Docklands Light Railway B90/B92/B2K Stock

The Docklands Light Railway is a growing light rail network in the East of London which has supported the redevelopment of the former docklands area. Unlike other lines which have been built in response to demand the DLR was built to attract people to a previously run down area [1]. The B90/B92/B2K fleet is a second generation of trains which supplemented and then replaced the original P86/89 Stock.

All DLR trains are automatically controlled though carry a Passenger Service Agent who can control the train if necessary via a locked console. The trains do not have cabs and so are popular with passengers who can get a great front view of travel! The DLR trains consist of a single articulated car [2] though can operate in multiples of up to 3. Some DLR trains have now being augmented with an extra car in the middle, the entire fleet will eventually be upgraded this way. The DLR operates off 750v DC third rail like most railways in London though in the DLR's case power is picked up from the underside of the conductor rail, the top and sides having plastic covers.

Number built: 94 (23 B90, 47 B92, 24 B2K)
Built: 1991-2002
Builder: Bombardier
Engine: Brush TM2111A traction motors (750v DC third rail bottom contact)
Power: 375 hp (280 kW)

The B2K cars differ from the 2 earlier batches in that they have been modified to adhere to accessibility regulations and have contrasting colour doors and handrails and internal LCD screens. The earlier cars have being bought up to the same standard during refurbishment. However the fleets are worked hard and the B90 and B92 are showing signs of being worn out, they are due to replaced by new build vehicles in the early 2020s [3][4].
B90 #36 at Canning Town

B92 #54 at Poplar depot with older style red front end

B92 #63 at Shadwell

A DLR train departs Royal Albert
B92 #48 at Tower Gateway

[1] Oliver Green, The London Underground (Ian Allan, 1987) p. 67
[2] Colin J Marsden, Rail Guide 2013 (Ian Allan, 2012) p. 256
[3] Roger Ford, "Rolling stock factories over-capacity threat", Modern Railways (December 2017) p. 25 
[4] DLR Rolling Stock Replacement Programme, Transport for London <>

Class 506 (Metro-Cammell / Birmingham Railway Wagon and Carriage Company LMR Manchester Suburban Services 3-car)

The Class 506 was built for the electrification of the LNER Woodhead route between Manchester (London Road) and Sheffield [1] and the Glossop branch. The electrification of the line had begun in the late 1930s but due to the war was not completed until the early 1950s. These units, built to the same design as the AC electric Shenfield line Class 306 [2], but drawing on 1500v DC overhead electric spent their working lives on the Hatfield and Glossop line [3].

Number built: 24 (8 3-car sets)
Built: 1954
Builder: Metro-Cammell / Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Comany
Engine: 4 GEC traction motors (1500v DC OHLE)
Power: 740 hp (555 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Brake Standard (DMBS)+Trailer Composite (TC)
+Driving Trailer Standard (DTS)

later TC became a Trailer Standard (TS)

They were built with first class accommodation in the central trailer but this was declassified in 1960. Although they physically could have operated elsewhere on the Woodhead route the Class 506s seldom left their line. The Woodhead route was closed East of Hatfield in 1981 but the Class 506s continued in service until their line was converted to AC electrification in 1984. They became the last mainline trains to operate using the once standard 1500v DC overhead line method. All that remains of the class is a single severed cab that has survived into preservation.
This cab of M508404M is all that survives

The pantograph can be seen on the cab roof

[1] Alec Swain, Overhead Line Electric-Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1990) p. 21
[2] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recogition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 384 
[3] Alan Whitehouse, The Woodhead Route (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 38

Class 165 Network Turbo

The Class 165 "Network Turbo" was built for British Rail in the early 1990s to replace first generation DMUs on Thames and Chiltern route suburban services [1]. Seventy six 2-car and 3-car sets were built and all but one, which was destroyed in the Ladbroke Grove rail disaster, remain in service today with Chiltern Railways and First Great Western.

Number built: 144 (76 2- and 3-car sets)
Built: 1990-92
Builder: BREL York
Engine: Perkins 2006-TWH diesel (one per car)
Power: 700 / 1, 050 hp (520 / 780 kW)
Formations: 165/0: Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)+
Motor Standard (MS)+Driving Motor Standard (DMS)

165/1: Driving Motor Composite Lavatory (DMCL)+MS+DMS

There are 2 sub-classes. the 165/0 was originally built for Chiltern services on Network South East and remains on the same routes including services from Marylebone to Birmingham, to Aylesbury and to Stratford-upon-Avon. Trip-cock equipment has been fitted to Chiltern units as they travel on London Underground track between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Amersham.

165/1 was built for services out of Paddington along the Great Western main line. They are still in service on Thames Valley services to destinations like Oxford and Banbury. They have bogie modifications to allow for a higher top speed (90 mp/h as opposed to 75 mp/h on the 165/0).
GWR 165 123 at Tackley

Chiltern 165 002 at Bicester North

Chiltern 165 022 at Aylesbury

Chiltern 165 019 at Lapworth

Aboard a Chiltern 165

GWR 165 106 at Oxford

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recogition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 149

Vale of Rheidol Number 10 (BMR002)

Diesel shunter Number 10 (works number BMR002) performs shunting and hauls engineering trains on the narrow gauge Vale of Rheidol railway between Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge. The locomotive was bought while the railway was still part of British Rail (until 1989) and thus was the last shunter bought by BR!

Number built: 1
Built: 1987
Builder: Brecon Mountain Railway / Baguely Drewry
Engine: Caterpillar diesel
Power: 165 hp (123 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 0-6-0

The locomotive was built at the Brecon Mountain Railway at Pant from parts obtained by Baguely Drewry [1] when that company went out of business. Number 10 is a diesel hydraulic. Two similar locomotives are also operated by the Ffestiniog Railway.
Number 10 shunts coaching stock at Aberystwyth

Bringing the train in

Number 10 is painted in GWR Brunswick green to match the VoR's steam fleet

[1] Vic Mitchell, Corris & Vale of Rheidol (Middleton Press, 2009) p. 90

Class 319 (BREL York Cross-Country "Thameslink" 4-car)

The Class 319 EMUs were built for "Thameslink" cross-London services in the late 1980s being dual voltage so they could operate North and South of the river [1]. The 319 is based on the Class 317 EMU though has a modified front end without a gangway connection, it retains a door for emergency evacuation in tunnels as they have to travel through such especially when crossing London.

Number built: 344 (86 4-car sets)
Built: 1987-90
Builder: BREL York
Engine: 4 GEC G315BZ traction motors (750V DC third rail or 25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 327 hp (990 kW)
Formation: 319/0: Driving Trailer Standard Open (DTSO)+
Motor Standard Open (MSO)+Trailer Standard Open Lavatory
319/1: Driving Trailer Composite Open (DTCO)+MSO+TSOL+DTSO

The class was built in 2 batches, 319/0 and 319/1 which had some first class accommodation plus an improved pantograph. In the 1990s some 319/0s were converted to 319/2 standard with low-density seating and a disabled toilet for London Victoria services through to Brighton. Some 319/1s have also had their first class seating removed during refurbishment to become 319/3. Some 319/0s have also had first class seating added and a lower density seating arrangement for Bedford-Brighton services as 319/4.

One feature unique to 319s was an area behind one of the cabs was fitted with fold down seats and made securable with a lockable door in order to carry mail [2]. This area was removed during refurbishment and the ceasing of transporting mail by train.

Class 319s remain on Thameslink services though they are in the process of being replaced by the Class 700 [3]. There is much life remaining in these units though and a number have already been cascaded to the North West (Northern) and South Midlands (London Midland). They could also have a new life as electro-diesel or bi-mode multiple units! A bi-mode version of the 319 called the 319 Flex (Class 769) is currently being developed by Brush. Diesel engines and alternators will be carried under the driving cars and these would feed the unit's traction motors with the electricity needed when away from third rail or overhead lines. It is hoped the Class 769 will enter passenger service with Northern and elsewhere in Spring 2018 [4][5].

One notable event in the life of the 319s came in 1994 when 319 008 and 319 009 became the first trains to carry passengers through the Channel Tunnel [6].
Northern 319 377 at Liverpool Lime Street

Northern 319 367 at St Helens Central

London Midland 319 457 at Milton Keynes Central

Northern 319 371 at Huyton

Northern 319 383 and 319 377 at Liverpool Lime Street

Thameslink 319 433 at Blackfriars

[1] Brian Haresnape & Alec Swain, Third Rail DC Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1989) p. 85
[2] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 251
[3] "Class 700s Branch Out", Railways Illustrated No. 161 (July 2016)
[4] "B-Mode Class 319 Flex from Porterbrook", Railways Illustrated No. 169 (March 2017)
[5] "Northern to get bi-modes", Modern Railways (February 2017)
[6] Southern E-Group: Class 319 <>

Thomas Hill Sentinel rebuilds

The small diesel shunter Thomas Hill Class 188c is interesting as it started life as a steam locomotive! It is one of a number of Sentinel vertical boiler steam locomotives converted to diesel in the 1960s by Thomas Hill of Rotherham.

Builder: (Original) Sentinel Wagon Works
(Rebuild) Thomas Hill
Engine: Rolls Royce C6 diesel
Power: 170 hp (126 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 4wDH

Conversion involved replacing the steam boiler with a Rolls Royce diesel locomotive, adding diesel-hydraulic transmission and new buffer beams plus changes to the superstructure. Thomas Hill 188c was built in 1955 as a steam locomotive and converted in 1967 to diesel. It was used by the CEGB at the North Stella power station before passing into preservation, one of a number now preserved.
Thomas Hill 188c at Wirkworth on the EVR

Thomas Hill 111c at the Foxfield Railway

Another view of 188c

LMS 7400 (7050)

The LMS was an early pioneer of diesel traction and built a number of experimental diesel shunters in the early 1930s. Number 7050 (originally allocated the number 7400) was the smallest of these. It was built by Drewry (establishing what would become the very familiar look of their shunters) at the EE Dick Kerr works in Preston [1].

Number built: 1
Built: 1934
Builder: Drewry Car / EE Dick Kerr
Engine: W H Allan 8RS18
(Later) Gardner 6L3
Power: 160 hp (120 kW) (Allan)
153 hp (114 kW) (Gardner)
Wheel arrangement: 0-4-0

Although a small shunter, 7050 had an impressive performance and was able to haul up to 400 tons. It was sold to the War Department in World War 2 and remained in MoD service until being preserved in 1979 [2]. It is during its military service that the original Allan engine was replaced by a Gardner one. It is now part of the national collection at York.
LMS 7050 at the National Railway Museum, York

At the time 7050 was in the NRM Great Hall

Front view of 7050, note the taper on the bonnet

[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Shunters (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 6
[2] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), "The LMS Designs", Modern Locomotives Illustrated No 217 February-March 2016 (SR, GW, LNER, LMS & Trial Shunters & Class 03) p. 4

Class 365 Networker Express

The Class 365 is part of the Networker family and the last to be built for British Rail. They were also the last units to be built at the former BR York works before it closed. The Class 365 was based on the Class 465 being modified for longer-distance services. They were designed with a dual voltage capability (750v DC third rail and 25kV AC overhead line) though in practice have been fitted for and used on one or the other, these days are only used on AC electric routes out of Kings Cross. However due to the nature of their electrical systems the collected AC is converted to DC for onboard system and inverted back to AC for the traction motors!

Number built: 161 (41 4-car sets)
Built: 1994-95
Builder: ABB Holgate Road
Engine: 4 GEC G354CX traction motors per motor car
(750v DC third rail / 25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 680 hp (1, 256 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Composite Open (DMCO)+Trailer Standard Open (TSO)
+Pantograph Trailer Standard Open Lavatory (PTSOL)+DMCO

When delivered the Class 365s operated for Network South East. Upon privatisation they were operated by Connex South Eastern and West Anglia Great Northern. When delivered they looked very similar to the Class 465 [1] though later had in-cab air conditioning added which has given them the "smile" on the cab ends!

Now all are operated by Great Northern. One set is out of action after being involved in the Potters Bar rail crash in 2002 [2]. They will be partially replaced by newer stock on services to Cambridge and Kings Lynn with some 365s retained to bolster peak time services.
365 503 at Kings Cross

365 510 passes through Finsbury Park

365 530 at Kings Cross

Two 365s at Kings Cross

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 276
[2] John Glover, Eastern Electric (Ian Allan, 2001) p. 103

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 up to Stratford. The 1996 Tube Stock was designed for this extension, initially the idea was to refurbish and augment the existing 1983 Tube Stock fleet but London Underground worked out a fleet of brand new trains would cost the same [1] and last much longer. The new trains were designed to avoid some of the shortcomings of the 1983TS including the bottle neck caused by the single doors [2].

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 made and 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)
Engine: GEC Alsthom three-phase induction motors (630v DC fourth rail)
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 was closing down and the new cars and trains were built at a Alstom factory in Spain.

The 1996TS is currently receiving a mid-life refresh which includes improved and more accessible interiors and better passenger information [5]. London Underground also planned to add some new build to augment the fleet though these plans have now been put on hold.
96024 at Canning Town

96075 and 96057 at Finchley Road

96103 at Kilburn

96063 at Stratford

96009 at West Hampstead

96007 at Finchley Road
[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