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.

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.

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].

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, <>
[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

Liverpool Overhead Railway

The Liverpool Overhead Railway was one of the first electrified railway systems in the world. It opened in 1893 running alongside the docks in Liverpool, the railway being built on elevated sections. The LOR operated electric multiple units, the first in the world to enter service. The first of these were built by Brown, Marshall & Company from 1892 onwards as two-car units. Later on trailers were built to allow for three car sets to operate in peak time. Off-peak, motor cars could operate on their own.

Number built: 54 (2 or 3-car sets)
Built: 1892-1918
Builder: Brown, Marshall & Company, Metro-Cammell
Motor: (Original) 2 Westinghouse motors per car
(Later) 2 English Electric motors (500v DC third rail)
Power: 120hp (90kW) / 200 hp (150 kW)

The fleet was upgraded a number of times over their lifetimes. Originally they were fitted with Westinghouse gearless 60hp/45kw motors [1][2] but these were later upgraded to 100hp/75kw motors from English Electric/Dick, Kerr [3]. This extra power helped reduce journey times dramatically from thirty two to twenty minutes! However some trains were later given less powerful motors.

After the Second World War a number of units were rebuilt with the original wooden body sides replaced by aluminium and plywood [4]. Sliding doors were also fitted to replace the original slam doors. However by the early 1950s the system was in bad need of renovation but the railway company, which had not been nationalised to become part of British Railways, could not afford the huge costs involved [5]. The Liverpool Overhead Railway closed in 1956.
Preserved LOR motor car at the Museum of Liverpool

This is how the railway would have looked, from ground level

The LOR during operation [3]

Inside the preserved car

Another view from the ground

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 190
[2] R.L. Vickers, DC Electric Trains and Locomotives in the British Isles (David & Charles, 1986) p. 22
[3] "New equipment and improved schedule of the Liverpool Overhead Railway", Street Railway Journal Vol. XX No. 3 (July 1902) p. 108
[4] Marsden p. 191
[5] Jonathan Cadwallader & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 3

London Underground 1972 Tube Stock

The 1972 Tube Stock fleet which still operates on the Bakerloo Line is the oldest fleet of passenger rolling stock still operating on London Underground and in fact any rapid transit system in the UK! [1] They will finally be replaced by new rolling stock under the Deep Tube Upgrade programme though this will not occur until the late 2020s at the earliest under current plans. The entire fleet is currently undergoing a refurbishment programme [2] to keep them going until then though the 72ts was found to be in even worse condition than first thought with a lot of work needed to repair and replace cracked and corroded parts of the structure. The interiors have also been smartened up with new moquette on the seating and improved flooring [3].

Number built: 441 (63 7-car sets, 30 Mark 1, 33 Mark 2)
Built: 1972-74
Builder: Metro-Cammell
Motor: 4 LT115A traction motors per motor car (630v DC fourth rail)
Power: 1, 680 hp (1, 264 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+T+DM+Uncoupling Non Driving Motor (UNDM)+T+DM

The 1972 Tube Stock was built to replace 1938 Tube Stock which was becoming life expired in the early 1970s. To save time the new stock was based on the 1967 Tube Stock which had recently been built for the Victoria Line [4]. Although they look very similar there are sufficient differences to mean the 1967 and 1972 fleets were not interchangeable (though surplus 1972 stock were later used to augment Victoria Line services). The 72ts comprises four and three car sets which together make a seven car train.

The first thirty sets were known as the Mark 1, none of these remain in passenger service as built though a couple have been preserved including an ex-Northern Line 4-car set at Aldwych disused tube station for training and filming purposes [5]. The second batch of thirty three cars was the Mark 2 which has a slightly different interior and some equipment and control differences. The 72ts initially served on the Northern (Mark I) and Jubilee (Mark II) Lines though the latter were later were transferred to the Bakerloo Line where they remain in service. Thirty six sets are operated by the Bakerloo Line, the vast majority Mark IIs but with a couple of Mark Is converted to be compatible.

Due to their age the 72ts fleet in many ways is unique on London Underground, they are the only tube trains to retain some transverse seating and the last stock to be fitted with the once standard Westinghouse air brake [6]. They are due to remain in service until the late 2020s at least and some will likely remain in service beyond that date in departmental service, with two motor cars already part of the Asset Inspection Train [7].
3239 at South Kenton

Cab of preserved DM at LT Museum Acton

Post refurbishment interior

Arriving at Kilburn

3558 at Queens Park

Interior of Mark I 1972 Stock at Aldwych

[1] Underground News Number 654 (June 2016) p. 344
[2] "Bakerloo Line Fleet Weld Repairs" <>
[3] Underground News Number 655 (July 2016)
[4] J. Graeme Bruce, The London Underground Tube Stock (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 109
[5] Anthony Badsey-Ellis & Mike Horne, The Aldwych Branch (Capital Transport, 2009) p. 103
[6] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015) p. 72
[7] Kim Rennie, Underground and Overground Trains (Capital Transport, 2017) p. 57

Derby Corporation Tramways

The Derby Corporation Tramway was opened in 1904, create an electric tramway in the town. The assets of the Derby Tramways Company which had operated horse-drawn trams since 1880 were taken over by the Corporation. The horse tram was built to 1219mm gauge and the electric tramway built to replace it by the new company kept to that gauge [1]. Twenty two and a half kilometres of electrified tramway were built which was a few kilometres less than authorised by the Derby Corporation Act 1901.

Information for initial batch of tramcar
Number built: 25
Built: 1903-04
Builder: Brush
Motor: 2 British Thomson-Houston GE52 electric motors (DC OHLE)
Power: 54 hp (40 kW)

The network grew gradually with the final extension opening in 1923 however as with most tramways after the First World War the condition of the vehicles and track was deteriorating fast and there was a lack of funds for renewal. From 1930 the tramway began to be converted to trolleybus operation with the final trams running until 1934 [2].

Only one Derby Corporation tram car (No. 1) survives today though this was the first one built, one of the initial batch of tramcars built by Brush. It and No. 2 were delivered in December 1903 and used for crew training before the opening of the tramway to passengers in July 1904 [5]. It continued in service until 1933 before being sold as a Summer house. It was preserved in 1962.
Preserved Tramcar No. 1 at Crich

Derby Corporation tram car [3]

Building of the tramway [4]

[1] Colin Baker, Derby Tramways (Middleton Press, 2003) p. 4
[2] Baker p. 5
[3] "Recent electric road in Derby, England", Street Railway Journal Vol. XXIV No. 19 (Nov 1904) p. 834
[4] Street Railway Journal p. 835
[5] Baker Fig. 108

Class 170 Turbostar

The Class 170 Turbostar is one of the largest fleets of new generation DMUs built post-privatisation. The Class 170 typically operates on regional and long-distance (cross country) services and is a development of the Class 168 Clubman DMU [1]. Indeed later built 168s and 170s have a very close resemblance (some Class 170s have been re-classified as Class 168/3s). The follow-on Turbostar DMUs Classes 171 and 172 also look near identical meaning the Turbostar "look" is a very common one on British rails.

Number built: 331 (122 2 and 3-car sets)
Built: 1998-2005
Builder: ABB Derby / Bombardier Derby
Motor: MTU 6R 183TD13H diesel per car
Power: 1, 266 hp (945 kW) / 844 hp (630 kW)
Formation: Typically Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)+Motor Standard
(MS)+Driving Motor Composite Lavatory (DMCL) or DMSL+DMCL
(170/3): DMCL+Motor Standard Lavatory Restaurant Buffet (MSLRB)+DMSL
(170/4): DMCL+MS+DMCL

The Class 170 is used throughout the rail network, the largest fleet is operated by ScotRail but Cross Country and West Midlands Trains also have sizeable fleets. Greater Anglia and Northern are the other current operators. Previous operators include South West Trains [2], Hull Trains and First TransPennine Express.

There are a number of sub-classes though all share the same specification and equipment. The differences being in seating arrangements.
XC 170 107 passes through Willington

XC 170 521 and 102 at Melton Mowbray

LM 170 635 at Droitwich Spa

XC 170 106 and 636 at Derby

WMT 170 634 at Birmingham Snow Hill

XC 170 109 at Derby

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 154
[2] John Balmforth, South West Trains (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 58

LMSR/North British Locomotive 827hp Type A/1 Diesel-Electric

During the mid-1940s the LMS chief engineer H.G. Ivatt decided to order a small diesel-electric locomotive for branch line and medium-sized mixed traffic duties. The locomotive was to have the power rating of 827hp which was the same as a current Class 3MT steam locomotive it was intended to work alongside. North British Locomotive were contracted to build the locomotive for the LMS in 1945 though it did not arrive until after nationalisation and was given the British Railways number 10800 [1].

Number built: 1
Built: 1950
Builder: North British Locomotive Company
Motor: Davey Paxman 16RPHXL Mk2 diesel
Power: 827 hp (617 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

10800 had a single cab situated to one end (though not at the very end) of the locomotive in the style of US switcher locomotives. This meant it shared the visibility problems of the steam locomotives it was designed to replace. 10800 was the first British Railways locomotive in it's lowest Type A power rating (later Type 1) and the basic design saw series production in the form of the Class 16.

10800 saw service with BR in Scotland, the Midlands and also the South. Performance was disappointing though the fact 10800 was a one-off did not help. It was withdrawn in 1959 but had a second career with Brush Traction as a trials and research locomotive. It was re-engined with a Bristol Siddeley-Maybach MD655 1,400hp engine [2] and used to explore commutatorless traction motors and generators. It was finally withdrawn in 1968 though had a final hurrah being used as an emergency generator to supply power to the Brush works during the 1972 miners' strike [3]. Final scrapping took place in the early 1970s.
10800 in BR days (KD collection)

[1] Brian Haresnape, Early Prototype & Pilot Scheme Diesel-Electrics (Ian Allan, 1981) p. 21
[2] Colin J. Marsden, Diesel & Electric Locomotive Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 30
[3] Haresnape p. 24