Transition from steam heating to electric train heating?

ianhr

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Does anyone know much about this and which stock (pre-grouping, big 4 e.g. Bulleid, Gresley, Stanier etc. Mk1 and Mk2) and diesel and electric locos were involved?

I believe some diesel classes e.g. Class 40 (?) had steam heat boilers, what about the 1.5kV Manchester-Sheffield line and the class 70 etc. DC locos on the Southern?

How much, if any, passenger stock was dual fitted? Which were the first diesel classes with auxiliary power for ETH?

There has also been a question on another thread about the Aylesbury compartment sets on the Met. I don't remember them being cold, beyond Rickmansworth they were steam hauled but there was a long run between there and Liverpool Street with electric traction.
 
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On the Southern Region in the 1970's, most Mk1 coaches were converted to air brakes and electric heat.
A few Mk1 BSK were vacuum brake / electric heat for newspaper trains.
Classes 33 , 71 and 73 supplied ETS at 750v DC.
8 coach Mk1 EHAB sets were used in the peak on the Oxted line.
Class 76/77 on Woodhead had electric powered boilers for steam heating, same as Class 70
The first diesel locos with electric heat from new were the Class 33 in 1960.
The first 20 Class 47's also had electric heat from new ( and were also fitted with steam boilers )
 

Merle Haggard

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I'm pretty sure that some LMS - design coaches were ETH fitted. Once the heating vans disappeared, obviously coaches used on the electrified L.M .Western Lines had to be so fitted, and the LMS design ones (latterly, mainly the all-steel 'Portholes') were still to be seen in expresses up 'til about 1969. Some were in blue & grey.
'Dual Heat' was painted on the ends of coaches fitted and there was also a situation which I think, occurred only on the Eastern Region of coaches having the cryptic initials 'DHEHNO' on the ends. At first very puzzling it was cracked as meaning 'Dual Heated Electric Heating Not Operating'.
 

High Dyke

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I was watching a YouTube video yesterday. It was of traffic on the King's Lynn - Cambridge route. There's a shot, at Downham Market, of a Class 37 on LHCS departing with a good bellow of steam heat through the coaches. That shot dates from 1984. Yet other shots, at the same time, of Class 47's would suggest that ETH is also being used.
 

delt1c

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One class 40 was experimentally fitted with eth. The experiment was continued and equipment removed.
 

edwin_m

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Broadly speaking Mk1s were built as steam heat only, except for some dual heat ones for the WCML electrification. The Woodhead locos had steam boilers (possibly just the Class 77s intended for passenger services). The non-aircon Mk2s were dual heat, according to Wikpedia this included the Mk2c which were built with retrofit of aircon in mind. The aircon ones from Mk2d onwards were ETH only for obvious reasons.

Those early diesel classes intended for passenger use were fitted with steam heat boilers. I think the first to have ETH from new were Class 33 and 47401-420. Sub-classes 31/4, 37/4 (much later), 45/1 and the rest of 47/4 (to a different ETH design, this subclass continued beyond 47500 and some later became 47/7 or 47/8) and 55. Class 50 were ETH only from new.
 

ianhr

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Thanks for all the very informative replies, as I thought, quite a complex subject and a long transition.
 

matchmaker

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I'm pretty sure that some LMS - design coaches were ETH fitted. Once the heating vans disappeared, obviously coaches used on the electrified L.M .Western Lines had to be so fitted, and the LMS design ones (latterly, mainly the all-steel 'Portholes') were still to be seen in expresses up 'til about 1969. Some were in blue & grey.
'Dual Heat' was painted on the ends of coaches fitted and there was also a situation which I think, occurred only on the Eastern Region of coaches having the cryptic initials 'DHEHNO' on the ends. At first very puzzling it was cracked as meaning 'Dual Heated Electric Heating Not Operating'.
The LMS design 69' 1st class 12 wheeled sleepers certainly had ETH fitted. Don't know about the 65' 2nd class sleepers.
 

bassmike

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The old Night Ferry coaches had eth with track return in u k and double-pole connectors for Europe.----or was iot the other way round--can't remember
 

Beebman

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I was watching a YouTube video yesterday. It was of traffic on the King's Lynn - Cambridge route. There's a shot, at Downham Market, of a Class 37 on LHCS departing with a good bellow of steam heat through the coaches. That shot dates from 1984. Yet other shots, at the same time, of Class 47's would suggest that ETH is also being used.
In the winter of 1983/84 I had a temporary job in London which involved me commuting daily between Twyford and Paddington on the fast loco-hauled services, usually a 47/4 or a 50 on Mk1s or early Mk2s. One evening I arrived at Paddington to find a 47/0 on the front and steam coming from underneath from many of the coaches (I'm pretty sure they were all Mk1s). Presumably the pipes hadn't been used for a long time and were leaking badly.
 

randyrippley

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In the winter of 1983/84 I had a temporary job in London which involved me commuting daily between Twyford and Paddington on the fast loco-hauled services, usually a 47/4 or a 50 on Mk1s or early Mk2s. One evening I arrived at Paddington to find a 47/0 on the front and steam coming from underneath from many of the coaches (I'm pretty sure they were all Mk1s). Presumably the pipes hadn't been used for a long time and were leaking badly.
they all leaked awayway, and to some extent what you would have seen was water vapour, not steam, escaping through the steam traps. You don't want wet steam in a pressure pipe
 

Vespa

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I remember travelling in Ireland during the 90s and Irish Rail were using Mk1s type coach stock with steam heating, it didn't seem that warm to me, the Dublin to Cork and Belfast used the latest stock and they still seem to use steam heating even on a premium line with American made locos.

It's been a few years since I've visited, I don't know what happening niw, I would imagine it has been updated.
 

Richard Scott

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I remember travelling in Ireland during the 90s and Irish Rail were using Mk1s type coach stock with steam heating, it didn't seem that warm to me, the Dublin to Cork and Belfast used the latest stock and they still seem to use steam heating even on a premium line with American made locos.

It's been a few years since I've visited, I don't know what happening niw, I would imagine it has been updated.
What little loco haulage remains (Dublin - Cork and Dublin - Belfast) is all air conditioned stock. Rest of services are unexciting units.
When the old stock was withdrawn a few of the steam heat vans made their way back to Britain and are based at heritage railways.
 

Bevan Price

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Broadly speaking Mk1s were built as steam heat only, except for some dual heat ones for the WCML electrification. The Woodhead locos had steam boilers (possibly just the Class 77s intended for passenger services). The non-aircon Mk2s were dual heat, according to Wikpedia this included the Mk2c which were built with retrofit of aircon in mind. The aircon ones from Mk2d onwards were ETH only for obvious reasons.

Those early diesel classes intended for passenger use were fitted with steam heat boilers. I think the first to have ETH from new were Class 33 and 47401-420. Sub-classes 31/4, 37/4 (much later), 45/1 and the rest of 47/4 (to a different ETH design, this subclass continued beyond 47500 and some later became 47/7 or 47/8) and 55. Class 50 were ETH only from new.
Twelve Class 76 had steam heat boilers, (E)26046-57. Not sure if prototype E26000 also had one.
Class 44 were built with steam boilers, but these were removed after a few years.
All of 45 & 46 initially had boilers, as did all the 47s other than the 47/3s.
I think that all the 31s, most of the 40s, plus some 24s, 25s, 26s, 27s, 28s, & 37s , and the Western Diesel Hydraulics had steam heat boilers when built. The locos that became 47401-20 were all dual-heated when built.
 

Taunton

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In a strange sort of decision, the Modernisation Plan envisaged steam heat boilers only on the new diesels, but electric heat only on the electric locos built at the same time. This went with the later builds of Mk 1 stock having dual heating, and being concentrated on the WCML where this was needed for the electric locos.

I believe one of the issues was the diesel engine industry was unable to come up with adequately powerful units, the operators were scrabbling for every horsepower, and didn't want to give any performance away in having the generator tapped for heating. Gerry Fiennes seems to comment on this in his books. Can you imagine a Class 40 on front line express service over Shap having its power further depleted by heating. The WR hydraulics, of course, had no generator to tap anyway.

The Southern Region did (typically :) ) pursue an independent course, and never ordered a diesel with a boiler, and had their stock fitted for electric heating, so once steam locomotives were gone in 1967 they were free of it, except for inter-regional services, which other regions thereafter had to supply the locomotive for. Notably, because of the absence of the big boiler and all the associated parts, they could put an 8-cylinder Sulzer in the Class 33, in the same body and at the same axle weight that only a 6-cylinder version fitted in the Class 25-27s, which seemed to offer benefits all round, but it took the rest another 15-20 years to come round to that approach.

The Scottish Region had a go at auxiliary generators in the early 1970s, on the Edinburgh-Glasgow push-pull, with small Deutz diesels, and these certainly had their own issues with noise, failures, overheating and indeed fires (let alone then failures of the fire suppression systems!) which I have written about elsewhere here from some personal experiences.

At first there were also issues in getting enough electric (dual) heat stock together, and some steam generator vans were actually built, and used behind AC electric locos. They were not sufficiently automated and needed their own fireman. They were only needed in winter, as in those times, instead of being temperature-controlled, heating was to a fixed timetable - on from 1 October, off 1 May. CIE in Ireland, I believe, did this as policy, didn't put boilers in diesels, and for long ran with heating vans, right through to air-con stock.

Steam heat on diesels was a thorough nuisance and prone to many sources of failure. The boilers themselves were not really traction standard, and got a range of issues, especially being unable to light. BR's specification of the cheapest spec for fuel didn't help. They also needed a range of auxiliaries, there needed to be pumps for both oil fuel and water from the underframe tanks, and these introduced their own unreliability. The water tanks were typically cheaply made and would leak, the water in them would freeze in winter, etc. O S Nock got his last big steam run on the WCML, with a Duchess from Crewe to Carlisle, when the Class 40 he was footplating and timing had to come off at Crewe with just this fault where the tank had leaked to empty.

It was all so easy in steam loco days, when you just tapped the boiler and such problems were unknown. It was also apparently so easy over in the USA, where they pursued a similar course with steam supply even longer, with new build boilered locos well into Amtrak days, not only for heating but also for air conditioning (yes, steam driven air-conditioning was something the USA cracked reliably and universally from way back in the 1920s). This was in bitter winter conditions where heat failure would be something far more significant than in Britain. Maybe the easiest thing BR could have done is order some of the boilers the US manufacturers fitted.

The story I liked best was in Modern Railways in the early 1960s, about the morning Yorkshire Pullman, when it was 50-50 whether steam or diesel hauled, with notable difference in how well the train was heated. The breakfast chef would look out just before the start to see what was on the front, and if a diesel would prepare much more porridge.
 
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WL113

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The Tommy prototype did indeed have a boiler. The one's in the twin engined hydraulics and Deltics must have been fun to attend to on the move! That weird looking Fell diesel had two boilers (and 6 engines...) a fire in one of the boilers finished the loco off.

A lot of the Type 1 diesels had through steam pipes so that they could be marshalled inside a train with a steam heat loco. Certainly some Class 17s and 20s had them
 

CW2

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The Tommy prototype did indeed have a boiler. The one's in the twin engined hydraulics and Deltics must have been fun to attend to on the move! That weird looking Fell diesel had two boilers (and 6 engines...) a fire in one of the boilers finished the loco off.

A lot of the Type 1 diesels had through steam pipes so that they could be marshalled inside a train with a steam heat loco. Certainly some Class 17s and 20s had them
Eastfield (re?)-fitted steam pipes to 20045 and 20085 in the late 1980s specifically so that they could be coupled inside the steam-heat class 37 on the 06:00 Queen Street - Mallaig on a Monday morning, after several instances of the train slipping to a standstill and losing loads of time. (This train conveyed the through sleepers from London, and this was before the railway was open on a Sunday, so Monday mornings were always a bit dodgy in poor weather). I don't think they were manufactured with steam pipes - I think it was a bit if local ingenuity that got them fitted.

The Mark 2 a/b/c variant stock was dual heated. Mark 2d onwards were air conditioned, so ETH only. As steam heating was phased out, the remaining coaching stock was deemed to be ETH only, as the steam heating bags would be removed. The brass connectors were valuable for scrap, and had a habit of disappearing spontaneously and re-emerging in a local scrapyard in exchange for beer vouchers, hence the official policy of removing them.

Another issue with the boilers is that they weren't all the same. On the same class of loco you could have boilers built by (say) Stones and Spanner, or Clayton. The Driver's Assistent had to be trained on working each different type of boiler. Sometimes you would end up on a cold train behind a loco that would function perfectly, but the DA wasn't appropriately trained, and the driver wasn't bothered.
 

delt1c

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Eastfield (re?)-fitted steam pipes to 20045 and 20085 in the late 1980s specifically so that they could be coupled inside the steam-heat class 37 on the 06:00 Queen Street - Mallaig on a Monday morning, after several instances of the train slipping to a standstill and losing loads of time. (This train conveyed the through sleepers from London, and this was before the railway was open on a Sunday, so Monday mornings were always a bit dodgy in poor weather). I don't think they were manufactured with steam pipes - I think it was a bit if local ingenuity that got them fitted.

The Mark 2 a/b/c variant stock was dual heated. Mark 2d onwards were air conditioned, so ETH only. As steam heating was phased out, the remaining coaching stock was deemed to be ETH only, as the steam heating bags would be removed. The brass connectors were valuable for scrap, and had a habit of disappearing spontaneously and re-emerging in a local scrapyard in exchange for beer vouchers, hence the official policy of removing them.

Another issue with the boilers is that they weren't all the same. On the same class of loco you could have boilers built by (say) Stones and Spanner, or Clayton. The Driver's Assistent had to be trained on working each different type of boiler. Sometimes you would end up on a cold train behind a loco that would function perfectly, but the DA wasn't appropriately trained, and the driver wasn't bothered.
Many if not all class 20’s were fitted with through steam pipes from new. As was classes 15 &16, also many other locos built with no heating were again steam piped. This so they could be used inside the train and the leading loco could provide heating
 

randyrippley

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The first 20 Brush 4s had ETH generators fitted. Its commonly stated that these locos were constructed using the electrical components originally intended for a batch of 20 class 46 Peaks to be built at Brush (to help clear the backlog in the BR workshops.
Yet the class 46 never had ETH, and it was some years before the main build of class 47 began to receive ETH.
While the development of ETH was obviously sensible, this batch of 20 was somewhat an enigma. The reallocated parts didn't include ETH so why was it fitted? The failure to fit it to subsequent builds indicates it wasn't regarded as needed.
So why fit it? Was it Brush trying to force the market?
 

CW2

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As I understand it, D1500 - 19 were fitted with ETH from new at the request of BRB, as they worked towards elimination of steam heating. However the transition to ETH was a long time in coming, so the equipment went largely unused for some time. In later years D1960/1 (47514/5) were modified to provide ETH using an auxiliary alternator in place of the DC auxiliary generator used on the first 20. When further locos were modified, it was the alternator system which was preferred.
With hindsight an early decision to build some of the 47s with ETH from new might have saved time and cost later.
 

Taunton

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I recall what were to be the further 20 Class 46 were listed in the Ian Allan book that year as D194-199 and then D1500-1513. It must have been a subsequent change to do what was fundamentally a copy of BRCWs Lion, not the Brush Falcon. I believe even these prototypes of 2nd generation diesels did not have ETH.

The issue when the Class 47 were built was there was little free ETH stock, what there was (all dual heat) got taken by the WCML electric service. The Plymouth-Liverpool which we used in the 1960s must have been fully dual heat, likely LMR stock, because we got the electric loco north of Crewe.
 

matchmaker

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I seem to remember that the lack of, and difficulty of fitting ETH to the Westerns hastened their demise, as the Western Region needed air conditioned stock on services to the West Country to compete with the M4 motorway. The 50s which replaced the Westerns of course had ETH from new.
 

DavidB

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Those early diesel classes intended for passenger use were fitted with steam heat boilers. I think the first to have ETH from new were Class 33 and 47401-420. Sub-classes 31/4, 37/4 (much later), 45/1 and the rest of 47/4 (to a different ETH design, this subclass continued beyond 47500 and some later became 47/7 or 47/8) and 55. Class 50 were ETH only from new.
BR flip-flopped on their policy I believe. the 33s were for use with SR stock, i.e. including dragging third-rail units off the wires, and as those had electric heating it had to provide for that - I believe they supply the lower 750v supply as used in SR stock? 73s (excepting the recent rebuilds) are similar (750v) although they can only do ETS on electric (except for the 73/0s which can do either pre-heat or traction but not both at once).

As stated above the prototype batch of 47s could supply ETS (they had steam heat boilers too), but at that point BR went back briefly to favouring steam heating and most of the production batch only had steam heat boilers, or no heat capability at all for freight-only work (last two 47s built had ETS equipment too, possibly?). Many were of course later retro-fitted with ETH equipment -this differed from that on the prototype batch in that the ETS is supplied from an alternator rather than a generator - this is why the prototype batch are sometimes referred to as 'generators'.

Other classes had it retro fitted, again as stated above, in some cases alongside steam heat boilers or in some cases instead of - e.g. the 45/1s (they were renumbered when ETS was fitted) had their boilers removed at the same time so were never dual heat.

The prototype HST had standard ETS. One power car was changed to a 3-phase supply during the testing, and that's what the production sets have (hence HST trailers can't work with standard ETS locos without conversion, and vice versa). Class 50 had ETS from new (no boiler), and that was the last new-build BR loco with any train heating/power supply from new (56/58/60 are all freight-only with no capability). Post-privatisation, Classes 67 and 68 have ETS capability, as does the 88 (possibly only on electric?) and the Brush-rebuilt 73s. Of the ETS-fitted 57s, some were converted from ETS-fitted 47s, but some from locos which had been steam heat or no heat.

EDIT: THe above refers to diesel locos: all AC electrics from Class 80 onwards all had ETS capability and no boiler from new.
 
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edwin_m

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Class 50 had ETS from new (no boiler), and that was the last new-build BR diesel loco with any train heating/power supply from new (56/58/60 are all freight-only with no capability). Post-privatisation, Classes 67 and 68 have ETS capability, and the Brush-rebuilt 73s.
Fixed that for you. Classes 87, 89, 90, 91 and 92 were later.
 

Taunton

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I believe the steam boilers on the Woodhead electrics were electric, the only such combination. 1500v DC steam generators must have had to be custom designed and manufactured. They were fitted to all the named locomotives, which were some of the Bo-Bos (male Greek god names) and the Co-Cos (female Greek goddess names). The ones without names were freight only.
 

contrex

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Met Ashbury stock was steam heated, and (I believe) the earlier Dreadnought stock, and later Dreadnought stock (from 1919) was electrically heated.
 

43096

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BR flip-flopped on their policy I believe. the 33s were for use with SR stock, i.e. including dragging third-rail units off the wires, and as those had electric heating it had to provide for that
Which SR units had ETH jumpers other than REPs and TCs?
 

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