Gateshead (GD) Locomotives

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by RichmondCommu, 20 Oct 2019.

  1. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm curious to know why from memory (and photographs in books / YouTube) GD based locomotives always seemed to be filthy.

    Thanks for reading this.
     
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  3. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    It wasn't filth, it was patina!

    I don't think this was something unique to Gateshead. Most 37s back in the day would be in a grubby state.
     
  4. Kingspanner

    Kingspanner Member

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    GD class 37s had their own livery "Gateshead Black", informally applied during colliery work
     
  5. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    I realise that the freight locomotives would be covered in dirt for obvious reasons, it was the class 47s that I was thinking of.
     
  6. D1537

    D1537 Member

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    Having lived in the North (Yorkshire) and followed Class 47s for many years I was never aware of GD (passenger) 47s ever being particularly more dirty than those from any other depot. There was certainly the fact that they (for diagramming reasons) didn't spend as long on depot as other locomotives, and often didn't follow the coaches through the carriage washer at Heaton, but looking back through my photos from the time I can't really see any major differences.
     
  7. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

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    When I was on ER, it was quite noticeable that the GD passenger engines were filthier (inside and out) than their counterparts at Haymarket and Finsbury Park.

    The answer was that the staffing available to do cleaning differed by depot. Occasionally the Newcastle Division would ask us in the KX Division how many staff we employed on cleaning duties and it was always a much, much higher figure at KX/FP. Gateshead, apparently, really struggled to fill these posts as there was better paid work for unskilled labour elsewhere in Newcastle and, as a result, unfilled posts were always prone to being periodically abolished. They would then try and build a case to recruit more staff as a result of knowing our figures.

    The time on each depot wasn't really a factor - it was the staff availability that was key. There was also a very clear and long established regime at KX that locomotives had, when possible, to be kept clean so the resources were provided to help the depots achieve that requirement.
     
  8. Ianigsy

    Ianigsy Member

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    I think Gateshead probably lost a bit of prestige at dieselisation - the Deltics were split between Finsbury Park, York and Haymarket and their bread and butter passenger work became long distance inter-regionals.
     
  9. Controller1701

    Controller1701 Member

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    I was under the impression that Gateshead had a carriage washer installed where the arrival flow would pass though it for the purpose of washing the locos as they arrived on shed.

    Paul
     
  10. D1537

    D1537 Member

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    The Deltics were allocated to FP, HA and Gateshead. It was only very late in their career (1979?) that the GD and HA locomotives went to York, I think. Gateshead gained a load of 47/4s at the same time, mostly ex-FP, which pretty much ran the remainder of the East Coast passenger services that weren't Deltic-hauled (as indeed their existing allocation had been doing for many years).
     
  11. D1537

    D1537 Member

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    It did. I don't know when it was installed, but was certainly there by the early 80s. It seemed to lie idle most of the time, although those who were more familiar with the area might know more.
     
  12. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

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    The NER Deltics were all Gateshead locos until they went to York in May 1979. Loco cleaning in the KX Division was done manually.
     
  13. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    Thinking back, I do have some vague memory of the washer at GD being broken long term, but don't take my word for it.
     
  14. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Anything to do with the Metro lines going underneath?
     
  15. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    You mean flooding the tunnels? I wouldn't have thought so. I think it was just broken.
     
  16. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    I was thinking more in terms of the tunnel digging damaging the water supply.
     
  17. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    Many many decades ago I can remember a description of Gateshead in an angling magazine:
    "Gateshead: so smoky and dirty the ducks fly backwards to keep the muck out of their eyes"

    sounds funnier if said with a Geordie accent....
     
  18. O8yityityit

    O8yityityit Member

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    I recall the problem was to do with the fact the metro tunnelling somehow damaged part of the drainage system for the washer. That would mean oil and diesel could flow straight into the ground and finally into the river Tyne below. As salmon had just started to return to the much cleaned up river the authorities were always keen on any spills.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2019
  19. Steamysandy

    Steamysandy Member

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    Going back to steam days it was reckoned that Gatesheads A4s were only cleaned when they went to the Plant for shopping.
    Photographic evidence shows 60002 and 60020 hauling prestige expresses ( Flying Scotsman and Heart of Midlothian respectively) in a total state of filth.Peter Townsend related that on one occasion an A4 from Gatesheads was cleaned at Kings Cross and it was reported it was thought it had been transferred!
     
  20. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    Every day is a school day!

    Apologies to 43096 - looks like you called it right.
     

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