What do you like most about diesel locos?

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klambert

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Inspired by a previous thread, that brought back memories flooding back of screaming HSTs at Reading and also the amount of unit fan threads you get on this forum, I thought I would re-address the balance.

For me what I like about diesel locos, particularly the 1st gen ones is the noise of them.

That monstrous roar coming from inside that rusting metal box that reverberates right through into the core of your soul, making the hairs prick up on the back of your neck. It stirs something primeval inside you, you forget that its just train for a second, it becomes a wild beast and your standing right next to it. The throbbing engine and the roar of the exhaust, combined produces a sound that's satisfying yet faintly scary.

Secondy I love the shape of 1st gen diesel locos, something like a deltic, class 40 or 31 looks faintly sinister, if you have seen the film ,robbery you will know what I mean. The shape is boxy and functional so much so it becomes good looking, too much modern stuff looks to streamlined and fancy, it ends up looking ugly.

Both diesel and electric units do not possess that soul stirring quality that 1st gen diesels seem to have.
In fact a certain EMU fan I used to know, never took an interest in diesels, until I took him to two diesel gala's, that was enough to convince him to turn to the blue side.

The main point of this thread before people ask, is for people to express what they like about diesel locos as well as a way for me to get all sentimental about a bit of machinery.
 
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4SRKT

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I like noise. I like big-ass vicious noise that makes my head spin. I wanna feel it whipping through me like a f***ing jolt. We're so dilapidated and crushed by our pathetic existence we need it like a fix.

With thanks to Steve Albini.
 

asylumxl

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I like diesel locomotives because they can be scrapped and recycled to make Heinz beans cans. :P

Some had hot plates right, I bet they were useful for cooking up some beans, perhaps some tangerines.
 

yorksrob

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Since I'm not really a loco person, it's down to which ones look most impressive and/or I have some sort of a link with.

Deltics - becaise they look superb.
33's - Because they were the local loco on my home region.
47's - Because of many happy days travelling behind them on Cross Country.
 

Hydro

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Noise. Earth splitting noise. A number of weeks ago, I had a standing start from a signal check at Redhill behind a 37. It was fairly early and the platforms were packed with people. Power handle opened on a wet rail, the thing just gave a massive rev, then shut down as it hit a bit of slip - every head whipped round on the platform as the engine belched out this huge growl, and then shut down with an incredible dying scream as the turbo spooled down. The power died to idle only briefly before it found its feet again and just exploded into life. The noise was insane. I recall the engine was 059 and it was particularly brutal sounding that day.
 

DarloRich

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Noise. Earth splitting noise. A number of weeks ago, I had a standing start from a signal check at Redhill behind a 37. It was fairly early and the platforms were packed with people. Power handle opened on a wet rail, the thing just gave a massive rev, then shut down as it hit a bit of slip - every head whipped round on the platform as the engine belched out this huge growl, and then shut down with an incredible dying scream as the turbo spooled down. The power died to idle only briefly before it found its feet again and just exploded into life. The noise was insane. I recall the engine was 059 and it was particularly brutal sounding that day.
THAT and when you then blow them up doing the railway equivalent of burn outs :roll::roll: you can fix them with:

a) Hammer
b) Phillips screw driver
c) spanner (any size)
d) bigger hammer
e) String

:lol::lol::lol::lol:
 

Sapphire Blue

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They don't need wires, and all the stuff which keeps the wires in place...?

(but I don't like the smell.)
As soon as I read "smell", I was back in Manchester Victoria in 1978-81. Late evenings, five days a week, waiting for the train back home to HUD.
Always loco hauled. Mixture of classes. Mish-mash of coaching stock.

So evocative.

I love that smell
 

OuterDistant

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I know what you mean about the 40s - the length plus that 8 wheel bogie just says "this is one heavy b*****d of a locomotive". Couple that with a hideous front end that could have been designed by Lucifer himself.
 

ash39

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I like the smell. I know it can't be good for the lungs, but I love it and it reminds me of going to Leeds station with my mum as a young un. Most of the time it was just with an hour long platform ticket to watch trains, rather than go anywhere. Going on a train was a treat.

Also the noise, HSTs were king. Saddens me now to see them in rubbish liveries and ugly front lights and no drama or noise to speak of. I don't even look twice at them now, prefer 91's. I don't know if many will agree, but I think the best livery for a HST, apart from maybe swallow, was Virgin red.
 

moonrakerz

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If you have ever been behind a Class 50 on a late running Salisbury - Exeter service with a skillful driver trying to make up time ....... you wouldn't need to ask that question :lol:
 

ash39

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What difference does a skillful driver have to do with making up time?

I'm not questioning it, I just don't know a lot about piloting a train. Surely, you just go as fast as the track limit allows and leather it to get up to that speed when there's enough grip to do so, bit like a powerful car?
 

Yew

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Unfortunately the only first gen loco I've seen is a pair of 20's. However they where very loud! I have noticed that EMT's meridians seem to sound louder than their HST's though... Or maybe its just because the sound lasts longer
 

notadriver

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Pretty much. Knowing your braking points and braking capability of your train is where you can gain a bit of time.
Of course in the days of 50s on the Waterloo - Exeter there was no such thing as OTDR ;)
Spot on brother! I've been told 3 mph is okay but I've never put that to the test. I'm usually under the speed limit not on or just over it.
 

HSTEd

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I love the noise that medium and low revving diesels make..... It puts the fear of god in puny high speed diesels.

"DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH"
 

Rugd1022

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I love the noise that medium and low revving diesels make..... It puts the fear of god in puny high speed diesels.

"DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH"
Ooh I don't know.... you can't beat a pair of high revving Maybachs 'talking to each other' as they're wound up from a standing start with a heavy train in tow!! Surely the best combination of roar, grunt and whine on the railway... ever!! :D

Can't find me coat so I'll just stand in the doorway and take the flak.... ;)
 

LE Greys

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Funny how enthusiasts love what everyone else hates, lots of noise and smoke! Not that I'd complain, I used to love the East Coast starts that everyone seemed to do with HSTs, trying to hit Notch 3 before they were moving. Now we have a bass rumble instead of a soprano scream it's not as good. I've never heard a Deltic starting, but want to.

Similar things apply to aircraft. For noise, it's a competition between a Spitfire, a Lightning, a Lancaster and Concorde! :D
 

KYellowhammer

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I like the beastly sound of the 37s. Fairly keen on the remaining hydraulics and the racket (and smoke, in the case of the 52s) they generate. But living to the north west of London and often being about at the stations in the area in the evenings [at times] due to commuting, I do get to see 67s [Marylebone] and occasionally 57s [Paddington] if I am running late. Plus there are the 66s in the wider area.

Never been overly struck on the MTU sound, but then I look at what I am comparing it with :) But I do feel that I live in a particularly handy part of the country for fans of noise.
 
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As a child of the 70's I grew up with loco hauled and 1st generation DMU's. Around our way it was Class 24, 25, 40 and 47 in the main, even on stopping services. Our family house backed on to the Helsby to Mouldsworth line so we saw plenty of freight haulage too. I don' mind the modern MU's, I travel most days on Class 175's and they are quite comfortable, but not the same as a Class 25 hauled stopper from Helsby to Man Vic.
 

LE Greys

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Oh yes, they ought to look good as well. Deltics aren't just big and powerful, they look like they're doing 100 mph when standing still. Westerns look a bit odd, but once you get used to it, they're nice enough. 66s on the other hand are atrocious! It's probably the old British thing of tucking all the works out of sight, leaving clean lines and smoothed-off corners, then this American (actually Canadian, but American-designed) thing comes along with everything on show. Even then, not really, it just looks like it's on show. I'm not an admirer of 58s either, same reason.
 

sprinterguy

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I know what you mean about the 40s - the length plus that 8 wheel bogie just says "this is one heavy b*****d of a locomotive". Couple that with a hideous front end that could have been designed by Lucifer himself.
I think that the 40s with central headcode boxes actually look quite tidy. Although the split box machines and those originally fitted with indicator discs do look like absolute brutes <D The class as a whole certainly don't hide their massive size and weight!
 
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