Class 50's and the GWML

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by GNERman, 12 Nov 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. GNERman

    GNERman Established Member

    Messages:
    1,577
    Joined:
    8 Oct 2008
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    Afternoon,

    Just a slight area I don't know much about, primarily the workings of Class 50's in BR and NSE days on the GWML, notably on the Paddington to Reading, Didcot and Oxford corridor.

    From photos i've seen, in BR days they worked services to many destinations on the GWML route, alongside HST's and 47's???

    In NSE days, i've seen photos of them on IC and NSE stock, but I don't have any ideas of destinations. I know that some were used on the Waterloo to Exeter route, but what would they have worked on the GWML?

    Finally, although rare, were there any freight workings by 50's on the GWML??

    Thanks
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

    Messages:
    3,704
    Joined:
    24 Aug 2009
    Location:
    On a plane somewhere at 35,000
    The class 50s went to the WR from 1974 onwards when the Electric Scot services were being introduced following the electrification of the Main Line to Glasgow.

    They were originally used on Bristol/S. Wales services where they could run at 100 mph (in theory at least). This released 47s to go to the WoE services as the Westerns were being withdrawn.

    Much later on as HSTs took over the WR, the 50s went to work the Waterloo - Exeter services.

    That is it in a nutshell.
     
  4. GNERman

    GNERman Established Member

    Messages:
    1,577
    Joined:
    8 Oct 2008
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    Then why is there photos of NSE 50's at Paddington???
     
  5. 87015

    87015 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    Joined:
    3 Mar 2006
    Location:
    GEML/WCML/SR
    Padd-Oxfords and also Worcester/Hereford services were under NSE. There were also hauled workings to (at least) Newbury, Westbury and Banbury with 47s and 50s.
     
  6. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,179
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    Because they were used on the local services along the thames valley to Reading, Oxford etc a bit like the class 165/166's now.
     
  7. GNERman

    GNERman Established Member

    Messages:
    1,577
    Joined:
    8 Oct 2008
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    By local, do you mean stopping or semi fast? What were calling points...
     
  8. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

    Messages:
    4,406
    Joined:
    9 Jan 2009
    Typically Reading only. Local services were in the hands of class 117 3-car Pressed Steel suburban DMUs. Here's a typical off-peak hour at Paddington from the 1987 book:

    xx:00 Swansea HST
    xx:03 Maidenhead all stations DMU
    xx:17 Oxford loco-hauled (47 or 50)
    xx:30 Bristol HST
    xx:34 Reading semi-fast DMU (Ealing B, Slough, Maidenhead, Twyford only)
    xx:49 Reading slow DMU (all stations except Westbourne Park, Acton ML, West Ealing, Hanwell, Iver).

    Err, that's it except for the West of England services that were a bit more random but ran every 60-90 minutes and were a mixture of HSTs and loco-hauled (50s). Pretty incredible when you look at today's book. Local services beyond Reading to Didcot/Oxford or Newbury/Bedwyn all started at Reading off-peak. Greenford was a single car shuttle service (half-hourly) from Ealing Broadway.
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2011
  9. GNERman

    GNERman Established Member

    Messages:
    1,577
    Joined:
    8 Oct 2008
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    Lovely, what did this call at?
     
  10. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

    Messages:
    4,406
    Joined:
    9 Jan 2009
    Reading only.
     
  11. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

    Messages:
    2,926
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Evercreech Junction
    As far as freight goes, they were used on various random turns from time to time as was done with nearly everything in the golden days before sectorisation, and there was 50149 which was repainted (and possibly re-geared, I'm not sure if it was or not) and used on china clay workings in Cornwall for a while. Then in the twilight years several were allocated to the Civil Engineers for PW duties.
     
  12. newtownmgr

    newtownmgr Member

    Messages:
    92
    Joined:
    2 Jan 2011
    Class 50's replaced class 31's on Worcester/Hereford services in the mid/late 70's after Worcester had learned the loco's, 50014? & 50047 both having been temp reallocated to Worcs for Driver/Fitter training for a few months. The 50's along with 47's worked all weekday & some saturday trains up until about '82 with pairs of 31's working Rest of Sat & Sun services. After '82 all remaining services were diagrammed for 50's with 47's regular replacements.

    HST's took over weekday services during 86/87 with the 50's still working weekends up until start of summer '89 timetable when 47's took over, by this time the only loco hauled workings were a Fridays only 19.03 Padd - Hfd.
    A Sat evening Padd - Hfd & Rtn Sun PM and a Rtn Padd - Hfd on a Sunday. The services were INTERCITY Services but used NSE Stock & Loco's as these were readily available and saved INTERCITY having to move stock around for these few workings. The 50's were used regularly by both INTERCITY & PROVINCIAL (REGIONAL RAILWAYS) but were owned by NSE & CIVIL ENGINEERS. INTERCITY refused to take them as they were high maintanence & low reliability.

    Just a footnote when the Western Region were offered the 50's they stated that they would prefer the ETH 45's as several depots (ie. Worcester,Gloucester,Hereford,Bristol,Taunton,Exeter,Plymouth,Par,Penzance & Westbury) were already trained on the loco's and they were more reliable but HQ forced them to have the 50's as punishment for going there own way with the Westerns etc!!!!.

    I remember arriving at Padd with a 50 and being meet by the loco arranger pleading with me to leave my loco on plat 8 and go over to plat 2 were a Bath Road driver had dumped a Peak(his back working was an HST). I took the 45 back on my return to Worcester and managed to get the loco wound up to 100+.
     
  13. Moog_1984

    Moog_1984 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Joined:
    5 Mar 2010
    There are some "hoover" bashers on the nostalgia section: worth posting there.

    50's were also of course allocated to Laira and worked all over the old WR, fishgaurd inc., and while there also up to manchester and occaisionally through to York.

    Of interest to your questions : they worked some 'permanent way" TM trains in pairs by virtue of fuel capacity, and they were designed to be convertable to buck eye coupling. There are some shots of 50s working freights in IA books of lore ( car flats and mixed air braked stock, new at the time) on the WCML when there must have been a shortage of DE locos with air braking to work the new stock!

    When I was a basher in the 80s, 50s were still allocated to a lot of classic 100mph mrk II rake runs. In terms of miles per casualty on the express services they were actually comparable to 47s eg 47/7s had an extra maintainance cycle just to keep them from breaking down so often.But 50s post refurb, were still more complicated to fix! So class availability could be poor! If they had been built with standard filters, brakes ect like a big class 37, then as with DP2 it would have been a different picture of reliability!
    They also had a breif period of running " super trains" , load 14 day time trains from plymouth to bristol and london IIRC at the time hst's were breaking down a lot in the mid eighites. I think these may have been double headed, but were short lived on cost-income basis.

    When working well on express services they would out accelerate 47s and hold timetable without a sweat on the drivers brow, plus most drivers of them will tell you they were rock solid at 100mph unlike 47s.
     
  14. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

    Messages:
    4,406
    Joined:
    9 Jan 2009
    The legendary 09:35 Paddington > Penzance 'Jumbo Train' in February 1984 at Reading, with 50002 and 50009 in charge. Inter City workings in the 1980s *did not* get any better than this. An excited 13-year old 4SRKT had just bailed from this train having leant out of the window all the way from Paddington. Next move a 4SRKT-powered DEMU to Basingstoke: a morning of EE Heaven :)
     

    Attached Files:

  15. shaun

    shaun Member

    Messages:
    203
    Joined:
    10 Nov 2009
    I remember very clearly as a toddler going on a London Paddington - Teignmouth service which was a Class 47 or 50 hauling NSE Mk2s (around 88/89). Can't remember there being a buffet or anything, but i do remember it being around 7 or 8 coaches. Back then I was scared of HSTs because they used to go through Ealing and make a loud screaming noise that frightened me, but still wanted to go on one because they were so fast. To my delight, the return working was an HST which started off my appreciation for them. I was confused as to how the journey was so quiet when they made so much noise outside, ah the joys of the Mk3!

    I used to use the Ealing Broadway-Greenford class 121 alot when i was a kid, it sounded like a bus and not unlike the 172s. Just before the 165s took over they used to send all sorts up the Greenford branch, i remember travelling on a Class 104 even in first class!
     
  16. Moog_1984

    Moog_1984 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Joined:
    5 Mar 2010
    Hades Pyros!!!

    These trains were at a time when pairs of 50s were rare as cows cajones.

    Even alone a 50 could thrash the heck out of all other type 4s and were probably quicker through the "gears" to 100mph than deltics.
     
  17. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

    Messages:
    3,704
    Joined:
    24 Aug 2009
    Location:
    On a plane somewhere at 35,000
    I rather think a 45 could leave these things standing on a decent climb, which was why they were double-headed on the LM.
     
  18. GazzaB24

    GazzaB24 Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    30 Apr 2011
    50s were also frequent visitors to B'ham New Street from Paddington throughout the 80's via Coventry and Solihull. Before refurbishment you could hear them "hoovering" a mile or so away! Typical turn was 1M11 from Padd (around 9ish departure) returning on 13.25 from New street. There was a. Afternoon turn too via Coventry which were regular 50s in the early 80's.
    I think there were more booked trips to birmingham when the days of NSE up until about May 1990 when the NSE Old Oak 50s were withdrawn or reallocated to Laira to work on the Exeter - Waterloos.
     
  19. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

    Messages:
    2,926
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Evercreech Junction
    They were double-headed to more or less match what electric timings would have been over Shap and Beattock; a Peak could probably not have not better than a decent Duchess with the same kind of load.
     
  20. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,998
    Joined:
    26 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Bristol
    Just to add a note about 1S19, the Bristol - Scotland sleepers which was only rarely a class 50. Usually a 45 if one was available, a 47 if not. The reason was that the ETH index of the train was more than the ETH rating of a 50, so coach(es) had to have their EH knocked out to avoid blowing up the 50.
    50s did work freight in their latter days. Many PW workings in the Bristol area were 50s for quite a while. They also made occasional appearances on other freight round Bristol, like the Avon binliner. (usually due to something else failing)
     
  21. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

    Messages:
    4,406
    Joined:
    9 Jan 2009
    Didn't 50s have the same ETH Index (66) as both 45/1s and 47/4s?
     
  22. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

    Messages:
    3,704
    Joined:
    24 Aug 2009
    Location:
    On a plane somewhere at 35,000
    If that were the case then why did the electric hauled timings reduce the Preston to Glasgow section after electrification ?
     
  23. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

    Messages:
    4,406
    Joined:
    9 Jan 2009

    He did say 'more or less'. Presumably if single headed the difference between diesel and electric would have been significant.
     
  24. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

    Messages:
    3,704
    Joined:
    24 Aug 2009
    Location:
    On a plane somewhere at 35,000
    They had to run double headed to climb the banks, any (limited) 100 mph running that could be squeezed out of the useless lumps did not make much difference.

    On the LM we used to say "two fifties because there is at least a 50:50 chance of getting there".

    I still contend that if you put a 45 on the same weight against 2 x 50s that the 45 would win - certainly on the gradients, and would only be let down by the (official) 90mph maximum service speed on the flat - what little there is of it.
     
  25. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

    Messages:
    4,406
    Joined:
    9 Jan 2009
    He didn't say anything about 100mph running. He said 'match the timings', a part of which is ability to climb the banks. Plus he was comparing with an 86, not a peak.
     
  26. Rugd1022

    Rugd1022 Member

    Messages:
    565
    Joined:
    19 Feb 2010
    Location:
    Rugby
    The first 50 to move to the Western was D400 in October 1972, it went to Bristol Bath Road for crew training, followed shortly after by 401 and 402. 402 went to Old Oak and did crew training runs to Bristol and back, there are several published photos of it on shed at Old Oak in this period. By 1974 several more had arrived but the LMR hung on to a few for a while. 50 027 was sent to Laira and Penzance for crew training in the early Spring of '74, being the first of it's class to cross the Tamar.

    In my two years at Old Oak I was lucky / unlucky enough to work on them all.... depending on how you choose to look at it! When they were in good fettle nothing else could touch them on the Western for acceleration but when went 'pop' they did so big time. Even with regular engine swaps, some locos were still consistantly better than others, and some of the drivers would thrash them hard just to see how long it would take for one to bang. I managed to drive them all, (the Old Oak allocation more than the Laira ones generally) but for some reason 50 039 always seemed to be the worst of the lot. When they first arrived o nthe WR they were hated by almost everyone who came into contact with them, the general feeling amongst the men was they'd been sold a lemon by the LMR. It was a long time into the refurbishment programme before they were trusted by the old hand 'hydraulic' men at Old Oak. Quite a few of whom told me that in the early days if a 50 was booked to them for a particular job they'd find a way of failing it on shed just so they could take a Western instead, in whatever condition it happened to be in. With two engines, you knew you'd have a chance of getting home.... ;)

    I do miss driving them though, even shuttling about between Padd and Old Oak with empty stock would be a joy these days.
     
  27. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

    Messages:
    2,926
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Evercreech Junction
    A Peak, according to my book, might have the edge on tractive effort individually (55000 lb v 48500), but that means that the 50s are geared more for speed, not to mention having 5400 hp for two v. 2500. So surely by any criteria, you'd hardly expect a single peak to be able to match it for performance.
     
  28. Helvellyn

    Helvellyn Established Member

    Messages:
    1,133
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2009
    I recall reading that the removal of the sanding and slow-speed equipment during the Doncaster refurbishment was one of the reasons why the Class 50/1 (50149) trial didn't lead to more conversions - it was going to cost to put this equipment back!

    I know why InterCity didn't want these locomotives at sectorisation, but could a second refurbishment (along the Class 37 lines) made any difference if they'd replaced the main generator with an alternator? Or were there other issues on the 50s that would still have needed rectification?
     
  29. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

    Messages:
    3,704
    Joined:
    24 Aug 2009
    Location:
    On a plane somewhere at 35,000
    My point is that Preston to Carlisle, indeed Glasgow is pretty torturous, and needs a loco with good adhesion and climbing ability, something that the 45s were built for.

    The 50s were paired because (a) they couldn't do it singly day in day out, and (b) they were so unreliable that it needed two to cover for when the first failed.

    The best thing that ever happend to the LM was the electrification which allowed us to rid ourselves of them.

    Like most EE stuff they were all noise, huff and puff - all show and nothing of substance - "all fur coat and no knickers" as the saying goes.

    Belting Down and Up the Western Region on the flat where it didin't matter if they failed or not was the best place for them.
     
  30. Moog_1984

    Moog_1984 Member

    Messages:
    171
    Joined:
    5 Mar 2010
    They were always intended to be used in pairs on the most demanding loads to accelerate the old diagrams which were...peaks and D200s. Relaibility was poor due to all the techie rubbish BTC wanted in, not EE - 50 prototypes please basically!

    In fact post refurbishment the Miles Per Casualty were comparable to 47s on the same types of services, and they ran some big loads in single form.

    47s and peaks had a higher class availability due to numbers ( 1 fifty down is 2%, one duff 0.0x%) , and that they were much easier and quicker to fix when they did go bang- which they did often! Take into account the 3 million pound fiasco (100 millon today? ) in fixing the duffs and needing to derate them then sulzer was the clear loser.

    Peaks are pretty fast up banks: but when DP2 did it's trials there was a stop demanded on one of the worst sections of shap and it managed 30mph by the top on the large test load, faster than any other diesel loco of the time, and it was lighter than a 50!

    If 50s had been built as DP2s with 2350 hp like the per cylinder of a 37, and an auxilliary generator ( which EE had planned for 37s btw) then they would have been more reliable than any 12LDA loco. Alternatively if refurbed with 56 engine blocks and alternators they would have really delivered reliability.

    It is a pity the 12 and 16 LVA engines were not in service very long though.
     
  31. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,998
    Joined:
    26 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Bristol
    No, Class 50s had an ETH rating of 61. Most other large diesels with ETH had a rating of 66. Even class 31/4s were 66, because they were used on ECS workings of aircon stock.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page