low-density stock designed for cross country routes with 2+2 seating arrangement in Standard and 2+1 in first. They are designed for high performance (100mp/h operation) though also have excess power to handle hilly routes. All are currently operated by Trans Pennine Express though some have been loaned to Northern.
TPE 185 123 at York 
TPE 185 114 passes the NRM York viewing platform

Unidentified TPE example at Darlington

185 121 in older First TPE livery at Liverpool Lime Street

TPE 185 120 approaches York


[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 168

Class 59 (Electro-Motive Diesel 3,300hp Type 5 Diesel-Electric)

In the mid-1980s aggregates company Foster Yeoman was growing frustrated with the low availability of British Rail's diesel locomotives and so made the then bold move of buying their own locomotives to haul their trains. In many ways the resulting Class 59, which utilised standard and proven General Motors equipment in a form of a version of the EMD SD40-2 design for the British loading gauge (with a cab layout based on the Class 58), was a pioneer.

Up until the Class 59 nearly all diesel locomotives and units operated on British metals had been British made but this changed after the Class 59 was introduced. Though the numbers of this locomotive built where in the end pretty small it directly led to the Class 66 (which is very similar externally though different internally) which was built in huge numbers (eventually 455) now handles the majority of freight traffic on the network.

Information
Number built: 15
Built: 1985-95
Builder: GM-EMD USA (59/0) and GM-DD Canada (59/1 and 59/2)
Engine: EMD 16-645E3C
Power: 3, 300 hp (2, 460 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

Following Foster Yeoman's fleet of 5 (59/0) the type was also ordered by ARC Southern (59/1) who bought 4 and National Power (59/2) who bought 6. There are differences between the 3 sub-classes with the latter 2 sub-classes able to travel at higher speed than the original Foster Yeoman locomotives. The 59/2s also have more advanced slow-speed control for coal merry-go-round trains.

All are now operated by Mendip Rail on behalf of Foster Yeoman and ARC who retain overall ownership, except 59 003 which spent some time in Germany before being bought by GB Railfreight and returned to the UK.
GB Railfreight operated 59 003

59 005 in original Foster Yeoman livery at Bescot open day in 1988, photographer unknown (KD collection)

[1] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 2009) p. 61

Class 37 (English Electric 1,750hp Type 3 Diesel-Electric)

The Class 37 has been one of the workhorses of the British railways network since the 1960s and while their numbers have decreased in recent years many still perform a valuable role day in and day out for both the main line and preserved railways. The Class 37 is a Type 3 diesel locomotive and after its introduction in the early 1960s it was found this power band (1,750hp in the Class 37's case) was highly versatile and more so compared to the Type 2s which dominated early dieselisation efforts and often were underpowered. This power availability coupled with a relatively low axle loading for a locomotive of this size meant the Class 37 could handle a wide variety of mixed traffic from secondary passenger services to freight and engineering trains across much of the network. Work it continues to this day, Class 37s can be found hauling freights, engineering trains and even passenger trains on the network.

Information
Number built: 309
Built: 1960-65
Builder: English Electric
Engine: English Electric 12CSVT diesel
(37/9 fitted with Mirrlees Blackstone MB275Tt or Rushton RK270Tt)
Power: 1,750 hp (1,305 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

Between 1960 and 1965 309 Class 37s were built by English Electric and proved to be one of the most reliable classes of diesel locomotive built for British Rail [1]. Though with their front end "noses" they were rather dated in appearance when they entered service as other locomotive types had moved to flat fronted designs (indeed they were the last class built for BR with front noses). However the appearance was due to English Electric being reluctant to leave the American styling they had championed since Deltic [2] and the locomotives reused some tooling and equipment from the earlier Class 40. This reduced the unit price to British Rail which no doubt helped to overcome any doubts over the aesthetics! [3]

Around 35 are still registered for use on Network Rail and some will remain in service for some time following refurbishments. Many Class 37s have also been preserved.

As can be expected with a large fleet that has remained in service for over 50 years there have been a number of sub-class variants of the Class 37 mostly following a series of refurbishments in the 1980s [4].

Sub-class Details
37/0 Original / unchanged locomotives
37/3 Received new bogies
37/4 Refurbished and fitted with Electric Train Heating (ETH)
37/5 Refurbished but without ETH
37/6 Modified to haul heavy freight
37/7 Also fitted to haul heavy freight, extra ballast added to aid adhesion
37/9 Rebuilt with Mirrlees or Rushton engines for testing for a planned replacement Type 3 locomotive (the Class 38) though this project was later cancelled.

Four Class 37s have also been rebuilt as 97/3s for a trial project of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). They work development trains over the Cambrian line and other Network Rail engineering trains.
Europhoenix 37 800 at Derby

Split headcode front end

DRS 37 601 at Crewe

Side view of 37 601

Colas 37 421 at Derby

Network Rail 97 303 at Derby

[1] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 28
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 145
[3] Brian Haresnape, Production Diesel-Electrics Types 1-3 (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 67
[4] Pip Dunn, British Rail Main Line Locomotives Specification Guide (Crowood Press, 2013) p. 65

London Underground A60/A62 Stock

The A60/A62 Stock was built in the early 1960s for the Metropolitan Line to replace a variety of legacy stock and remaining steam hauled trains on the line. The A60 Stock was built to replace T Stock trains on services to Watford and Rickmansworth and finally through to Amersham and Chesham when electrification was completed. The trains were indeed named A Stock after Amersham as they were ordered as part of the electrification extension programme. The second batch, A62 Stock, replaced F and P Stock on the Uxbridge service. Due to the long distances some passengers had to travel on the Metropolitan (Amersham is 43km from central London for example) the A Stock has more attention given to passenger comfort and performance [1].

Information
Number built: 464 (104 4-car sets)
Built: 1960-62
Builder: Cravens
Engine: GEC LT114 traction motors (630v DC fourth rail)
Power: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+T+DM[+DM+T+T+DM]

The two batches looked pretty much identical with the biggest difference being the compressor used. They entered service in 1961 and remained in service until September 2012 - finally being replaced by S8 Stock [2], making them one of the longest serving British EMUs with 51 years service and still the longest serving London Underground unit (though the 1972 Tube Stock will probably overtake them). As well as the Metropolitan Line they were also used on the East London Line from the late 1970s onwards.

The A Stock was usually employed in 8 car rakes consisting of 2 4-car sets coupled together. Unlike some types of LU stock the sets had driving cabs at both end so could be used on their own - as indeed they were on the Chesham branch of the Metropolitan [3].

With the Metropolitan having longer distances between stations than on most lines the A Stock could reach up to 70mph making them the fastest fourth rail units in the world! [4] By the 2000s however they had been restricted to 50mph to help nurse them along in their final years. One car has been preserved and a couple more (plus some spares) remain in service as one of LU's Rail Adhesion Trains - though a new RAT made from D78 Stock has been recently built and may replace it.
Preserved 5034 at LT Museum Acton Depot

Aboard 5034, the Metropolitan Line retains transverse seating unlike most tube lines

Overhead view of 5034

Cab view

[1] John Glover, ABC London Underground (Ian Allan, 1997) p. 54
[2] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015), p. 167
[3] John Glover, London Underground Rolling Stock in Colour (Ian Allan, 2009) p. 5
[4] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014), p. 112

Class 14 (BR Swindon 650hp Type 1 Diesel-Hydraulic)

The early days of BR dieselisation were littered with mistakes and sometimes outright lunacy, and the sad story of the Class 14 must rank as one of the most crazy. The Class 14s were built, at BR Swindon - the final locomotives built at the historic old works, as part of Western Region's experiments with diesel hydraulic transmission.

The Class 14 was doomed from the start. Even as they were being built BR was already moving to standardise on diesel electric transmission and marking the WR diesel hydraulic fleet for early withdrawal. If that wasn't enough the work intended for these small Type 1 locomotives, trip working and inter-freight yard transfers, was quickly drying up [1] in the wake of the Beeching Report.

Information
Number built: 56
Built: 1964-65
Builder: BR Swindon
Engine: Paxman Ventura 6YJXL diesel
Power: 650 hp (485 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 0-6-0

BR began withdrawals of the Class 14 in 1968 as work dried up. Some were sent to work outside of Western Region such as at Hull but their lack of power and poor reliability did nothing to delay the inevitable [2]. All were gone by 1970, at most the locos had 5 years service for BR and most had far less than that.


Luckily many were sold on to industrial users who eagerly snapped up these nearly new locomotives going cheap! Most of these locomotives went onto have decent careers on private metals, with a number going abroad. Nineteen have been preserved with many in running order.

One preserved Class 14 was even hired by BR's successor to work on the High Speed 1 route then under construction mainly shunting near St Pancras. The Class 14s have been nicknamed the Teddy Bears.
D9525 at the Heritage Shunters Trust

Sideways view of D9539 at Rowsley South

D9551 at Kidderminster SVR in golden ochre livery

D9500 at Darley Dale

Another view of D9539 at Rowsley South 
D9539 is seen here operating a train on Peak Rail



[1] Brian Haresnape, Western Region Diesel Hydraulics (Ian Allan, 1982) p. 74
[2] John Jennison & Tony Sheffield, Diesel Hydraulics in the 1960s and 1970s (Ian Allan, 2004) p. 38

Class 466 Networker

Part of the Networker family and the companion to the 4-car Class 465, the Class 466 was built for Network South East's lines in Kent. The 466 is a 2-car version of the 465 for lower patronage branch lines but also to augment other services in peak times [1]. Unlike the 465 production which was split between BREL York and GEC the 466 was built entirely by GEC Alstom and thus the fleet has a standard traction package [2].

Information
Number built: 86 (43 2-car sets)
Built: 1993-94
Builder: GEC Alstom Birmingham
Engine: 4 Alstom G352AY traction motors (750v DC third rail)
Power: 1, 500 hp (1, 120 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+
Driving Trailer Standard Open (DTSO)

Following privatisation the Class 466 was taken over by Connex South Eastern, then South Eastern Trains and currently Southeastern.
466 006 at Grosvenor Road Sidings

466 030 passing through Peckham Rye

[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 363
[2] Colin J Marsden (ed.) "The Networker Family", Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 233 February-March 2017 (Networker, Juniper & Javelin Stock) p. 4

Deltic (English Electric 3,300hp Diesel-Electric)

Deltic was built by English Electric as a private venture and remained privately owned even though it ran on British Railways metals for 6 years. It was built to prove the Napier Deltic engine for rail use [1]. It was hoped the innovative opposed-piston diesel engine with a much greater power to weight ratio than conventional engines would create a powerful express passenger locomotive that was not as heavy as the likes of contemporary large diesel locomotives. Deltic weighed 106 tons by comparison the Class 44 weighed in at 133tons and had 1,000 less horsepower to play with!

Information
Number built: 1
Built: 1955
Builder: English Electric
Engine: 2 Napier Deltic D18-25 diesels
Power: 3, 300 hp (2, 460 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

Deltic was designed with the export market as well as home in mind and was given a "North American" appearance complete with large headlight and speed whiskers. When it was built Deltic was the most powerful diesel-electric locomotive in the world and it showed its performance on the London Midland and Eastern Regions [2] though had trouble with its loading gauge on parts of the East Coast Main Line. In the end the Deltic was ordered for production for the ECML in the form of the rather more British looking (and slightly slimmer) Class 55.

Deltic itself was preserved, being withdrawn from service in 1961. It was first displayed at London's Science Museum before moving to NRM Shildon in the last few years.
Deltic now resides at NRM Shildon

Deltic remained privately owned and never had a BR running number 
Note the large headlight and US appearance

[1] Brian Haresnape, Early Protoype & Pilot Scheme Diesel-Electrics (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 29
[2] John Vaughan, Diesels on the Eastern (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 32