The Roarers

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by RichmondCommu, 13 Nov 2011.

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  1. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    G'day everyone,

    I'm aware that some WCML electric classes were withdrawn before others and I'm interested to know whether anyone can shed any light on this. Sadly all my spotters books were lost many years a go in an act of folly but i have photos of class 85's at Crewe in the mid 80's and class 82's and 83's moving empty stock out of Euston in the early 80's.

    Thanks in advance,

    Richmond Commuter.
     
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  3. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    The smaller classes were non-standard; from memory the 84s went first.

    The 85s were the last to go; withdrawn as the 90s entered service. Yes, a couple of the 82s / 83s did linger on for ecs duties until about the same time.

    81s were second to last to go.
     
  4. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Cheers Peter. Also, were the 81's based at Glasgow Shields? And the 85's based at Crewe Electric? Any idea as to why the 82's, 83's and 84's went first, especially as they were withdrawn before the class 90's were introduced?

    Sorry for all the questions but as i recall you've had the good sense to hang on to your records!
     
  5. Offertonhatter

    Offertonhatter Member

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    As far as I am aware the timescale of withdrawing the various roarers were as follows:-

    Class 84 - 1980
    Class 82 - 1987
    Class 83 - 1989
    Class 81 - 1991
    Class 85 - 1992

    Most were due to the Class 87 becoming fully on stream, with the '86s covering shorter journeys that the earlier classes used to do, and the 87's doing the "prestige" routes such as the "Royal Scot" to Glasgow and the "Manchester Pullman" in the morning and evenings. It was'nt until the late 80's/early nineties that I saw 87's being common in Manchester.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The 84's went first as I hear that they were the most un-reliable, and a small class too. 82's and 83's were not as powerful as the later versions.
    As for Home Depots, the 86's and 87's were at Willesden and the 85's were split between Longsight and Crewe. I think from my old ABC book that the 83's were at Longsight, the 82's were Crewe, and the 81's were at Glasgow, but I could be wrong.
     
    Last edited: 13 Nov 2011
  6. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I'd assumed that all the 87's were available by the time the route over to Shap had been electrified which if I recall was in 1973? Certainly when I was spotting at Crewe between the late 70's and mid 80's class 87's were in charge of all the Glasgow bound trains. Along with of course the APT....
     
  7. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Not much to add to that other than the 81s were Shields Road based and carried a white Salmon badge painted on the side underneath the number.

    A little more info.

    Class 81s were built by Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company with electrical equipment by Associated Electrical Industries (British Thompson Houston). They were transferred en-masse to Shields in 1975 with the electrification of the Main Line to Glasgow.

    Class 82s were built by Beyer-Peacock with electrical equipment by Associated Electrical Industries (Metropolitan Vickers). They were originally fitted with Mercury-Arc rectifiers but these were replaced with a Silicon semi-conductor type. The Class was alocated to Longsight for its whole life (apart from the last years when some wnet to Willesden).

    Class 83s were built by English Electric (Vulcan Foundry) with electrical equipment by English Electric. They were withdrawn en-masse in 1969 following problems with the water cooled Mercury-Arc rectifiers and put to store. Once the electrification to Glasgow was authorised Silicon Rectifiers fitted to the fleet during refurbishment at Doncaster in 1973-74. The fleet was allocated to Longsight throughout their entire main line life.

    Class 84s were built by the North British Locomotive Company with electrical equipment by the General Electric Company. The entire class had problems with poor riding qualities which were never resolved and in 1968 they were withdrawn en-masse because of the same problems with the mercury arc rectifiers as the 83s. Again with the electrification of the Main Line, these locos were rebuilt at Doncaster and returned to service in 1972

    Class 85s were built by British Railways (Doncaster) with electrical equipment by Associated Electrical Industries. This equipment was the same as the 81s. They were allocated to Longsight from new until 1973 when they went to Crewe DED until withdrawal.

    The 87s were designed and designated to work the Main Line to Glasgow from 1974, leaving the 86s to continue working other London services and Freightliner services. Cross Country services were generally worked by 81/85s from Birmingham northwards and back
     
  8. 12CSVT

    12CSVT Established Member

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    The class 82s and 83s were withdrawn from main line traffic in 1982 but five (82005/008 and 83009/012/015) were re-instated for ECS duties between Euston and Wembley in 1983, apart from 83012 which was re-instated in 1985.

    83012 had been in use at Longsight depot as a static generator from Feb 1982 to Dec 1984 to enable class 506 EMUs to travel to and from the depot after Reddish depot closed.
     
  9. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Thanks for this. Was there not a gap in loco availability between the withdrawal of the class 82's and 83's and the introduction of the class 90's or was there an over supply of locos to start with? Also, how did the static generator work?
     
  10. 12CSVT

    12CSVT Established Member

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    I believe it adapted the power in the overhead wires (the class 506s were 1500 volts DC)
     
  11. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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    When did the driving van trailers come in to use on the Euston services?
    That would have a big effect on loco requirements, as it reduces the need for locos waiting at terminals to go on the other end of arriving trains.
    Was that a catalyst for withdrawals or was that a later development than the withdrawals of the 81-85s?
     
  12. ChrisCooper

    ChrisCooper Established Member

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    DVTs would have entered service in the early 90s, around the same time the 90s were entering service.

    Another change during the 80s was the extension of electrification on the GEML, first to Ipswich and the Norwich, which meant a number of 86s were needed for those services, both passenger and freightliner. Originally they were kept at Willesden as part of a common pool, until Crown Point depot in Norwich opened.
     
  13. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    The 90s were introduced as a straight replacement for the 81s to 85s from about 1987 onwards. This was also the time when DVT working on the EBW services was being introduced, and they were pre-configured to work with DVTs unlike the 86/87s which had to be modified.

    In actual fact they allowed the 86s to be released to the GE, with the remainder working either Cross Country or freightliner services in particular where larger trains required them to pair.
     
  14. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    Probably made little effect in practice as at Euston a small fleet of 4 or 5 82s/83s had been retained for jauling ECS up the bank, and at the other termini the stock was released by the class 08 station pilots.


    Crown Point depot has been around for a lot longer than the GEML has been electrified. It was just a diesel depot in those days.
     
    Last edited: 14 Nov 2011
  15. Moog_1984

    Moog_1984 Member

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    They had become pretty unreliable, esp the older 81s. I had two fail over beattock in the course of a few months! Also there was a decline in the number of loco hauled trains

    Were there any real differences between 81s and 85s ? I do not recall having one on mrk IIIs- did they not have enough amps in their ETH? Part of their charm, rattling up the WCML on mrk Is and IIs!!

    The 90s were originally booked as being 87/2s but of course were at the eventual time of manufacture much more advanced and different in many ways. I think it is more correct to say that the 90s were ordered to accelerate the fastest services, cascading 87s and 86s down to replace "roarers".
     
  16. 12CSVT

    12CSVT Established Member

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    The 85s were regular on overnight sleeper services almost right to the end, and they were mk3s from the early 1980s. I have seen them on mk3s standing in for 86s and 87s.
     
  17. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    81s and 85s had an ETH Index of 66, the same as 86s.
     
  18. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Answered above
     
  19. ChrisCooper

    ChrisCooper Established Member

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    90s didn't directly replace 87s, they worked along side them. Althought the control systems were more advanced on the 90s, and they had a different body shell, performance wise they were near the same. They had the same power rating, same top speed. 87s and 90s though did cascade 86s down to replace the older types.
     
  20. Kneedown

    Kneedown Established Member

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    Had many a ride on an 85 as a young Traction Trainee. Although based at Derby we had a cracking old Instructor from Saltley who took us all over the country on all types of traction. John Ford his name was and every Driver from any depot the length of the Country seemed to know him and happily let him take the controls of whatever. My fondest memory is of an 85 cab ride from Carlisle to Birmingham sometime in the Summer of 1987. I was ever so upset when i learned he passed away not so long after.
    Going back to my even younger days i had most of the 81's and 85's for haulage, but never managed an 82 or 83. Perhaps i should've had a word with John and wangled a trip down to Willesden CS.
     
  21. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    You didn't miss anything with the 84s ride-wise.

    The last ride I had in one was from Hanslope Jct to Northampton and it was like riding a crazed rodeo horse.
     
  22. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Was that down to their age or just poor build quality?

    Why did they build such small batches of the earlier Roarers.
     
  23. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    It was to do with the bogies and the mountings as I recall.

    The reaon that there were different batches was down to two things, firstly the need to build a lot of locomotives quickly and secondly this was a new venture and the Board was anxious not to repeat the problems of having a whole fleet of locos with a poor peformance.

    As you will have read only the 81 and 85s were successful, which proves the point of dispersed build.
     
  24. Kneedown

    Kneedown Established Member

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    And i thought the 84's were one of the better riding of the roarers!
    The 85's i've ridden on were certainly an......."interesting" ride, especially round about the ton, but no worse than a class 20 at 60mph.

    I have to confess now, the 81's - 85's were one of my favorite loco's of all time. Best sounding electric's by far, and the guys who drove them, and 86's and 87's too, had to know the route better than any diesel driver. Notching up and down, running off power 30sec's before you hit a neutral, which i seem to remember back then had no advance warning sign.
    I drove freight trains of up to 3000 tons at up to 60mph, and you have to plan well ahead with that, but with a tap changer loco. I think i'd panic if i was on full power at 100mph and came round a bend to see two yellows, 30 odd seconds to run off power before you braked.
    Full credit to those guys.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I seem to recall that they had problems with silicon rectifiers too, as opposed to the Mercury Arc rectifiers of others, or was it the other way round?
     
  25. Helvellyn

    Helvellyn Established Member

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    Wasn't another thing that counted against the Class 83s their weight? If I recall they were the lightest of the Roarers, and I believe that had some impact on their haulage capacity.

    Another factor in the withdrawal of the Class 82/83/84 fleets was the recession of the early 1980s. BR cut back service frequencies due to a decline in traffic figures, but also tightened up a lot of train rostering. It was this combination of things for example that allowed a number of Western Region HSTs to be transferred to the Eastern and Midland Regions.

    In the late 1980s I recall Class 81 and 85 locomotives on Speedlink freights and CrossCountry services in the main, whilst the Freightliner and Ravenscraig Steel trains seemed to be in the hands of pairs of Class 86/4s and 87s (or one of each). A Roarer was also a popular loco on relief trains on bank holidays, usually early Mark 2 stock, so even when you had full rakes of stock (including loco) flying around in InterCity livery, on a Bank Holiday you could get a full blue/grey relief service turn up headed by a rail blue Class 81/85.
     
  26. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    It was the Mercury Arc rectifiers that were the problem, and these were replaced by the Silicon type.

    Regards the braking from 100 mph at YY, the rheostatic brake was extremely helpful in bringing down the speed, and certainly an 86 could stop with a Class 1 within a signal section in the right circumstances. Often though they would run past the red and at the boxes where I worked there was a rule that we NEVER replaced YY to R as a train approached - except in an extreme emergency. As for overruns we NEVER reported these either.
     
  27. western Champion

    western Champion Member

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    Why would you panic ? put it to 'run down' and brake as normal, the only thing that wont work is the rheo where fitted. As soon as the tap changer has run right back the rheo will kick in. The driver is not expected to wait for it to run off before braking.
     
  28. Moog_1984

    Moog_1984 Member

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    There were some very bad SPADS at the WCML- manchester branch junction in the 80s, probably caused by exactly this. I was on an 86 which stopped just short of the junction, southbound, and I reckon it was a spad given the amount of time it took to get us going!

    Lucky escape #2, because I was on the 47/7 DBSO which later that same day hit a cow at Falkirk, killing 14 ;-(
     
  29. captainbigun

    captainbigun Member

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    Unless it's an 86/1 or 87 where you get instant rheo.
     
  30. Moog_1984

    Moog_1984 Member

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    'how do they do that?'
     
  31. captainbigun

    captainbigun Member

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    Excitation is initially provided via an auxiliary transformer (in the weak field case) until the tap changer is back at zero at which point excitation is then provided via the tap changer based upon the brake demand.
     
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