Class 77 (BR/Metropolitan Vickers 2,490hp DC Electric Locomotive EM2)

The EM2 electric locomotive (later Class 77) was built to haul express passenger services over the Woodhead route, which had been electrified to 1,500v DC overhead) alongside the mixed-traffic Class 76. The Class 77 was based on the Class 76 though larger and more powerful and had Co-Co bogies - a result of the ride problems the Class 76 Bo-Bo bogies had at speed [1].

Originally twenty seven locomotives were planned but in the end only seven were, some later build Class 76s were instead fitted with train heating boilers and improved bogies for passenger duties.

Information
Number built: 7
Built: 1953-54
Builder: BR Gorton
Motor: 6 Metropolitan-Vickers 146 traction motors (1500kV DC OLHE)
Power: 2, 490 hp (1, 857 kW) 
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

They entered service in the mid-1950s hauling expresses between Manchester Piccadilly and Sheffield Victoria [2]. However their British Railways life was short. They were withdrawn in 1968 as passenger services along the Woodhead route were phased out (the line and the Class 76 remained in service for freight until 1981).

Happily the still fairly fresh locomotives found a buyer. They were sold to the Dutch railway operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen and became the NS 1500 class. They received new headlights and pantographs and remained in service until 1986. Three have been preserved.
NS 1505 now preserved at MOSI Manchester

In NS service the locomotives received new cab light clusters

The locomotives retained their original BR names in Dutch service

Side view of 1505, in BR service the Class 77 had cross-arm pantographs

Another view of 1505

The locomotive was E27001 in BR service

[1] Brian Haresnape, Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 32
[2] Colin J. Marsden, Diesel & Electric Locomotive Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 214

London Underground 2009 Tube Stock

The 2009 Tube Stock was built to replace the life expired 1967 Tube Stock on the Victoria Line, and entered service in 2010 [1]. The trains are part of Bombardier's Movia family along like the S Stock though reduced in dimensions to fit a deep-level tube. They were built as part of a major upgrade of the Victoria Line reducing journey times by being faster and having better acceleration than the 1967 Tube Stock, and increasing capacity. They can carry nearly twenty percent more passengers per train - and there are also six more of them in service than the 1967 fleet. They are slightly wider (forty millimetres) than the 1967s to take advantage of the wider tunnels on the Victoria Line though this does mean they cannot travel on the other deep tube lines. They are also longer than the 1967 Tube Stock and indeed are the longest deep tube stock in service.

Information
Number built: 376 (47 8-car sets)
Built: 2007-11
Builder: Bombardier Derby
Motor: Bombardier MITRAC DR1000 traction package (630v DC fourth rail)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+Non-Driving Motor (NDM)
+Uncoupling Non-Driving Motor (UNDM)+UNDM+NDM+T+DM

The 2009 Tube Stock has an IGBT traction package [2] similar to that used on the Electrostar family (such as the Class 377 and 387). They are the first tube stock designed to take into account the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 2010 (RVAR 2010) with facilities for people with impaired mobility such as tip-up seats, off-set grab poles and space for wheel chairs [3]. They have dot-matrix displays inside the car showing passenger information and service updates. As with the 1967s they are equipped for Automatic Train Operation (ATO), though the 2009 uses the more advanced Invensys DTG-R system [4].

The 2009 Tube Stock took over the Victoria Line completely from the 1967 in mid-2011. There have been some teething troubles, the door sensors being over sensitive but they serve daily moving huge numbers of people on the incredibly busy Victoria Line.
11042 arrives at Oxford Circus

Preparing to go

11052 at Oxford Circus

Train standing at Pimlico

2009ts departing from Warren Street

[1] Ben Muldoon, London Underground Rolling Stock Guide (Ian Allan, 2014) p.64
[2] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015) p. 175
[3] Paul Moss, London Underground 1863 Onwards (Haynes, 2014) p. 173
[4] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 60

Wallasey Corporation Tramways

Wallasey Corporation Tramways began operations in 1903 on Merseyside replacing a horse tramway what had operated since 1879. The initial service served between the Seacombe and New Brighton ferries with two more routes added later on. The fleet eventually compromised seventy eight trams which were built in a number of batches between 1902 and 1920.

Information for 37-41 Class
Number built: 4
Built: 1908
Builder: United Electric Car Company

Although the trams were built by a variety of manufacturers they all shared the "Bellamy roof" style established in Liverpool (named after the manager who introduced it) [1]. The style had an enclosed roof but with open balconies. The last batch of trams built by Brush in 1920 still retained this style even though it was rather old fashioned by then. The original plan was for the trams to have the roofs fitted so they could be easily removed and the trams could be converted from open to closed and back in minutes. However after serious water leaks in bad weather it was decided to make the roof permanent.

The tram network didn't last long. Closures began in 1929 and the network was completely shut down in 1933. One tram, Number 78, has survived into preservation. This Brush built tram was the last one built and spent fifty years serving as a store in a farmyard in North Wales before being handed over to a preservation society in 1978 and now runs as part of the Wirral Tramway.
Three views of Wallasey 78 at Wirral Transport Museum

Wallasey trams wore this lime green and cream livery

The open balcony can be seen here


The roof and balcony can be seen here
[1] R.W. Rush, British Electric Tramcar Design 1885-1950 (Oxford Publishing, 1976) p. 85

Class 185 Desiro

These DMUs were built to modernise Trans-Pennine routes [1] and at the moment among 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
Motor: 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 out to Northern.
TPE 185 123 at York 

TPE 184 144 at Manchester Oxford Road
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

Baguley-Drewry 3698-3701

Baguley-Drewry built these four diesel-hydraulic shunters for the Royal Air Force's ammunition depot at RAF Chilmark in Wiltshire. Goods were transferred from a standard gauge rail link via a 600mm narrow gauge railway which ran into several caverns. RAF Chilmark closed in 1995.

Information
Number built: 4
Built: 1973
Builder: Baguley-Drewry
Motor: Gardner diesel
Power: 65hp / 48kW
Formation: 4wDH

All four locomotives have survived, though in different locations. 3698 is now at the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway. 3699 at the Gartell Light Railway. 3700 is in Turkey and 3701 at the Richmond Light Railway.
3698 at Stonehenge Works, Leighton Buzzard Light Railway

3698 now carries the number NG46

Front view of 3698

Class 47 (Brush/Sulzer 2,580hp Type 4 Diesel-Electric)

The Class 47 is the largest single class of mainline diesel locomotive built for British railways with a total of five hundred and twelve built in the 1960s [1]. They became the standard Type 4 diesel locomotive and have operated on all parts of British railways on passenger, freight and engineering services. Most have been withdrawn now but there are still around thirty in mainline service. Thirty-three have also been rebuilt and re-engined as Class 57s.

Information
Number built: 512
Built: 1962-68
Builder: Brush / BR Crewe
Motor: Sulzer 12LDA28-C diesel
Power: 2, 580 hp (1, 920 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

The Class 47 was built to allow British Railways to finally withdraw steam traction on mainline services by 1968 and became the definitive second generation diesel locomotive for BR. Originally they were a follow-on from the Class 45/46 Peaks and indeed the first twenty Class 47s replaced the last twenty Class 46s on order [2] with some of the equipment used (and in subsequent locomotives) was chosen because it was left over from the "Peak" production. The Class 47 had an uprated version of the Sulzer 12LDA28 powerplant but with a flat front as mandated by British Rail and took advantage of improvements in technology especially in terms of weight savings to be a Co-Co not a 1Co-Co1.

There were some teething problems as might be expected with such a big class, the Sulzer diesels needed to be derated to 2, 580hp to reduce wear and tear on the engine, but the Class 47 soon became the mainstay of heavy duty services. Five locomotives were fitted with the Sulzer V12 12LVA24 engine and classified as Class 48 though were later converted back into "normal" Class 47s.

Sub-class Details
47/0 Original with train steam heating boilers
47/3 Dedicated freight locos with no train heating
47/4 Fitted with electric train heating
47/6 Single loco fitted with Rushton 16RK3CT engine testing for later Class 56
47/7 Fitted for push-pull services 
47/8 Fitted with extra fuel tanks
47/9 47/6 loco later fitted with engine to test for Class 58 

Known as "Duffs" by rail enthusiasts, surviving Class 47s are still used on a variety of services such as charters, spot-hires and engineering services. Over thirty have been preserved to date most in working order. One Class 47 has even worked charters in Hungary. When the class was being built in the 1960s few would have suspected that might happen! [3]
WCRC 47 237 at Tyseley

47 580 at Crewe

47 848 at Derby

Preserved cab of 47 435 at Crewe Heritage Centre

47 813 at Derby

Now carrying original two-tone BR green livery, D1924 at Derby

[1] Colin J Marsden, Traction Recognition (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 40
[2] Brian Haresnape, Production Diesel-Electrics Types 4 and 5 (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 52
[3] "47 375 named Falcon", Railways Illustrated No.166 (December 2016) p. 10

Northfleet Series Electric Tramway

One the earliest electric tramways was opened at Northfleet in Kent in the Spring of 1889, it pioneered a different method of electric transmission to earlier systems (although had been already tried in the United States). The Northfleet system was a series electric instead of parallel like other tramways. With a parallel electric system the electric current that passes through a motor (or any other electric device like a lamp) does not pass through any other [1]. With a series electric the whole current of the system passes through the devices using it. One advantage of this system was that a much smaller current could be applied as parallel systems needed larger current to counter the dropping off effect the further one got from the generating dynamo.

Information
Built: 1889
Builder: Falcon Engine & Car Works
Motor: Elwell & Parker electric motor (200v)
Power: 15 hp (11 kW)

The problem for engineers was how to run multiple motors in series at the same time. The solution was to divide the conductor into segments (in the Northfleet case about six and half metres long [2]) and for the tram to close the circuit as required as it passes over the segments. The Northfleet system used a buried conductor underneath one of the running rails with a slot for an "arrow" which opened the circuit at successive points by opening two "spring jacks". A dynamo on board the tram was used to maintain a steady supply to the motor which otherwise would have been subject to the circuit being opened and closed by other tramcars.

The tramway, which replaced an existing horse drawn tram, was narrow gauge (1067mm). This required special motors to be built for it. The Northfleet tram apparently worked well though was no more than an experiment, though a bold one which attracted a good deal of interest from engineers.

By the end of 1890 the tram had returned to living breathing horse power, though a more conventional electric tram system was started in 1901.
Northfleet tram [3]

Front of tram and detail of the motor, the narrowness of the motor can be seen [3]

Cross section of rail and conductor [1]


[1] "The Northfleet Series Electric Tramway", Nature (May 9 1889) p. 39
[2] Robert J Harley, North Kent Tramways (Middleton Press, 1994) Fig. 60
[3] "The Northfleet Series Electric Tramway - Dynamo and Cars", The Engineer (March 15 1889) p. 219

Class 483

The Class 485 was born of the need to "modernise" the Isle of Wight offshoot of the British Rail network in the late 1960s, the clearance difficulties caused by Ryde tunnel meant that ex-London Underground Standard Tube Stock had to be used in a modified form. By the 1980s however the 485s and Class 486s were becoming life expired and needed replacing. Their replacements turned out to be also ex-Tube stock!

The Class 483s were rebuilt 1938 Stock and thus while also elderly were somewhat newer than their early 1920s vintage forerunners. The ex-LU stock, which comprised a mixture of ex-revenue service stock and departmental vehicles, was used to create 2-car trains (the 1938 stock being 4-car) as Ryde Depot at Ryde St. Johns Road had difficulty handling longer trains [1].

Information
Number built: 20 cars (2-car units)
Built: 1939-40
(Rebuilt as 483s) 1989
Builder: Metro-Cammell
(Rebuilds) BR Eastleigh
Motor: 4 Crompton Parkinson / GEC / BTH LT100 traction motors
(630v DC third rail - originally LU fourth rail)
Power: 670 hp (500 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+DMSO

The stock was refurbished and modified for Island Line use which included changing from fourth rail to third rail operation. All exposed steel surfaces were also treated to protect against salt erosion [2] (the Island Line partly runs over the sea when it operates up to Ryde Pier Head, corrosion have proven to have been a problem with the earlier stock). Twenty vehicles were used in the 483 programme though only eighteen were used for passenger service, the others being used for spares. Since their introduction a number of vehicles have been withdrawn and some scrapped so now the fleet has been reduced to five operational trains though this is sufficient for the Island Line schedule.

As "new" the Class 483s wore Network South East livery followed by "dinosaur" livery post-privatisation (the Island Line being part of the South West Trains franchise though treated as a separate entity) but currently wear a livery based on London Underground historic deep red [3]. There are currently no firm plans with withdraw the 483s though their future is uncertain as they are now approaching eighty years old. Original plans to use Piccadilly Line 1973 Stock as a third generation EMU on the line were foiled by the delay in the Deep Tube Upgrade which means the 1973 Stock will not be withdrawn until the mid-2020s. 1983 Stock was also offered in the past but turned down as it was considered "too digital".

A recent report suggested replacing the Island Line with a light rail system based on former Midland Metro T69 vehicles [4] though these have now been scrapped. It is likely that a third generation of ex-LU stock based on Vivarail's Class 230 conversion of D78 Stock will be the way forward though as yet nothing is confirmed, whatever happens to the railway on the Isle of Wight the tradition of "second hand" is likely to continue.
483 007 at Smallbrook Junction

Ryde St. Johns depot

Aboard a 483

483 007 ar Ryde Pierhead

483 004 approaches Ryde Esplanade

A short while later 483 004 at Ryde Esplanade

[1] Brian Hardy, Tube Trains on the Isle of Wight (Capital Transport, 2003) p. 62
[2] Hardy p. 63
[3] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 367
[4] "Trams for the Isle of Wight?", Railways Illustrated (April 2016)

Robel Romis System Mobile Maintenance Train

Network Rail have bought eight Mobile Maintenance Trains from Robel which are designed to give a safe working environment for on-track staff. The Mobile Maintenance Train, known as the Romis System, consists of three vehicles [1], the Mobile Maintenance Unit is an open bottomed vehicle. It has adjustable walls for protection from the elements, passing trains and glare at night and a number of tools for working on the track such as rail welders, cutters and grinders [2].

Information
Number built: 8
Built: 2015-16
Builder: Robel
Motor: 2 diesels per train
Power: 1, 609 hp (1, 200 kW)

The Intermediate Wagon is used for carrying supplies and included a built in crane and hydraulic platforms. Finally the Traction & Supply Unit provides propulsion for the unit, power for tools as well as a workshop and a kitchen.
DR97501 at Darlington, this is the Traction & Supply Unit

DR97501 at Darlington

[1] Royston Morris, Railway Maintenance Vehicles & Equipment (Amberley, 2017) p. 35
[2] Robel, Romis System Mobile Maintenance System, p. 3

Class 92

Designed for freight and overnight passenger traffic through the Channel Tunnel [1] the Class 92 is what is now known as a bi-mode electric locomotive that can operate on electricity drawn from both with 750v DC third rail and 25kV AC overhead lines. Unfortunately for the Class 92 a lot of it's planned work disappeared while it was being built meaning that many were stored out of use for a number of years, at one stage in the early 2000s over half the fleet was in storage. Nowadays more have been activated, some being exported to work in Europe. However the reliability of those that do remain in service on British rails has sometimes been questionable.

Information
Number built: 46
Built: 1993-95
Builder: Brush Traction
Motor: ABB 6FRA 7059B traction motors (DC third rail & AC OHLE)
Power: 6, 700 hp (5, 000 kW) - 25kV AC
5, 360 hp (4, 000 kW) - 750v DC
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

The Class 92 is a complicated locomotive with many systems duplicated to avoid the chance of failure in the Channel Tunnel [2]. Most of their work (of those not in storage or working in Europe) these days is on freight but some are also being used on Caledonian sleeper services from London to Scotland, however a number of failures have seen the introduction on these services delayed.

One interesting piece of trivia is that the very last train to be run on British Rail late on 21/11/1997 was hauled by 92 003.
92 011 in third rail mode at Peckham Rye

Caledonian Sleeper 92 014 at Stafford

92 028 also at Stafford

Livery comparison

[1] Colin J Marsden, Diesel & Electric Locomotive Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 240
[2] Gavin Morrison, AC Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 95

Huddersfield Corporation Coal Tram

While people were the primary load of the tram networks some freight was also carried. Mostly this was parcel traffic but in the case of the Huddersfield Corporation Tramway it also included coal. The tramway had already been used to transport coal since the horse tram days, and was to the unusual track gauge of 1, 416mm to allow traffic from local coal tramways to travel over the network. Although the intention was to use steam locomotives to haul coal trains, two special coal trams were also built to carry coal from sidings at the tram terminus at Outlane district to three mills nearby [1] as well as coal for the tramway's own power station.

Information
Number built: 2
Built: 1904
Builder: Milnes, Voss & Company
Motor: 2 Westinghouse electric motors (DC OHLE)
Power: 90 hp (67 kW) 

The Coal Trams could carry up to ten tons of coal [2]. They had a simple design, being largely a standard open wagon on top of a tram truck. The low height of the coal chutes used (just over two metres above rail level) necessitated a lower body than was usual with freight trams. The coal was discharged through side doors.

The Huddersfield tram network went into decline in the 1930s and closed in 1940, the Coal Trams were scrapped along with the rest of the fleet.
Two views of Number 72 in use [2]

The Coal Tram had a simple design

[1] R.W. Rush, British Electric Tramcar Design 1885-1950 (Oxford Publishing, 1976) p. 121
[2] "Coal car at Huddersfield", Street Railway Journal Vol. XXIV No. 19 (Nov 1904) p. 834

Class 122 (Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Branch Line Services 1-car)

Twenty of these single car railcars were built in the late 1950s for branch lines in the Western, London Midland and Scottish Regions of British Rail [1]. Unlike the similar Class 121 railcars nine unpowered driving trailers (originally classified as Class 150 [2]) were also built to supplement the single railcars, these could be hauled by the Class 122 in times of higher demand. Technically they are very similar to the Class 119 also built by the GRCW Company but with a BR Derby style high density layout [3].

Information
Number built: 29 (20 motor, 9 trailers)
Built: 1958
Builder: Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company
Motor: 2 BUT (AEC/Leyland) 6-cyl diesels
Power: 300 hp (220 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS)+Driving Trailer Second (DTS) [Optional]

They served until the mid-1990s in passenger service on lightly loaded routes such as the Stourbridge shuttle to Stourbridge Town and the pre-electrified branch to Redditch [4].


In the privatisation era a number continued in departmental service as route learning and test cars for a number of years though all have been withdrawn from that role now. Eight have been preserved though none of the unpowered trailers have survived. Three Scottish Region Class 122s were converted to carry parcel traffic for a time and reclassified Class 131 [5].
W55006 at Wirksworth

Another view of W55006

Cab view

Front end comparison, Class 122 (right), Iris (left)

Another view of W55006, at Duffield

W55006 again, this time at Ravenstor

[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Multiple Units: The First Generation (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 54
[2] Class 122, Railcar.co.uk <http://railcar.co.uk/type/class-122/>
[3] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 81
[4] Gavin Morrison, British Railways DMUs in Colour (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 20
[5] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), "The Birth of the DMU", Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 207 June-July 2014 (The First Generation Multiple Units), p. 19