Class 41 (British Railways / Rushton Paxman 2,250hp Diesel-Electric) High Speed Diesel Train

Authority was given to build the High Speed Train (originally High Speed Diesel Train) in 1970, remarkably the prototype was built and ready for testing just twenty-two months later! [1] Two power cars were built along with prototype Mark 3 coaches, as with the production HST the power cars are located at either end of the train.

Number built: 2
Built: 1972
Builder: BR Crewe
Motor: Rushton Paxman Valenta 12RP00L diesel
Power: 2, 250 hp (1, 678 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

The High Speed Diesel Train project was begun as a lower-risk complement to the Advanced Passenger Train (APT) which could be used to reduce journey times on routes the APT would not be used on for the forseeable future [2]. The High Speed Train (as it became) was intended as an interim though as we know the APT failed to enter service and the HST is still in service in 2019!
Following a period of dispute over the cab layout with the railway unions, the start of testing was delayed until 1973. The prototype HST ran trials mostly on the East Coast Main Line. It wasn't long before the train broke the world record for diesel traction (since broken by the production HST). The train was also used in revenue-earning service on Western Region expresses [3]. By 1976 production HSTs (powered by the Class 43) were now in service and the prototype train was withdrawn. The power cars were used to power test trains at Derby for the Advanced Passenger Train. Some of the prototype Mark 3s were rebuilt for use on the Royal Train.

The prototype power cars were very similar to the production ones which followed however there were some notable differences. A small cab was fitted at the blunt end of the power car for shunting purposes, and the cab has a different internal arrangement and externally is slightly blunter. The power cars also had buffers unlike the production power cars (though some later have had buffers retro-fitted). The power cars and coaches wore Pullman livery of rail grey and rail blue [4].

The prototype HST was given a TOPS code of Class 252 with the power cars Class 41 (though later given coaching stock numbers 43000 and 43001). One power car has survived into preservation.
41 001 at Kidderminster Town

The prototype HST wore Pullman livery

The prototype has a shunting cab unlike production power cars

Rear end of the power car, showing the guards door

Cab view

Another view at Kidderminster Town

[1] Brian Haresnape, High Speed Trains (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 40
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-1997 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 192
[3] Haresnape p. 48
[4] Bruce Peter, The Changing Face of British Railways (Lily, 2018) p. 232

Class 37 (English Electric 1,750hp Type 3 Diesel-Electric)

The Class 37 has been one of the workhorses of the British Rail network since the 1960s and while their numbers have decreased in recent years many still perform a valuable role day in and day out for both the main line and preserved railways.

The Class 37 is a Type 3 diesel locomotive and after its introduction in the early 1960s it was found it's power ratingmade the locomotive highly versatile compared to the Type 2s which dominated most early dieselisation efforts and often were underpowered. The Class 37's power coupled with a relatively low axle loading for a locomotive of this size meant the locomotive could handle a wide variety of mixed traffic from secondary passenger services to freight and engineering trains across much of the network. This is work it continues to this day, Class 37s can be found hauling freights, engineering trains and often passenger trains on the network.

Number built: 309
Built: 1960-65
Builder: English Electric
Motor: English Electric 12CSVT diesel
(37/9 fitted with Mirrlees Blackstone MB275Tt or Rushton RK270Tt)
Power: 1,750 hp (1,305 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

Between 1960 and 1965 three hundred and nine Class 37s were built by English Electric and proved to be one of the most reliable classes of diesel locomotive built for British Rail [1]. Though with their front end "noses" they were rather dated in appearance when they entered service as other locomotive types had moved to flat fronted designs (indeed they were the last class built for BR with front noses).

However the appearance was due to English Electric being reluctant to leave the American styling they had championed since Deltic [2] and the locomotives reused some tooling and equipment from the earlier Class 40. This reduced the unit price to British Rail which no doubt helped to overcome any doubts over the aesthetics! [3]

Around thirty five are still registered for use on Network Rail and some will remain in service for some time following refurbishments. Many Class 37s have also been preserved.

As can be expected with a large fleet that has remained in service for over fifty years there have been a number of sub-class variants of the Class 37 mostly following a series of refurbishments in the 1980s [4].

Sub-class Details
37/0 Original / unchanged locomotives
37/3 Received new bogies
37/4 Refurbished and fitted with Electric Train Heating (ETH)
37/5 Refurbished but without ETH
37/6 Modified to haul heavy freight
37/7 Also fitted to haul heavy freight, extra ballast added to aid adhesion
37/9 Rebuilt with Mirrlees or Rushton engines for testing for a planned replacement Type 3 locomotive (the Class 38) though this project was later cancelled.

Four Class 37s have also been rebuilt as 97/3s for a trial project of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). They work development trains over the Cambrian line and other Network Rail engineering trains.
37 688 in Railfreight sector livery at Kidderminster Town

Network Rail 97 303 at Derby

Europhoenix 37 800 at Derby

Preserved Class 37 showing the split headcode front end variant

DRS 37 601 at Crewe

37 227 in Railfreight sector livery at Princes Risborough

[1] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 28
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 145
[3] Brian Haresnape, Production Diesel-Electrics Types 1-3 (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 67
[4] Pip Dunn, British Rail Main Line Locomotives Specification Guide (Crowood Press, 2013) p. 65

Burton and Ashby Light Railway

The Burton and Ashby Light Railway was opened in 1906 by the Midland Railway, running for sixteen kilometres between Burton-upon-Trent and Ashby-de-la-Zouch [1]. The tramway used the tracks of the Burton Corporation Tramway in Burton and then it's own tracks when it reached Swadlincote. The tramway used 1, 067 narrow gauge like a number of tram networks in the Midlands. It had to deal with some steep gradients on it's route, one tram being involved in a serious accident when it runaway backwards down a steep slope and overturned in 1919.

The tramway was electric from the start though power was generated by two diesel engines in Swadlincote (which also housed the tram depot) rather than steam as was usual practice [2]. Open-topped double decker trams, built by Brush, were operated, a maximum of twenty were owned by the tramway. The tramway was taken over by the LMS in 1923 and closed down in 1927.

Number built: 20
Built: 1906
No. 14 rebuilt 2014
Builder: Brush
Motor: 2 Westinghouse 80 electric motors (DC OHLE)
(No. 14) Clayton battery electric motors
Power: 50 hp (37 kW)

Tram number 14 managed to survive scrapping, the body was used as a garden shed until 1970. The tram body was exported to the USA and married to a 900mm gauge Lisbon tram truck. The tram returned to the UK in 2014 and fitted with a Clayton battery electric traction system for use on the Statfold Barn preserved railway, able to run without wires!
No.14 on the Statfold Barn Railway

Side view of No. 14

Oak Tree Halt is the terminus of the short tramline on the Statfold Barn site

View from the top deck

Another view of No. 14 at Oak Tree Halt

[1] Charles Knapper, The Golden Age of Tramways (David & Charles, 1974) p. 34
[2] Ibid. p. 135

Southend Pier Railway Diesel Locomotives

Southend-on-Sea's pier is 2.16km long (the longest pleasure pier in the world). Since 1890, when the pier officially opened, a narrow gauge railway has run on the pier conveying visitors and goods along it [1] (an earlier wooden pier had a horse drawn tram travelling along it). Originally the railway used electric vehicles, a toast rack style car and later on fully enclosed vehicles. The original electric railway was closed in 1978 due to it's poor condition.

After a period of of uncertainty the decision was made to build a brand new railway in the 1980s [2]. This new railway uses diesel hydraulic locomotives and push-pull rakes of coaches. The new railway was built to 914mm narrow gauge (the original was 1, 067mm) with a simplified track layout compared to the original. It opened in 1986.

Number built: 2
Built: 1986
Builder: Severn Lamb
Motor: Deutz diesel
Power: 55 hp (41 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 4wDH

The current Southend Pier Railway, which is owned and operated by the local council, has two trains, each consists of a locomotive (which is at the pier end of the train) and six passenger cars. The last and shore end trailer has a driving cab. The two trains have been named Sir William Heygate and Sir John Betjeman.

The line is mostly single with a passing loop at the mid-point, both pier head and shore stations have two platforms so in peak times both trains can be in operation, a single battery electric car is also used in the Winter. Up to one hundred and eighty two passengers can be carried per train [3]. The locomotives can also on occasion propel a flat wagon in order to take provisions up to the pier head.

There are plans to replace the locomotives, which are becoming life expired and hard to maintain, with new trains (of as as-yet unspecified type) in the next couple of years [4].
Sir William Heygate at the pier head station 

The locomotives also have space for push-chairs and other small cargo

Sir John Betjeman heads back to shore

Aboard one of the cars

Sir John Betjeman at the pier station

The driving railer of Sir John Betjeman at the shore station

[1] Keith Turner, Pier Railways & Tramways of the British Isles (Oakwood Press, 1999) p. 49
[2] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), Light Rail (Key Publishing, 2018) p. 94
[3] Turner p. 61
[4] £3.25m set aside to replace Southend Pier's outdated trains

Class 195 Civity

The Class 195, part of CAF's Civity family, is being built alongside the similar Class 331 EMU to replace British Rail built units like the Class 156 for Northern [1]. Deliveries of the Class 195 began in June 2018 and the units entered service in July 2019. The Class 195 is initially being used on services between Manchester Airport and Liverpool Lime Street or Barrow-in-Furness. Other routes will follow as more sets enter service.

Number built: 116 (58 2 or 3-car sets)
Built: 2017-
Builder: CAF
Motor: Rolls-Royce MTU 6H1800R85L diesel per car
Power: (195/0) 1, 046 hp (780 kW) / (195/1) 1, 569 hp (1, 170 kW)
Formation: (195/0) DMSO (Driving Motor Standard Open)+
DMSOL (Driving Motor Standard Open Lavatory)
(195/1) DMSO+MS (Motor Standard) + DMSOL

Fifty eight sets, a mixture of two and three cars, are being built by CAF at it's facilties in Irun Spain and Newport in Wales. More sets could be ordered at a later stage.

The original plan was for the Class 195 to enter service at the end of 2018 but problems with the couplers delayed it. The Class 195 finally entered service at the start of July 2019.
Northern 195 118 at Liverpool Lime Street

Sideview of 195 111 on a test run at Crewe

195 111 approaches Crewe

195 111 at Crewe prepares to head back North

195 118 at Liverpool Lime Street

Another view of 195 111 at Crewe

[1] "New trains for the North", Modern Railways (June 2019) p.15

Class 73 (BR Eastleigh / English Electric 1,420/600hp Electro-Diesel)

Despite the fact that diesel locomotives often spend a fair amount of time operating along electrified routes it is unusual that British Rail only ever built two classes of electro-diesel locomotives (these days known as bi-mode) which could operate both as electric or diesel locomotives, the Class 73 and 74. Both were operated by BR's Southern Region, the Class 73 is the only survivor [1]. A number have been rebuilt and upgraded in the last few years so they look set to remain in service for a long time to come.

The Class 73 is an electric locomotive designed to work with SR's 660-750v DC third-rail system. It also has a small diesel engine for operating on non-electrified lines or if the power is off. They are highly versatile locomotives that served on a whole range of traffic in Southern England, being true mixed traffic locomotives they could be found on passenger and freight services. Their numbers however were steadily reduced in the privatisation era.

Number built: 49, 13 re-engineered
Built: 1962, 1965-67, Re-engineering from 2013-16
Builder: BR Eastleigh / English Electric
Re-engineering by RVEL Derby & Brush Traction
Motor: English Electric 4SRKT Mk II diesel
EE542A or EE546/1B traction motors (750v DC third-rail)
Re-engineered examples with 2 Cummins QSK19
or 1 MTU V8 diesel
Power: 1, 420 hp (1, 059 kW) - Electric
600hp (447kW) - Original EE diesel
1, 500hp (1, 119 kW) - Cummins
1, 600hp (1, 194 kW) - MTU

In the last couple of years there have been two separate re-engining efforts to create the rebuilt 73/9 sub-class [2] (at one stage it was considered creating a new Class 75 but would have cost more in administration and re-certification [3]). The work included replacing the original EE diesel with a much more powerful motor and replacing worn electrical and mechanical components.

Thirteen have been re-engineered to date in two phases. The "Phase 2" Class 73s with MTU diesels have had their third rail equipment removed [4]. As virtually "new" locomotives they will likely serve with Network Rail, GB Railfreight and Caledonian Sleeper for a long time to come (they are expected to last at least twenty-five years). Non-rebuilt Class 73s also remain in service, a number have also been preserved.

Sub-class Details
73/0 Original prototype batch, originally to have been called the Class 72
73/1 Main production batch, higher power output and speed
73/2 Modified for Gatwick Express push-pull duties (coupled to the Class 488 and 489)
73/9 Re-engineered and upgraded examples
73 210 at Wirksworth

Network Rail 73 952 at Kidderminster SVR

GB Railfreight 73 136 cab side view

Cab of 73 952

Network Rail 73 951 at Derby

GB Railfreight 73 136 at Kidderminster SVR

[1] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 2008) p. 82
[2] "Projects", RVEL <>
[3] "Re-engineered/tractioned 73s", WNXX Forum <>
[4] "Caledonian Class 73 contract nears end", Today's Railways UK, March 2016, p. 32

Gateshead and District Tramways

The Gateshead and District Tramways Company began operating steam hauled trams in 1883. The company was taken over by British Electric Traction in 1897 [1] and began the electrification and modernisation of the system a couple of years later. Electric trams began running in 1901. One major problem with the network was a low bridge near Gateshead station which precluded the use of double decker trams on some of the routes. Thus over half the eventual electric fleet of sixty seven cars were single deckers.

As normal single bogie single decker trams struggled with demand the company began to operate extra long double bogied single decker trams, similar to the adjacent Newcastle network, which could carry forty eight passengers seated and officially up to forty standing passengers (though more were carried in practice!)

Information for home built single deckers
Built: 1923-1928
Builder: Gateshead and District Tramways
Motor: 2 Dick Kerr DK31A electric motors (DC OHLE)
Power: 100 hp (75 kW)

After buying earlier trams from elsewhere the company began building their own trams with Dick Kerr electrical equipment in the 1920s at their Sunderland Road Works. These cars remained in service until 1951 when the system was shut down. Nineteen cars were sold to the British Railways owned Grimsby & Immingham Electric Railway and continued working until that system was closed in 1961. Two of the home built tramcars were preserved after being withdrawn by British Railways and have been restored to their Gateshead and District Tramways Company livery.
Gateshead No. 5 preserved at Crich

The tram was restored back to Gateshead livery in the 1960s

[1] Charles Klapper, The Golden Age of Tramways (David & Charles, 1974) p. 130

London County Council B Class Tram

These trams, known as the B Class by London County Council, were to the standard open-topped design of Dick, Kerr of Preston and built by the Electric Railway & Carriage Company. They were smaller than earlier LCC trams, with fifty six seats, and were intended for less busy routes [1].

The trams took their power from an underground electric conduit instead of overhead lines as was more common. The B Class received a number of modifications early on in their lives. They were retrofitted with top covers [2] having originally left passengers on the top deck to the mercy of the elements. One interesting modification was the original reversed staircase was replaced by a direct staircase on Metropolitan Police instruction as the original staircase was considered to obscure part of the driver's view (the very similar preserved Leicester Corporation tram shows how the original staircase looked). The B Class trams were withdrawn from service by 1931 [3].

Number built: 100
Built: 1903
Builder: Electric Railway & Carriage Company
Motor: 2 DK24A later Westinghouse 220 electric motors
(DC Conduit / OHLE)
Power: 84 hp (62 kW)

LCC 106 is preserved at Crich. It was converted to a snow broom after withdrawal from passenger service, it was also fitted with a trolley for overhead electric collection in 1925. It continued in service until 1952 when it was preserved. During the 1970s work began to restore it to a passenger carrying tram and to original open-topped condition.
LCC 106 at Crich

106 carries the London County Council livery
Front on view with Sheffield 510 on the left

[1] R.W. Kidner, The London Tramcar 1861-1952 (Oakwood Press, 1992) p. 57
[2] Robert J Harley, South London Tramways 1903-33 (Middleton Press, 2003) Fig. 111
[3] Kidner. p. 63