Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

This forum is for the discussion of all railway subjects that do not include the LNER, and its constituent companies.

Moderators: 52D, Rlangham, Atlantic 3279, Blink Bonny, Saint Johnstoun, richard, Tom F

Post Reply
Pyewipe Junction
GER D14 4-4-0 'Claud Hamilton'
Posts: 364
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:53 am
Location: Canberra, Australia

Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by Pyewipe Junction » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:40 am

It just occurred to me that some of the first-generation mainline diesels (roughly 1957 -1968) will have been in service for well over 50 years. I don't know how many are left in active service, but that's certainly an achievement, and is the equivalent of steam locos built around 1910 when I was spotting. I remember when they first came out they looked to me to be quite flimsy compared to the solid steam locos they were replacing. Obviously looks can be deceptive!
Last edited by Pyewipe Junction on Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mickey
NBR J36 0-6-0
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by Mickey » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:36 am

A small handful of class 37s (English Electric type 3s) that were once common on GE lines between the 1960s-1990s are occasionally used on track recording trains travelling around the east Anglia area.

A B.R. two tone green painted up class 47 (Brush type 4) was seen in recent weeks on the north London lines being used as a road learner carrying on it's cab side the pre-TOPs number D1944 which carries the TOPs number 47 501.
Last edited by Mickey on Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

65447
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 1547
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:44 pm
Location: Overlooking the GEML

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by 65447 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:08 am

Former EE Type 3 and Brush Type 4 locomotives 'top and tail' the leaf clearance trains on the GEML/Greater Anglia routes which have resumed from the beginning of this month, whilst Brush Type 4s are seen occasionally 'top and tailing' on the Northern Belle style charter working. DRS EE Type 3s regularly haul ECS movements to and from repairs etc.

Hatfield Shed
LNER P2 2-8-2
Posts: 931
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:34 pm

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by Hatfield Shed » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:44 am

I wonder what the solution will be when class 08 is assessed as beyond what it is economically reasonable to maintain.

Mickey
NBR J36 0-6-0
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by Mickey » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:16 am

Until about a year ago a couple of yellow livered Brush type 2s (class 31s) were occasionally seen on track recording trains that originated from Derby on the Midland and worked around the east Anglia lines on the GE also until about a year ago as well four class 20s (choppers) were regular on a working that came off the southern and headed down to Peterborough late on a Thursday night but that train hasn't run most of this year I don't think.

Ha ha the old sound of a Brush type 2 passing in the darkness takes me straight back to the late 1960s & early 1970s on the Kings Cross area and was quite evocative actually.

Pyewipe Junction
GER D14 4-4-0 'Claud Hamilton'
Posts: 364
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:53 am
Location: Canberra, Australia

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by Pyewipe Junction » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:30 am

Weren't class 20s regularly used on 'flask' freights from nuclear power stations until recently?

Mickey
NBR J36 0-6-0
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by Mickey » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:48 am

To be honest I never took much notice of those class 20s when they were passing as I never had any association with them from my past so they didn't mean anything to me and yeah they were working 'the flask' as the consist of the load that those four 'choppers' had on were one vehicle with the four 20s two front and two back (top & tailed) either side of the wagon plus it was always gone 10:00pm when they passed me so it was always dark anyway.

Mention of 'the flask' usually reminds me of a couple of true stories concerning that train one being was a picture of some anti-nuclear protestor aiming a RPG at the flask as it was passing through Stratford station one evening back in the early 1980s and around the same time the early 1980s the flask was stopped in Temple Mills marshalling yard because fluid or water was seen 'dripping' from the flask!. Anyway after it was close inspected it turned out NOT TO BE nuclear heavy water dripping from the flask but the guy who inspected the flask allegedly 'glowed in the dark' forever more after that??.

User avatar
richard
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 3288
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:11 pm
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas
Contact:

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by richard » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:00 pm

The fluid was probably just rainwater.

The flasks are double-boxed anyway and the waste (rods) are solid.


"A few 60s era diesels still going" is pretty much the same here in the US. Excluding tourist lines, I think all the Es and Fs are gone - might be an exception somewhere. Probably some have been rebuilt and don't look like 'streamliners' any more. The more boxy early Geeps,etc - most are gone of course, but there's a definite sprinkling amongst industrial users and short lines. Often they've been re-engined or rebuilt at some point in their lives.

There are still some Budd RDCs going too! Aluminium sided 1950s era dmus - Kato do some nice models. When I used to live in Irving, the TRE started with Budd RDCs bought VIA Rail in Canada. As the line was re-opened (heavy rail passenger, connects Fort Worth & Dallas) they brought in F59ph and F59phi with double deck Bombardier cars, but kept the RDCs for quiet parts of the schedule. They then started leasing them out to other heavy rail projects as they were getting started (eg. the A-Line feeder to DART). I think they've now sold some on - quite possibly back to VIA Rail. Anyway, there are still 2-3 operators of them in North America!
Richard Marsden
LNER Encyclopedia

Mickey
NBR J36 0-6-0
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by Mickey » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:09 pm

richard wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:00 pm
The fluid was probably just rainwater.
That is exactly what I thought but apparently it wasn't rain water there was something leaking from somewhere on that wagon with the flask but obviously it wasn't 'heavy water' otherwise east London would have been evacuated I presume?.

Getting back to first generation diesels I happened to see a large format book on the class 20s today in the Ian Allen shop at Waterloo which maybe a new publication or not?.

User avatar
thesignalman
GER D14 4-4-0 'Claud Hamilton'
Posts: 344
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:37 pm

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by thesignalman » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:01 am

I remember that incident well and it was definitely rainwater, it was established the train had passed through a shower shortly before.

It had come from Willesden, of course, through the London Borough of Brent which proudly claimed at the time that it was a nuclear-free zone. Little did they know what went on in the night . . .

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: https://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling and other railway photographs: https://433shop.co.uk/

User avatar
richard
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 3288
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:11 pm
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas
Contact:

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by richard » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:07 pm

It was before I was old enough to use the station but I heard Leeds even had a "Welcome to a Nuclear Free Zone" sign on the platform. Didn't stop the casks :-)

Deuterium heavy water (the stuff they were making in Telemark) isn't radioactive. Tritium is. I don't know the neutron reactions, but I assume if you have a strong enough neutron source next to some regular water it could make a little bit of tritium heavy water. It is a beta emitter. I wouldn't be too bothered by a pound or so of it falling on ballast. Walking over it might be equivalent to eating a banana or two!

(bananas make a good measure of very low radiation doses due to their potassium: The Californians received about "half a banana" from the Fukushima accident)
Richard Marsden
LNER Encyclopedia

Mickey
NBR J36 0-6-0
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by Mickey » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:10 pm

thesignalman wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:01 am
I remember that incident well and it was definitely rainwater, it was established the train had passed through a shower shortly before.

It had come from Willesden, of course, through the London Borough of Brent which proudly claimed at the time that it was a nuclear-free zone. Little did they know what went on in the night . . .
Ha ha ha... also and I could be wrong but didn't 'the flask' become derailed in Brent sidings one time as well or am I imaging that?. I thought I remember something about Brent councilors protesting about nuclear waste travelling through the north west London borough quite possibly due to that incident if it did happen?.

A test was staged and filmed using a old class 45 'peak' loco hauling a rake of condemned Mk1 coaches which was set off and then ploughed head on into a nuclear flask at the Derby test center, I am sure many will remember that incident being shown on the television news back in the late 1980s or early 1990s?.

User avatar
thesignalman
GER D14 4-4-0 'Claud Hamilton'
Posts: 344
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:37 pm

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by thesignalman » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:37 am

Mickey wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:10 pm
Ha ha ha... also and I could be wrong but didn't 'the flask' become derailed in Brent sidings one time as well or am I imaging that?. I thought I remember something about Brent councilors protesting about nuclear waste travelling through the north west London borough quite possibly due to that incident if it did happen?.
Quite possibly, but not during the two peiods I worked there. Brent Sidings were not renowned for high quality trackwork!

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: https://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling and other railway photographs: https://433shop.co.uk/

Mickey
NBR J36 0-6-0
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

Re: Longevity of First-Generation Diesels

Post by Mickey » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:12 am

thesignalman wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:37 am
Mickey wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:10 pm
Ha ha ha... also and I could be wrong but didn't 'the flask' become derailed in Brent sidings one time as well or am I imaging that?. I thought I remember something about Brent councilors protesting about nuclear waste travelling through the north west London borough quite possibly due to that incident if it did happen?.
Quite possibly, but not during the two peiods I worked there. Brent Sidings were not renowned for high quality trackwork!
I was tempted to apply for Brent Sidings box (a large LNWR box located amidst the sprawling Willesden marshalling yards on the Up side of the running lines in and out of Euston) when it came on the vacancy list back in around 1983/84 but decided not to bother the same time when Kensington South Main on the West London line at Kensington Olympia was also advertised on the vacancy list as well but even though Brent Sidings was an old 'C' grade and would have been promotion for me the box was closed from the finish of Saturday early turn at 2:00pm until either 6:00pm or 10:00pm on Sunday evening I believe(?) and therefore didn't have any Sunday day turns to work (The old railwayman's thing about 'getting a Sunday in' as it was/is overtime) and from memory the box closed not long after some time during the mid 1980s so it would have been a waste of time ultimately in going as a resident signalman at the box.

Back to the topic thread-

I bought a dvd about the class 50s and to my surprise it was pretty good especially the cab ride sequence between Waterloo & Salisbury back in 1988 also not knowing much about the class other than the locos originally worked on the Crewe-Glasgow run before electrification of that section back in 1974 (remember the 'Electric Scots' advertising?) I never had any association with the class. According to the dvd the class were going to be known as 'the Warship class' but it never became popular although the locos carried the old western region 'Warship' diesel hydraulic names.

Post Reply