The Clayton Type 1 - Class 17

Strathclyder

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To compliment the North British Type 2s & Metropolitan-Vickers Type 2s threads, this one concerns itself with another entrant on the 'most maligned BR mainline diesel' list: the Class 17 Clayton. As with the previous two, this should make for a rather interesting thread; from the type's genesis/development, through the multitude of issues that plagued them, the type's gradual disappearence from mainline service to the sole survivor in preservation (copyright of attached images remain with their respective owners).

Over to the rest of you. :)

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Helvellyn

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They were meant to be the standard Type 1. The centre cab/two engine/low bonnet arrangement was meant to address some of the criticisms of other Type 1s with the cab at one end and limited views when it was trailing the direction of travel. Yet ultimately replaced by a late build of an additional 100 Class 20s. This is one where on paper it looked a good design but in reality...

Never saw them in action yet like the Class 14s I have an irrational soft spot for them!
 

swt_passenger

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This is one of two BR loco types I’ve actually driven (under supervision of course). I would have been about 9 or 10, it was in Alnwick station goods yard, just before the major track rationalisation in advance of closure. I remember my grandfather waving to the driver, (he knew everyone at the station), from the main platform end ramp, and we were invited to walk across the tracks from there and climb up into the cab from the ballast. Spent about an hour going back and forth shunting empty wagons into different sidings.

Was great fun at the time…
 
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Journeyman

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I can't understand why BR couldn't just design a Type 1 with cabs at each end. This attempt to solve the visibility problem was a disaster!
 

swt_passenger

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I can't understand why BR couldn't just design a Type 1 with cabs at each end. This attempt to solve the visibility problem was a disaster!
I often wonder if they were designing on the basis of only improving on the typical view from a steam loco…
 

Bevan Price

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I can't understand why BR couldn't just design a Type 1 with cabs at each end. This attempt to solve the visibility problem was a disaster!
No problem with central cabs - but the locos were hopelessly unreliable. I think that many were stored in the Derby area before they even entered service. They sorted some of the problems, but not enough to make them highly reliable.
 

marsker

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I remember thesse being used on local trip workings around Tyneside. A driver showed me in the cab that the power controller had a guard to prevent the last notch to full power being used, that may have been due to the reliability problems, or due to a problem on that particular loco.
I remember being surprised to read in the technical description in Modern Railways that the large cab was designed to take a centrally mounted train heating boiler, but that could have been in the April issue!
 

Taunton

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I never saw one going, but shortly after arriving in Edinburgh in winter 1971-2 I went along the dismal remote road that crosses Millerhill yard on a long bridge. There was a derelict line of probably more than 10 of them stored there.
 

ac6000cw

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I can't understand why BR couldn't just design a Type 1 with cabs at each end. This attempt to solve the visibility problem was a disaster!
That was effectively what the class 24 & 25 were - only a few tonnes heavier than a cl. 17 and the same length (about 50 feet). Yes I know they were a bit more powerful and nominally 'Type 2' but so what?

If they'd wanted something even lighter then how about an 'Anglicised' CIE/IE cl. 141 (introduced in 1962, same year as the cl.17) - dual-cab, 960 hp, only 67 tonnes and 44 feet long (and lasted nearly 50 years in service).

That said, there's nothing much wrong with the basic centre-cab design (it's quite popular elsewhere in Europe for local/light freight and heavy shunting work) - it's just that the cl. 17 wasn't a good example of the type.
 

Taunton

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That said, there's nothing much wrong with the basic centre-cab design (it's quite popular elsewhere in Europe for local/light freight and heavy shunting work) - it's just that the cl. 17 wasn't a good example of the type.
Seems that many of those European designs have the high level cab somewhat to one end, and a single large prime mover. Likewise an old GP9 etc American Road Switcher. The Clayton concept with two equal engines and a central cab is less common. Even the North British D63xx hydraulics made do with one engine, unlike the larger hydraulics.
 

ac6000cw

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Seems that many of those European designs have the high level cab somewhat to one end, and a single large prime mover. Likewise an old GP9 etc American Road Switcher. The Clayton concept with two equal engines and a central cab is less common.
You are correct - I was thinking about single-engined 'offset' centre-cab designs like our class 14 and the MaK/Vossloh G12xx series e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MaK_/_Vossloh_G1206 (using the term centre-cab to differentiate them from low bonnet end-cab designs like the class 03 and EMD SW-series switchers).
 

D6130

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My earliest recollections of seeing Claytons in service would be from about 1967-68. Although I was living in Scotland at the time, they were very rare North of Glasgow. However, I often used to see the later Gateshead and Thornaby allocated locos (D8588-8616 IIRC) on local trip workings when visiting my grandparents in the Stockton/Eaglescliffe area. I can also clearly remember one occasion when we were travelling home from my grandparents' by car, we were heading up the A74 passing the former Alton Heights Junction, South of Lesmahagow, and a pair of Claytons were rounding the curve on the Coalburn branch with a long coal train of 16 ton mineral wagons from Auchlochan Colliery but, unfortunately, they were too far away to be able to read their numbers. By the time I was old enough to be allowed out spotting and depot bashing on my own or with friends (1972-73), all the Claytons had been withdrawn, but I almost cleared the class from the lines of withdrawn locos at Ardrossan, Polmadie, Motherwell and Millerhill. A few years later I saw D8512/21/98 at Derby Works or the RTC....shame one or more of those three weren't preserved, but at least we have D8568 at Chinnor.
 
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matchmaker

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I remember thesse being used on local trip workings around Tyneside. A driver showed me in the cab that the power controller had a guard to prevent the last notch to full power being used, that may have been due to the reliability problems, or due to a problem on that particular loco.
I remember being surprised to read in the technical description in Modern Railways that the large cab was designed to take a centrally mounted train heating boiler, but that could have been in the April issue!
The cab was indeed designed to take a train heating boiler!
 

pieguyrob

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The cab was indeed designed to take a train heating boiler!
That would be cool to see. Have the owners of D8568 ever put a mock up in the cab to see what it would look like? I'm going to presume it would make the cab somewhat cosy with the heat!
 

Journeyman

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Pinza-C55

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I hitchhiked to the Clitheroe Cement Works in 1981 to see the sole surviving. The Polish driver was very proud of his steed and happy to show me round her. Aside from their reliability problems they were a lovely piece of industrial design, appearance wise.
 
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I'm intrigued as to what services a steam heat 17 would be used on. There seemed to be virtually no demand for passenger type 1s, and surely DMUs took over most services using small steam locos?
The PDF (which is an article from Diesel Railway Traction reprinted by Claytons as a brochure) mentions the possibility of preheating ECS.
 

D6130

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The PDF (which is an article from Diesel Railway Traction reprinted by Claytons as a brochure) mentions the possibility of preheating ECS.
If the steam heating boilers had been fitted in the middle of the cabs (known to crews as the 'greenhouse') one of two scenarios might have happened: Either the big cabs would have been nice and cosily warm on a winter's day.....or they would have been insufferably hot! Of course Clayton did manufacture steam heating boilers which were installed in quite a few passenger locos, in competition with Stones.
 

Strathclyder

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I hitchhiked to the Clitheroe Cement Works in 1981 to see the sole surviving. The Polish driver was very proud of his steed and happy to show me round her. Aside from their reliability problems they were a lovely piece of industrial design, appearance wise.
Anthony P. Sayer's recent book on the Claytons (the recent arrival of my copy was the main catalyst for this thread) has a section on the aesthetic design process, which seemed to go really rather smoothly all things considered, at least compared to the somewhat tortured and drawn-out process the Class 28s went through in this regard. A shining piece of industurial design as you say.
 
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Anonymous10

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To compliment the North British Type 2s & Metropolitan-Vickers Type 2s threads, this one concerns itself with another entrant on the 'most maligned BR mainline diesel' list: the Class 17 Clayton. As with the previous two, this should make for a rather interesting thread; from the type's genesis/development, through the multitude of issues that plagued them, the type's gradual disappearence from mainline service to the sole survivor in preservation (copyright of attached images remain with their respective owners).

Over to the rest of you. :)

View attachment 97934 View attachment 97935 View attachment 97936
where were these locos used?
 

Strathclyder

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where were these locos used?
The type was most strongly associated with the Central Belt of Scotland and various depots in that part of the world had sizable allocations of the first/Clayton-built batch (Eastfield, Polmadie in Glasgow & Haymarket in Edinburgh being the strongholds). The later batch built by Beyer-Peacock started their short lives south of the border in the North Eastern & Eastern Regions, but a good number of these also finished up in Scotland.
 

Irascible

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I hitchhiked to the Clitheroe Cement Works in 1981 to see the sole surviving. The Polish driver was very proud of his steed and happy to show me round her. Aside from their reliability problems they were a lovely piece of industrial design, appearance wise.

Wonder how they'd have got on if Paxmans had been allowed to deliver the engines as they wanted, not what they were instructed to build. Same as the 14s, all the work was rapidly disappearing anyway...
 

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