Were the Class 42s named after specific warships?

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by Bornin1980s, 11 Oct 2018.

  1. Bornin1980s

    Bornin1980s Member

    4 Apr 2017
    Most of the 'warship' names carried by the Class 42s been carried by several warships, but was each loco named after a single, specific warship? If so, how do you tell which one? And were any named after ships that fought in WW1?
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  3. big all

    big all Member

    23 Sep 2018
    i would assume the present warship holding the title or iff not at that time the last one to hold the name
    except sir brian off course
  4. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

    1 Aug 2013
    There doesn't seem to have been an attempt to tie the ship itself with the loco, I'm not aware of any particular naming ceremonies with the ship's company present. You would expect ship badges on the loco bodyside if this happened.

    There was a long tradition at Laira (and jobs on the railway in Plymouth generally) of sailors in mid life coming to the end of their time in the Royal Navy, often by then actually living in Plymouth with their family, and getting rail jobs. Those from the engine room were particularly attractive to diesel loco maintenance work, espacially at the start of dieselisation coming from diesels on ships (even the biggest ones with steam turbine propulsion would have large diesel generators for auxiliaries) when the railway experience was not there. They also commonly later went on to other management jobs across the Western Region. I bet it was an ex-Navy man who came up with the idea and also the name list.

    The first three Swindon Warships were named after the BR Chairman of the time, and two battleships, but thereafter the names were chosen quite widely, and allocated alphabetically up to D865. When a final five additional locos were ordered it was a harder, but not impossible, task to find names starting with Z that followed on from Zealous. I bet someone pored over old Navy lists to do so.

    D812 Royal Navy Reserve was originally to be named Despatch, but was just being completed when one was required for an alternative name. That one did get a naming ceremony.
  5. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

    17 Mar 2014
    Stockport Cheshire
    I think there may also have been another exception regarding twinning with the RN vessel of the same name, as D823 Hermes carried a diamond shaped badge on the cabside just below the driving side window.
  6. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

    21 Feb 2016

    I believe they were all named after ships which had achieved a degree of renown during WWII.
    Ironic given the origins of the design and engineering
  7. Helvellyn

    Helvellyn Established Member

    28 Aug 2009
    To veer slightly off topic when the Warship theme was re-used with the Class 50s I believe the majority were named after capital ships of the Grand Fleet from WWI except for the last couple where appropriate names had run out. Gaps were due to names being used elsewhere (e.g. Iron Duke was used on 87017) or avoiding ships named after members of the Royal Family. I have a book somewhere with a breakdown but would have to hunt it down.

    Of the odd names 50049 Defiance was a shore establishment within HMNB Devonport whilst 50050 Fearless was a landing ship, linking with the Royal Marines being based in the West Country.

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