Blackpool Corporation "Toastrack" Tram

Blackpool has obviously been a popular tourist destination for many years and thus the town's tram network saw the opportunity to cater for the holiday market, in 1911 the tram corporation ordered twenty four open top trams for tourist travel. Known as the "Toastrack" tram due to their simple form and the resemblance to a toast rack! They were little more than a motorised underframe with wooden bench seats on top of it and a pole for the trolley mast.

Information 
Number built: 30
Built: 1911-27
Builder: Blackpool Corporation
Motor: 2 GE52 traction motors (550v DC OHLE)
Power: 54 hp (40 kW)

The Toastrack trams proved very popular during the holiday season and similar trams were also used at other seaside resorts including Southport [1]. A further six were built in 1927 for an expansion of the Blackpool tram network along the South Promenade. The outbreak of the Second World War put an end to most open top tram travel and the original fleet of twenty four trams were scrapped. The six newer cars survived as works cars for a time before they began to also be scrapped.

However a couple were used for broadcasting including the first ever live broadcast from a moving vehicle when the BBC filmed the Blackpool Illuminations in 1951. The cars survived in service until the late 1960s before finally being withdrawn, one car 166 was preserved in 1972.
Blackpool Corporation 166 at Crich Tramway Museum

166 has a very simple design

Another view of 166

[1] R.W. Rush, British Electric Tramcar Design (Oxford Publishing, 1976) p. 92

Class 166 Networker Turbo Express

The Class 166 "Networker Turbo Express" was built alongside its DMU sister the Class 165 but for longer distance routes between Paddington, Oxford and Newbury. The Class 166 is very similar to the 165 but has a more luxurious interior including first class seating, two toilets, carpeted flooring and air conditioning as well as more luggage space [1]. They are capable of 90mp/h unlike some 165s which are limited to 75mp/h.

Information
Number built: 63 (21 3-car units)
Built: 1992-93
Builder: BREL York
Motor: Perkins 2006TWH diesel per car
Power: 1, 050 hp (780 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Composite Lavatory (DMCL)+Motor Standard Open (MSO)+
Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)

Originally operated by Network South East all 166s are now operated by GWR (though many carry the earlier First Great Western branding still).



Originally both driving cars had first class accommodation but in 2014 one DMCL was declassified in order to increase the overall capacity [2].
GWR 166 205 at Banbury

GWR 166 209 at Worcester Shrub Hill

GWR 166 215 at Ealing Broadway

GWR 166 218 at Reading

GWR 166 217 and 165 135 at Oxford

GWR 166 202 at Oxford

[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 152
[2] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), "Class 166 'Networker Express'", Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 216 December 2015-January 2016 (Second Generation DMUs Classes 165-185). p. 14

Central London Railway Locomotives

The Central London Railway opened in 1900 between Shepherd's Bush and Bank (with a depot and workshop at Wood Lane). The Central London Railway was a deep level tube line like the already open City & South London Railway (though with a wider tunnel of 3.56m diameter - wider on curves [1]). Like the CSLR the Central London Railway ordered electric locomotives to haul unpowered coach stock [2]. Originally the plan had been to top and tail trains with a small locomotive at each end but due to fire safety fears the Central London Railway instead decided to have with just one larger locomotive per train with the locomotive being detached at each terminus where another locomotive was waiting on a spur to take the train back in the opposite direction.

Information
Number built: 28
Built: 1899-1900
Builder: General Electric Company / CLR Wood Lane Depot
Motor: 4 British Thomson Houston traction motors (550v DC third rail)
Power: 1, 045 hp (776 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

The CLR ordered twenty eight central cab locomotives which were built by the General Electric Company in the US (originally it had been intended to build the locomotives in the UK but due to industrial unrest and lack of capacity this proved impossible [4]) in knocked down form and assembled at the CLR's Wood Lane Depot [5]. Importing the locomotives was not without mishap, one locomotive whilst being carried on a barge up the Thames ended up in the river - however it was rescued and after being fully dried out did enter service!) One hundred and sixty eight coaches were built by the Ashbury Railway Carriage & Iron Company and Brush Traction.

The CLR locomotives were noticeably larger than the CSLR ones weighting forty-four tons. They had four gearless motors with a high unsprung weight [6] and were soon causing vibration problems along the line with complaints coming in from occupants in buildings above the line [7]. An urgent solution to the problem was needed by the CLR, lighter motors were trialed which did reduce the vibration somewhat but the solution was arrived at when a number of coaches were modified with cab ends and electrical equipment. This became the Central London Railway 1903 Stock and soon replaced the locomotives on the line, becoming the first of a long long of tube stock on what became the Central Line. The original locomotives were replaced in service in 1903 and most were scrapped apart from a couple retained for shunting at Wood Lane Depot, one surviving until 1942.
CLR Locomotive and train at Wood Lane depot (public domain image [3]

Tunnel entrance at Shepherd's Bush, notice the central conductor rail (public domain image [3])

CLR Locomotive (public domain image [4])
[1] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015) p. 15
[2] "Central London Railway Car", Street Railway Journal (Vol. XVI No. 27) July 1900 p. 653
[3] Street Railway Journal (Vol. XVIII) 1901 p. 1051
[4] "Central London Underground Railway", Street Railway Journal (Vol. XIV No. 3) March 1898 p. 143
[5] J. Graeme Bruce & Desmond F. Croome, The Twopenny Tube (Capital Transport, 1996) p. 10
[6] "Fireproof cars on the Central London", Street Railway Journal (Vol. XXII No. 19) Nov 1903 p. 851
[7] Connor p. 36

Class 42 (BR Swindon Type 4 2,200hp Diesel-Hydraulic)

With electrification a distant dream (indeed still yet to be fully realised in 2018) British Rail's Western Region turned to Continental style light weight diesel-hydraulic locomotives with fast-running engines in the 1950s to replace steam. The Class 42 was a licence-built version of German Federal Railway's V200 locomotive [1], modified to fit within the smaller British loading gauge. Two batches of locomotive were built, the Swindon built Maybach powered Class 42 and the North British Locomotives built MAN powered Class 43.

Information
Number built: 38
Built: 1958-61
Builder: BR Swindon
Engine: 2 Bristol Siddeley Maybach MD650 diesels
Power: 2, 200 hp (1, 641 kW)
Wheel arrangement: B-B

The Class 42 was powered by two Maybach diesels built under licence by Bristol Siddeley. The first few locomotives were limited to 2,000hp due to limitations with the transmission though most of the class was rated at 2,200hp. One locomotive was fitted with a pair of Paxman 12YJXL diesels and was rated at 2,400hp. The Class 42 looked very similar to the V200 class though originally British Railways wanted it to look different, their designs were later used on the Class 52 [2].

The locomotives had a successful entry into service, Western Region found they could comfortably handle heavier trains than the Class 40. However there were problems with riding at high speeds which resulted in speed restrictions until bogie modifications could be carried out in 1960 [3]. Most of the class were named after Royal Navy ships and hence the nickname of the class became "Warships".

As with the other diesel-hydraulic designs the Class 42 was doomed once British Rail, in it's drive for standardisation and rationalisation, had sufficient diesel-electric motive power to take over their duties. Withdrawals began in 1968 and were completed by 1972 [4]. Two Class 42s have been preserved.
D832 Onslaught at Wirksworth

D821 at Bridgnorth, SVR

818 in BR blue (KD Collection)

D832 at Duffield

D821 cab

D832 brings a train into Wirksworth
[1] John Jennison & Tony Sheffield, Diesel Hydraulics of the 1960s and 1970s (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 4
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 107
[3] Brian Haresnape, Western Region Diesel-Hydraulics (Ian Allan, 1982) p. 28
[4] Pip Dunn, British Rail Main Line Locomotive Specification Guide (Crowood Press, 2013) p. 80

Tramlink Flexity Swift CR4000

Tramlink is a light rail network in Croydon and across South London which is part of Transport for London. It commenced operations in 2000 along former heavy rail lines (the six and a quarter mile route from Wimbledon to West Croydon for example is nearly all ex-railway apart from a few diversions [1]) and new street lines. Bombardier's Flexity Swift tram was chosen for the initial rolling stock of the network. Twenty four articulated cars were produced ready for the start of operations.

Information
Number built: 24
Built: 1998-2000
Builder: Bombardier
Engine: 4 Bombardier Three-Phase traction motors (750v DC OHLE)
Power: 644 hp (480 kW)

The CR4000 tram is similar to the K4000 tram built for Cologne. It has a "seventy six percent" low floor design with a cab at each end. The tram has six axles with the articulated section being on an unpowered bogie. The fleet received a refurbishment in 2008-9 which included new seats and LED lights.

In November 2016 a CR4000 overturned at speed (later found to be travelling too fast for the junction it was travelling over). Seven people died and fifty-eight others were injured. Following the incident a number of extra safety features have been rolled out to the fleet including a reduction in the top speed to forty five mp/h [2].
2543 at Wimbledon

2531 at Mitcham Junction

Behind the cab

2543 departs Mitcham Junction

Some sections of the network are single track

[1] John C. Gillham, Wimbledon to Beckenham before Tramlink (Middleton Press, 2001) p. 3
[2] Colin J. Marsden, Light Rail (Key Publishing, 2018) p. 32

Class 101 (Metropolitan-Cammell General Branch Line and Local Services 2,3 or 4-car)

The Class 101 family was the largest fleet of first generation DMU built for British Railways in the 1950s, however originally only the AEC engined DMBS and DMCL were Class 101 (see information box for explanation of codes). Leyland engined motor cars were originally classified as the Class 102, the DTCLs were Class 144/147, the TSLs Class 162/164, the TBSLs Class 168 and the TCLs Class 171! [1]

Later on the various cars were reclassified as just Class 101. The DMU could operate in either two, three or four car sets with interchangeable trailers (and with trailers in other classes) depending on the needs of the service and served all over the BR network allocated to every region except the Southern [2].

Information
Number built: 637 cars in 2- 3- and 4-car sets
Built: 1956-59
Builder: Metro-Cammell
Engine: 2 BUT (AEC) or Leyland 6-cyl (originally Class 102) diesels per power car
Some DMBS originally fitted with Rolls-Royce diesels
Power: 300 hp (224 kW)
Formation: (Variable) Driving Motor Brake Standard (DMBS)+[Trailer Brake
Standard (TBS)/Trailer Standard Lavatory (TSL)/Trailer Composite
Lavatory (TCL)/Trailer Brake Second Lavatory (TBSL)]+Driving
Motor Composite Lavatory (DMCL)/Driving Trailer Composite
Lavatory (DTCL)

The Class 101 was one of the longest lived first generation DMUs surviving in service until 2003 [3]. In later years many of the trailers lost their first class accommodation and were reclassified as TSLs. Some trailers also originally had buffet facilities but these later had the buffets removed and/or were withdrawn.

Originally the Class 101s were delivered in British Railways green then later BR Blue and the blue/grey white/blue variations in the 1970s. In later years the Class 101s wore sector liveries (Network SE and Regional Railways) as well as various PTE liveries. Over forty cars have been preserved although only two of these are centre car trailers. A sister class of Rolls-Royce powered DMUs was also built as the Class 111 (though a couple of 101 power cars did had Rolls-Royce engines too!)
DMBS E50253 at Duffield

M51188 departs Wirksworth

At Wirksworth 
DMBS 51188 and DMC 51505 at Wirksworth

M51188 at Ravenstor

At Duffield

[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013), p. 36
[2] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Multiple Units: the First Generation (Ian Allan, 1985), p. 31
[3] Gavin Morrison, British Railway DMUs in Colour (Ian Allan, 2010), p. 13

Cardiff Corporation 131

Tramway companies employed a number of vehicles for maintenance and, what would be termed on the railways, departmental use. One frequent need were for water cars to help keen the roads (and tracks) as clear as possible from mud and animal waste (horse drawn vehicles still being the majority at the start of the twentieth century). Many purpose built water cars were built with a wide variety of different set-ups depending on the operator's requirements [1].

Information
Number built: 1
Built: 1902
Builder: Electric Railway & Tramway Carriage Works of Preston
Engine: 2 GEC 200K traction motors (550v DC OHLE)
Power: 60 hp (45 kW)

Cardiff Corporation 131 is the only water car to have survived into preservation. A small single truck tram, it was built for the Corporation in 1902 with a thousand gallon water tank. It was in use until 1950 when the Cardiff tram system was closed. Originally 131 had open sides but wooden panelling was added in 1913, which was not usual for water cars which were usually kept open. The tram was also fitted out for rail grinding and was used for staff transport.
Cardiff Corporation 131 at Crich Tramway Museum

Original configuration, public domain image [2]
131 isn't large, compare the double decker tram behind

The water tank can be seen inside behind the cab

131 has a cab at both ends
[1] R.W. Rush, British Electric Tramcar Design (Oxford Publishing, 1976) p. 119
[2] "The Cardiff Corporation Tramways", Electric Railway Journal Vol. XX No. 1 (July 1902) p. 42

Class 450 Desiro

The Class 450 is part of the Desiro family of EMU and are very similar to the Class 350 but works off the former Southern Region 750V DC third rail system (the 350s operate off 25kV AC OHLE). One hundred and twenty seven sets have been built for South West Trains replacing life expired "slam door" VEP and CIG stock [1]. Although they can only be used on third-rail electrified routes they do have space for the retro-fitting of a pantograph if needed in the future.

Information
Number built: 508 (127 4-car sets)
Built: 2002-7
Builder: Siemens Transportation
Engine: 4 1TB2016 0GB02 three-phase traction motors (750V DC third rail)
Power: 2, 682 hp (2, 000 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Trailer Composite Open
(TCO)+Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+
Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)

The original fleet is known as the Class 450/0 and can carry 242 standard class and 24 first class passengers, first and some standard class seating is 2+2 with other standard class seating being 2+3. Twenty eight sets were modified for higher capacity (facilitated by removing first class seats and altering the internal layout) for the Waterloo-Windsor route [2] in 2008-9 as Class 450/5. First class seating was restored to these units as they were replaced by Class 458/5s on the route from 2013 and the 450/5s rejoined the main fleet.



Originally SWT were to receive a mixed fleet of 450/0s and 450/2s which were to be 5-car sets for inner suburban routes however the idea was dropped due to problems with platform lengths. All sets remain in service with South West Trains's successor South Western Railway who took over in the late Summer of 2017 [3].
SWR 450 104 and 560 at Haslemere

SWT 450 088 at Guilford

SWT 450 093 and 037 at Woking

SWT 450 031 at Alton

SWT 450 544 at Clapham Junction 
SWT 450 562 at Portsmouth Harbour

[1] John Balmforth, South West Trains (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 62
[2] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 349
[3] Modern Railways (May 2017) p. 24

Alan Keef 59R Beaudesert

Beaudesert is number 80 in the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway fleet. The locomotive is used for shunting, engineering trains and standby passenger duties. The locomotive is a rebuild of an earlier T-Series locomotive made by Simplex which was used as a shunter on the Channel Tunnel project, and before that was owned by the National Coal Board.

Information
Number built: 1
Built: 1979
(Rebuilt 1999)
Builder: Simplex
(Rebuild Alan Keef)
Engine: Dorman 6DA diesel
Power: 112 hp (84 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 4wDH

Originally built as Simplex 101T018 in 1979 the locomotive was rebuilt by Alan Keef in 1999 with the works number 59R [1]. The locomotive was re-gauged from 900mm to 610mm. The locomotive is named after a school near to the railway.
Four views of Beaudesert on the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway





[1] Industrial Locomotives Handbook 13EL (Industrial Railway Society, 2003) p. 27