Brush type 2s & 4s

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Mickey
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Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by Mickey »

If you ever wondered what it was like 'up the front' riding in the cab of a Brush type 4 or a class 47 then wonder no more.

The locomotives-

They were alright and being type 4 diesel electric locomotives they were powerful locos which were mainly used on express passenger workings although a number of the class were to be found on Freightliner trains during the 1970s & 1980s around the county. In the cab they tended to be like virtually all other diesel locos to have a bit of a oily diesel fume smell about them although it wasn't to noticeable and they also tended to gently sway from side to side at speed which always felt a bit strange yet calming as well. An electric cooking hob to the right of the cab the secondmans side of the cab which from memory had a small metal guard rail that usually tended to vibrate when the drivers controller was opened!. Driving a Brush type 4 was like driving any other diesel loco although being a type 4 they tended to feel more powerful compared to driving a Brush type 2 or class 31.

Liveries-

The original 1960s B.R. two tone green livery looked good and suited them. The British Rail late 1960s & 1970s blue livery looked ok on them I thought although some may disagree. The 1990s sectorisation liveries of different colours and various sector markings along with strange names being added by 'gricers' didn't do them any favours in my humble opinion.

Withdrawals-

Like other diesel classes that originated during the late 1950s & 1960s I first notice that they along with other first generation diesels began to disappear during the late 1990s onwards when the class 66s started to appear.

Below a Western region allocated Brush type 4 D1695 seen departing Birmingham Snow Hill station probably in the late 1960s-
https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/gw ... sh2579.jpg

Brush type 4s seen around the Kings Cross area & ECML circa 1970-

Some of the low numbered 1100 series between 1100-1110 were often seen
Some of the low numbered 1500 series between 1500-1520 were often seen
Some 1700 series were occasionally seen
Some of the 1900 series were often seen

Other regions-
A lot of the 1600 series including all the 'officially named' Brush type 4s such as North Star, George Jackson Churchward & Isambard Kingdom Brunel appeared to be found almost exclusively on the western region and were rarely seen on the eastern region.
A lot of the 1800 series appeared to be found on the London Midland region although occasionally one mite make it up to Kings Cross but it was a bit rare one did.
Last edited by Mickey on Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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manna
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Re: Brush type 4s

Post by manna »

G'Day Gents

Very nice class of loco to work on, although they could be 'Cold' in the cab, always a bit of oil in the 'electrical end, metal 'duckboards' were a permanent feature, the little urinal was in that section. KX always had a lot 1500's hanging around. Destination blinds could be a bit 'Hit and Miss'. Can't remember failing with one, actually can't remember failing with any Diesel out on the road, although Driver Cowlard failed a whole row of them at Finsbury Pk at 4 am, the Engine Movements crew had to move about 4 out of the way before we could get his chosen one out ! :D

Had lots of running with them, from Class 1 through to class 9 ( Not many though) class 4's a lot of the time, always a good day when you got one on the double 1B66.

manna
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Re: Brush type 4s

Post by Hatfield Shed »

Mickey wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:21 am ...Driving a Brush type 4 was like driving any other diesel loco although being a type 4 they tended to feel more powerful compared to driving a Brush type 2 or class 31...
One of the Finsbury Park (34G) locomotive crew rated the Brush 2 as the best ride of any diesel he had experienced (and much better than the Cravens DMU which was the standard type allocated at KX which he had been on for a short time). "Then again, I never had one over 60mph; and that is when things started to be a little bouncy with the type 4 and 5 power on fast trains..."
Mickey
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Re: Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by Mickey »

Kings Cross driver Archie Cowlard failed a row of 47s in Clarence yard Finsbury Park at 4:00am one early morning to get to his chosen loco?. Why can I believe that ha ha ha... He was either the loco fitters best friend (if you liked work?) or worse enemy (if you didn't like work?) because Mr.Cowlard would get on a diesel loco and get the fault book out and FAULT EVEYTHING that he believed required 'fitters attention' before he went off shed.

Let us not forget that amongst loco spotters Brush type 4s acquired the nickname 'Duff' back in the 1960s which appeared to stick as a few of the older generation of loco spotters still refer to them by that name.

Yes you are right manna those destination blinds on the Brush type 4s were a bit awkward at times to operate to be able to put the correct headcode up at the front of the loco/train which was solved when headcodes on the front of locos & trains were abolished around 1975 and two white dots appeared on the front of locos & trains instead.
Last edited by Mickey on Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mickey
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Re: Brush type 4s

Post by Mickey »

Hatfield Shed wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:11 pm
Mickey wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:21 am ...Driving a Brush type 4 was like driving any other diesel loco although being a type 4 they tended to feel more powerful compared to driving a Brush type 2 or class 31...
One of the Finsbury Park (34G) locomotive crew rated the Brush 2 as the best ride of any diesel he had experienced (and much better than the Cravens DMU which was the standard type allocated at KX which he had been on for a short time). "Then again, I never had one over 60mph; and that is when things started to be a little bouncy with the type 4 and 5 power on fast trains..."
Yeah the Brush type 2s that later on became known as class 31s from about 1974-75 onwards were very good diesel locos I thought they were Hatfield Shed I use to like them a lot and they were quiet easy to drive if your driver 'let you have a drive' of one which quite a few drivers would do. Yes the Brush type 2s were fairly comfortable locos to ride on although if you was on 1-shunt (0S01) in Kings Cross station at 2:00-3:00am in the morning and sitting around the back of the Milk dock trying to get comfortable and close your eyes for 30 minutes they tended to start to get a bit awkward to totally relax on ha ha ha... I bet manna would know what I mean.

For some reason down the years amongst loco spotters the Brush type 2s don't appear to be regarded to highly possibly because they were rated a type 2 and not a type 4 I don't really know why?.
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Re: Brush type 4s

Post by Hatfield Shed »

Mickey wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:43 pm ...For some reason down the years amongst loco spotters the Brush type 2s don't appear to be regarded to highly possibly because they were rated a type 2 and not a type 4 I don't really know why?.
I was never a spotter, but as a passenger I liked them. They got you there, they brought you home; just like the lovely old Big Met tanks used to. The joy of the ride in a Cravens DMU was the wonder of the forward view if the driver would leave the blind up, but you paid for it with enough rattling to shake your fillings loose. And the possibility of delay or failure en-route, especially northbound.

(My Pa, a Dutchman, was fascinated by the operation of getting out of the hole at KX, and made sure I saw and rode it several times as a boy. There's long time railway interest from the near continent BTW, my great-uncle Gerrit and a friend, during their home furlough from service on Java with The Netherlands East Indies Company (VOC) made the trip to the UK specifically to ride the Coronation in 1937, and were generally thought barmy within the family for doing so.)
Mickey
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Re: Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by Mickey »

Hatfield Shed wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:46 pm
Mickey wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:43 pm ...For some reason down the years amongst loco spotters the Brush type 2s don't appear to be regarded to highly possibly because they were rated a type 2 and not a type 4 I don't really know why?.
I was never a spotter, but as a passenger I liked them. They got you there, they brought you home; just like the lovely old Big Met tanks used to. The joy of the ride in a Cravens DMU was the wonder of the forward view if the driver would leave the blind up, but you paid for it with enough rattling to shake your fillings loose. And the possibility of delay or failure en-route, especially northbound.
I shall like the Brush type 2s until the day I die good diesel locos they were although I haven't rode on one since 1975 but the memory still lingers on...
Some minor differences between the class existed. At Kings Cross some Brush type 2s were fitted with ETH (Electric Train Heating) along with the standard Spanner boiler in the engine compartment. The Brush type 2 Spanner boiler was easy to operate and from memory the secondman usually would just make sure 'the water was in the gauge glass' and as long as it was ''switch the boiler on' and that was it (manna would also know how they worked). The Spanner boiler compared to the boilers fitted to Brush type 4s and EE type 4 (2000s) and Deltics were a piece of cake compared to the Stones & Clayton boilers that those locos were fitted with because they were hard to work if you wasn't familiar with them?. The Tinsley depot Brush type 2s being a freight only depot didn't have a boiler on their Brush type 2s it was removed and a large lump of concrete was to be found in it's place. Another type of the class that would sometimes on rare occasions show up at Kings Cross was the locos with 'tablet exchange apparatus' recessed into the drivers left side door for working over country single line branch lines those Brush type 2s would usually be found working around the east Anglia area of Norfolk or Lincolnshire also the GE had the non-headcode in the roof Brush type 2s at Stratford known by the nickname 'Toffee Apples' those locos had the 'discs on the front of the loco' and those GE Stratford Brush type 2s never showed up on the Kings Cross area back in the 1960s & 1970s 'our' Brush type 2s at Kings Cross ALL had the headcode boxes in the roof at either end of the locos.

With regards to the old Craven units (class 105 DMU) working over the Kings Cross inner & outer suburban lines between the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s prior to electrification yeah they were great for 'learning the road' when riding on them around the Kings Cross area in fact 'I learnt the road between WGC & Kings Cross and return between 1968-1970 by riding behind the driving compartment in a Cravens unit although they weren't without faults such as the top windows rattling and the main windows vibrating but they weren't that bad I have a soft spot for them.
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rockinjohn
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Re: Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi Mickey in a past post I mentioned the Darnell(41A) Brush type 2's,that would come up the "creep" ex the "park" around 4pm I assume it worked the up (never saw)&down workings of the "Sheffield Pullman" a sharply timed working, think this was before the EEtype3's&after the big EE type4s most being in the D58xx/D56xx(late) range,but once 41A got D5835,the 2,000hp, it worked alongside the type3's & was used wherever possible being first pick,Now the 41A locos were seen on East Coast excursions regularly in the summer months, Skegness/Mablethrope etc, but sending them up to the "X" in the autumn&winter months without a boiler for train heating, the mind boggles&I observed maybe six or seven different class members on the duty, so some must have had "your" concrete blocks fitted, I suppose for added traction for the Steel trains? some working as far as South Wales.
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Re: Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by Mickey »

Those Tinsley Brush type 2s were usually pretty 'beat up' looking specimens being allocated to a freight only depot as they were and they usually had faded blue paintwork with bangs and dents in the locos side panelling. We had a Tinsley Brush type 2 one day although I don't know how Kings Cross managed to acquire one(?) it may have worked a freight south up to London and ended up in Finsbury Park Clarence yard anyway I recall going through the engine compartment probably from the back cab through to the front cab because you had to check that the locos 'holding brake' hadn't been 'screwed down' in the back cab first and when walking through the engine compartment to the other cab where the Spanner boiler should have been it was just a empty space and a large lump of concrete was sitting their instead!.

A word about the 4 character headcode box on Brush type 2s.

From memory of nearly 50 years ago they were very easy to operate. The headcode box inside the loco cab at either end had a long metal flap that was held up by a couple of 'butterfly nuts' and was always closed after changing the locos headcode. To change the locos headcode the two butterfly nuts would be turned sideways so the metal flap of the headcode box could be opened and it was just be left to drop down so that the secondman or driver could visually see what number or letter was being displayed in the headcode box before closing the metal flap again(?) also several light bulbs were to be found alight inside the headcode box being worked off a light switch in either cab of the loco to obviously illuminate the headcode especially during the hours of darkness although the headcode box was illuminated always while 'in traffic' regardless if it was a sunny day time diagram. To change the headcode display at one end of the headcode box on the left-hand side of the box was a handle that selected what individual number and letter out of the four characters would be selected to be changed and on the right-hand side of the headcode box was a handle that the secondman or driver wound around for a individual character to be moved and displayed. Once the correct headcode was displayed the back metal flap would then be raised and closed flat and secured again by the two 'butterfly nuts' and that is how it was done
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manna
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Re: Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by manna »

G'Day Gents

I did have Brush 2 one day on ECS, went in the engine room to turn on the Boiler, guess what, No boiler, and it was cold outside, had another on a Moorgate train as well, how it was booked on it I don't know as it had no 'Banjo' (trip lever) but it went down the hole to Moorgate. The 'Skinheads' were always a bit awkward, as most of the secondmen didn't know the disks, so always had to ask the driver, the odd disk class 40 were the same.

manna
Last edited by manna on Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by Hatfield Shed »

manna wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:34 am ...I did have Brush 2 one day on ECS, went in the engine room to turn on the Boiler, guess what, No boiler, and it was cold outside, had another on a Moorgate train as well, how it was booked on it I don't know as it had no 'Banjo' (trip lever) but it went down the hole to Moorgate...
Well known special features of BR's inner sub operation from KX/Moorgate. No loco heat available, and BR's 57' all compartment mk1s with the bottoms of the doors rotting so that a floor level icy blast came through. Mind, that was great in a hot summer, some floor level ventilation, you have to accept the rough with the smooth.

How grateful we were when the electrification swept all that away. The excitement of the sliding doors opening at 70mph was an unexpected entertainment. Never seen so much flying newspaper in my life before or since.
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Re: Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by Mickey »

Hatfield Shed wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:59 am How grateful we were when the electrification swept all that away. The excitement of the sliding doors opening at 70mph was an unexpected entertainment. Never seen so much flying newspaper in my life before or since.
Maybe for the majority or people like yourself Hatfield Shed but personally speaking I liked the railway to have remained untouched and as it was circa 1968 when I first became interested in the Kings Cross area. The transitional phase on the Kings Cross area between 1970 to 1976 of re-signalling, track rationalisation & electrification was interesting to observe at close quarters at the time when it was happening but ultimately it lead to a modern but sterile railway from about 1976 onwards until the present day although realistically the railway had to modernise but as a 'railway traditionalist' at heart I was never really interested in 'modern railways' as my interest in railways is between about 1890 until about 1980.

Back on the topic-

The liveries on the class 31s & class 47s in the later years of the 1980s & 1990s were pretty dyer to say the least and in fact were god awful!. The class 31s going around in grey/orange/black (Dutch livery?) with silly 'sectorisation markings' of triangles and squares in different colours all over the side of the loco and the class 47s weren't much better with BIG UNION JACKS on the sides of some Stratford 47s then came 'sectorisation' with red livered 47s with again 'silly shaped markings' all over the sides of the locos plus how was the 'unofficial naming' of some of those 47s allowed?.
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Re: Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by rockinjohn »

Must admit all my memories are of the Green&Grey/Cream era diesels &being brand new after the Suzler& NB classes had departed for Scotland, Hitchin(34D) no fools holding on to their EE Type 1's, sadly not coming to far south to be common near the Kings "X" area,however I do remember the G.E.first allocation of Brush type4's 15xx&16xx coming from Darnall & the Western Region, being in a dreadful external condition, can't say for the Running Gear, going straight on to the Norwich Runs.&around about the first time I started noticing the deletion of the "D" in front of the Numbers,talking of liveries I did see the experimental livered" pair @ the "street" D5578/79 at different times,along with other class members from March(31B)they not that frequent visitors except ex.Harwich,& always thought the Orangey Coloured class member looked very nice.
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Re: Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by Mickey »

Yeah I have seen pictures of the orangey coloured livery on a Brush type 2 jj and it's ok but the best livery was the two tone green livery with the late B.R. lion & wheel emblem on the locos side with the thin white band all around the loco and even the two yellow warning panels at either end of the locos didn't detract from there looks either also the all over blue livery with the full yellow ends during the 1970s suited them well also.

A class 31 or two of them(?) are knocking around in private ownership in a all over yellow livery which looks a bit odd?.
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Re: Brush type 2s & 4s

Post by neilgow »

In response to Mickey's comment about the GWR 47 diesels staying on GWR territory, I have somewhere amongst my negatives an image of one of the Stars standing outside Aviemore North signal box in 1979.

Given time I could scan it assuming I can find it.

Rgds

NG.
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