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 It was withdrawn in 1959 but had a second career with Brush Traction as a trials and research locomotive.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 It was finally withdrawn in 1968 though had a final hurrah being used as an emergency generator to supply power to the Brush works during the 1972 miners' strike [3].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