Why were locos territorial under BR compared to now?

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richieb1971

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When I were a kid, all I saw were 45's, 47's, 56's, 25's and 31's at Bedford. Being a kid I never saw most of the other classes at all until the age of about 14 when I could venture out on my own. Class 20's I noticed started to be seen as far south as Leicester. I didn't see many 40's or 37's until I got to Crewe although I did see some 37's when visiting Stratford once.

33's and 73's were southern locos. 50's were Western based..

You get my meaning. Under this privatisation its not uncommon to see locos well out of their original territory and I just wondered why this territorial business changed in the hands of privatisation.
 
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When I were a kid, all I saw were 45's, 47's, 56's, 25's and 31's at Bedford. Being a kid I never saw most of the other classes at all until the age of about 14 when I could venture out on my own. Class 20's I noticed started to be seen as far south as Leicester. I didn't see many 40's or 37's until I got to Crewe although I did see some 37's when visiting Stratford once.

33's and 73's were southern locos. 50's were Western based..

You get my meaning. Under this privatisation its not uncommon to see locos well out of their original territory and I just wondered why this territorial business changed in the hands of privatisation.

becasue until sectorisation BR ran along the lines of the big 4 as the BR regions were fundamentally coterminus with the operating areas ofthe big 4
 

yorksrob

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And there are maintenance advantages to keeping a loco type in one place, where the driver and maintenance expertise for that type is (as well as the spares).
 

LNW-GW Joint

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The BR regions had considerable autonomy in the early days, and the Southern and Western followed their own whims in buying new locos (class 33, Westerns etc).
The LMR/ER/NER/ScR were more unified and went for common designs.
The upshot was that some classes were banned away from their home region.
It went further, with the Western installing its own AWS system on the Midland between Birmingham and Bristol, rather than the BR standard system.
Like the broad gauge, it all had to come out in the end.

The class 50s that you think of as "Western" actually began life as an LMR project to accelerate Euston-Glasgow trains on the WCML (they are advanced class 40s underneath).
After Crewe-Glasgow was electrified, they were sent to the WR to replace the diesel-hydraulics that were withdrawn en masse at about the same time.
That episode saw the end of WR autonomy in traction matters.

It still happens today, on a smaller scale.
That's why Meridians are incompatible with Voyagers, for instance.
Roger Ford calls it Gresley-Stanier syndrome - the drive to be different (with someone else's money).
 

rf_ioliver

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When I were a kid, all I saw were 45's, 47's, 56's, 25's and 31's at Bedford. Being a kid I never saw most of the other classes at all until the age of about 14 when I could venture out on my own. Class 20's I noticed started to be seen as far south as Leicester. I didn't see many 40's or 37's until I got to Crewe although I did see some 37's when visiting Stratford once.

Growing up in the 70s in South Wales I don't think I saw anything other than 37s on coal trains and 1st gen DMUs on the Valley Lines. I remember an NSE liveried 101 (or similar) turning up at Trefforest once - that was big news!!

OK, Cardiff had HSTs and 47s - very exotic....

t.

Ian
 

Phil.

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When I were a kid, all I saw were 45's, 47's, 56's, 25's and 31's at Bedford. Being a kid I never saw most of the other classes at all until the age of about 14 when I could venture out on my own. Class 20's I noticed started to be seen as far south as Leicester. I didn't see many 40's or 37's until I got to Crewe although I did see some 37's when visiting Stratford once.

33's and 73's were southern locos. 50's were Western based..

You get my meaning. Under this privatisation its not uncommon to see locos well out of their original territory and I just wondered why this territorial business changed in the hands of privatisation.

Ah, the grocer's apostrophe lives.
LNW-GW Joint's answer explains it perfectly.
 

Lankyline

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Back in the day, we got bored of seeing 50's at Preston, even when they double headed, all the regular traction was dominated by whistler's, rats & duffs so you can imagine the excitement when the holiday / wakes week specials came through, Peaks, double head 20's, 31's and 37's, and named duff's which were not that common around Preston at the time.
To be honest, whilst we took diesel traction for granted back then, it's a welcome sight now, given the blandness of todays modern traction
 

LowLevel

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Also crewing arrangements - modern train crews go all over the place dependent on the company they work for.

Under BR depots had 'their' work and that was that - sometimes like Saltley owing to things like long distance express passenger and freight work that was a bloody long way but more often than not it was much more local than it is today. Consequently traction knowledge also became more concentrated as classes of locos were less spread out.
 

RichmondCommu

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Class 50's ran into Birmingham New Street in the 1980's on a daily basis.

Class 40's hauled trains all the way from Manchester to Norwich on summer Saturdays in the early 1980's.
 

RichmondCommu

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33's and 73's were southern locos.

Hmmm. In the 1980's class 33's operated out of Bristol Bath Road and could be seen passing through Dawlish and also operated the Cardiff - Portsmouth trains. They could also be seen at Crewe on a daily basis which I'm sure you'll agree was some distance from the Southern Region!
 

Ash Bridge

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Hmmm. In the 1980's class 33's operated out of Bristol Bath Road and could be seen passing through Dawlish and also operated the Cardiff - Portsmouth trains. They could also be seen at Crewe on a daily basis which I'm sure you'll agree was some distance from the Southern Region!

Agreed, you could see them regularly at Stockport during this period on Cardiff-Manchester Picc services.
 

Cowley

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I guess other issues were crews in different areas having limited knowledge of different traction and also the fuel range of different types?
 

30907

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The BR regions had considerable autonomy in the early days, and the Southern and Western followed their own whims in buying new locos (class 33, Westerns etc).
The LMR/ER/NER/ScR were more unified and went for common designs.

Scotland had its own distinct fleet of Type 1 and 2 locos. Basically, so many locos were ordered in such a short period that spreading them over the whole country didn't make sense,
as yorksrob pointed out.

And the Southern had taken a decision to scrap steam-heated stock, so the Type 3 Bo-Bo
made perfect sense.

The changes began well before Sectorisation, as the plethora of smaller lower-powered classes was weeded out. 25s (apostrophe omitted as requested) went to Devon several years before the 33s took over local trains, and IIRC 46s appeared on the ECML.
 

talltim

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It been mentioned in the thread earlier, but just as much stock is as territorial as it was in BR times, its just that MUs have replaced the loco hauled trains (and thus the locos)
Take the MML for example. The Peaks used the be pretty much confined to the line, now its the Meridians.
Yes, you see 66s everywhere, but (at a guess) they make nearly half of all the diesel locos there are still running. Its not so much that they roam, as that they are everywhere.
 
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RichmondCommu

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Take the MML for example. The Peaks used the be pretty much confined to the line, now its the Meridians.

Peaks were certainly not just confined to the MML. Indeed they could be found as far north as Newcastle and as far south as Plymouth. They also worked trans-Pennine services via Leeds and could also be found at random places such as Severn Tunnel Junction.
 

Harbornite

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Class 50's ran into Birmingham New Street in the 1980's on a daily basis.

They replaced Westerns on the Birmingham New Street to London Paddington services. Was it worth having services to Paddington and New Street I wonder?

50s also appeared with peaks and 47s on NE- SW crosscountry services, not to mention the Paddington to West country services and Waterloo to West of England services in NSE days.
 

RichmondCommu

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50s also appeared with peaks and 47s on NE- SW crosscountry services,

Not very often if my memory serves me right, given that there were only 50 of them in the first place! I certainly can't remember them working NE - SW as far north as Birmingham so if they worked any of those services they were replaced at Bristol.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Any long-distance freight services under BR would likely change locos at the same time as they changed crews - So hypothetically a service from say Kent to Strathclyde might have a crew change at Reading, with the WR crew not signing the 73s that brought it that far. So they swap to a 47 and head North. They then change over in the Birmingham area and there's another loco and crew change, this time a 37 takes over as far as Preston where another crew take over with a 40 to go the rest of the way. (Please note this is hypothetical, so no "Brum crews didn't sign 37s!" or suchlike, please;))

These days there are several FOCs but a service will only run with one of them, so crew changes will take place when and where they need to. There's also fewer opportunities to faff about changing locos so it makes more sense to stick a 66 on at Felixstowe and keep it on until it gets to Mossend. Additionally there's less varieties of locos so less chance of a crew coming to take over only to find they don't sign the loco.
 
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Harbornite

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Any long-distance freight services under BR would likely change locos at the same time as they changed crews - So hypothetically a service from say Kent to Strathclyde might have a crew change at Reading, with the WR crew not signing the 73s that brought it that far. So they swap to a 47 and head North. They then change over in the Birmingham area and there's another loco and crew change, this time a 37 takes over as far as Preston where another crew take over with a 40 to go the rest of the way. (Please note this is hypothetical, so no "Brum crews didn't sign 37s!" or suchlike, please;))


There were exceptions. The St Blazey class 37s used on Burngullow- irvine trains (the longest distance freight working on BR) were used on the entirety of that journey... I think.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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There was also a policy, until sectorisation, that trains on the WCML were electrically worked where possible.
Many trains changed locos at places like Birmingham, Preston and Crewe, even if there was only a short diesel leg (eg Manchester-South Wales/Scotland changing locos after only 30-odd miles).

Sectorisation brought through diesel working, including eg Brighton-Glasgow via Birmingham and Manchester over 2 long electrified sections.
Many electric locos have been idle since the freight TOCs started doing that, and we still have Voyagers working wholly under the wires.

On the ECML, the class 91s were intended to work electric freight at night, but there have been very few such workings.
Class 92 is another plan that didn't work, operating through freight on 3rd rail and AC from France to Scotland.
 
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70014IronDuke

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The BR regions had considerable autonomy in the early days, ....
The class 50s that you think of as "Western" actually began life as an LMR project to accelerate Euston-Glasgow trains on the WCML (they are advanced class 40s underneath).
After Crewe-Glasgow was electrified, they were sent to the WR to replace the diesel-hydraulics that were withdrawn en masse at about the same time.
That episode saw the end of WR autonomy in traction matters.
....

The 50s began to be sent to the WR in about 73 or 74. The WR had already been forced to accept scores of Cl 47s from 1963 (?) and Cl 37s from, er not exactly sure - probably c 1964.

The 'ubiquitous factor' was a historical process. When the 30/31s first came out, they were all on the ER. You never got them on the LMR (except at 'border' stations like Leicester or Northampton) or on the Western.

When BR decided to keep such classes in service, and many of their original turns (or lines) disappeared, so they began their regional travels.

In steam days, thousands of locos rarely got beyond 100 miles from their home depots. On the GN, for example, Gateshead (and, especially, Scottish-based) pacifics were rare at the southern end of the line, because most trains changed locos at Grantham and Newcastle. (The Elizabethan loco being the exception to this rule in the case of Haymarket A4s.)

And in many cases, shunting locos rarely strayed more than 5 miles from their local MPDs, except for overhaul. Same for many specialist classes - eg the S&D 7Fs.

Of course, 'standard' designs, like Black 5s and 8Fs, worked over areas from Scotland to Swansea - just the individual locos did not stray. So, had the OP gone spotting at Bedford in 1960, he would have seen a Jubilee like "Hong Kong" three times a week (it was a Kentish Town engine, I think) - but never caught a sight of Mars (a Bank Hall loco) or the Corkerhill or Polmadie locos (not sure exactly, but many of the 57xx series were Scottish based IIRC) in a month of Sundays.
 
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Harbornite

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The 50s began to be sent to the WR in about 73 or 74. The WR had already been forced to accept scores of Cl 47s from 1963 (?) and Cl 37s from, er not exactly sure - probably c 1964.

It was 1974 when WCML electrification to Glasgow was completed and the "Royal Scot" electric locomotives (87s) were introduced. I think that in 1964, 47s started appearing at Paddington on through trains from Snow Hill, Birkenhead etc because the London Midland region took over Birmingham's ex GWR lines in 1963 and the westerns were moved to the western region's other lines. I don't think the Birkenhead/ Wolverhampton/ Snow Hill services to Paddington changed locos en route? Either way, they had ceased by 1967.
 

edwin_m

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Not very often if my memory serves me right, given that there were only 50 of them in the first place! I certainly can't remember them working NE - SW as far north as Birmingham so if they worked any of those services they were replaced at Bristol.

I can remember one being swapped out (or maybe in) at Gloucester Central circa 1976, where of course any calling services on that route has to reverse which was quicker if the loco was swapped as well.
 

6Gman

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The 'ubiquitous factor' was a historical process. When the 30/31s first came out, they were all on the ER. You never got them on the LMR (except at 'border' stations like Leicester or Northampton) or on the Western.

There were a few longer-distance incursions (always much valued by 'spotters) e.g. a daily working for an Immingham 31 into Crewe. Only problem was it arrived at about 2330 and returned east at about 0130!
 
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