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End of diesels





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#1 rockershovel

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 07:02

I saw this on YouTube. https://m.youtube.co...h?v=CbwfQBAF9vU

It occurred to me that while there is a good deal of information about the end of steam traction on BR, there is a great deal less about the substantial end of diesel traction. Around 85% of Class 08s have disappeared, for example.

There doesn't appear to be any equivalent of the great concentrations of scrapped steam locomotives. The number of diesel locos in preservation appears to be quite small, apart from the Class 08 which every preserved line in the land, appears to own an example of.

What happened to them?



#2 Tim Hall

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 07:13

I saw this on YouTube. https://m.youtube.co...h?v=CbwfQBAF9vU

It occurred to me that while there is a good deal of information about the end of steam traction on BR, there is a great deal less about the substantial end of diesel traction. Around 85% of Class 08s have disappeared, for example.

There doesn't appear to be any equivalent of the great concentrations of scrapped steam locomotives. The number of diesel locos in preservation appears to be quite small, apart from the Class 08 which every preserved line in the land, appears to own an example of.

What happened to them?

 

You could argue that the number of preserved diesels exceeds the amount of work available, the volunteers willing to fund them and work on them, and definitely exceeds the amount of covered accommodation available to them on the vast majority of heritage lines. 


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#3 Chris M

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 07:13

They were mostly cut up. The Savern Valley Railway has a large selection of preserved diesels and a new diesel maintenance depot. They also have a diesel gala.
There are schemes to fill gaps in preserved diesels with new builds. There is a group who aim to build a class 22 - they already have a power unit. There is also a scheme to build an LMS 10000 - they have acquired a class 58 to provide a chassis for this project. I’m sure there are others.

Edited by Chris M, 11 March 2018 - 07:16 .


#4 Pete 75C

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 08:10

As Chris says, they are just withdrawn, perhaps stored for a little while and then cut up, gone forever. I'm not sure we should be too surprised. If something is almost life-expired, beyond economical repair or just no longer has a purpose, it's disposable. Taking the 08s as an example... there were so many, every heritage line in the land would need a fleet of dozens to have spared them from being scrapped. It's just not economically viable. My local line has two and to be fair, that's two more than they really have a use for.

Everyone seems to get all misty-eyed over the photos of endless lines of steamers awaiting their fate at places like Barry. Diesels just don't seem to have that broader appeal. I do admire those that attempt to save a heritage diesel, but I've recently seen some photos on here of "preserved" diesels stored in the open in such a sorry state, I sometimes wonder why they bothered. It's a shame, but I think it's inevitable.


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#5 'CHARD

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 08:16

It occurred to me that while there is a good deal of information about the end of steam traction on BR, there is a great deal less about the substantial end of diesel traction. Around 85% of Class 08s have disappeared, for example.

There doesn't appear to be any equivalent of the great concentrations of scrapped steam locomotives. The number of diesel locos in preservation appears to be quite small, apart from the Class 08 which every preserved line in the land, appears to own an example of.

What happened to them?

 

I think this is a perception thing.  As a diesel era observer, there feels like too many diesels in preservation for the space, and restoration skills and budget available.  

 

Tongue-in-cheek, some of us reckon there are over 50 Class 50s preserved!

 

If you're less knowledgable about diesels, the BR Database and  WNXX websites, plus numerous Class-specific sites provide chapter and verse detail about each locomotive's fate.

 

On the subject of vast concentrations of dead diesels, Wigan CRDC was the vast EWS diesel graveyard, Toton presently holds all the dead Class 60s, and through the decades the relevant regional sites, be they main works or marshalling yards, have held massive numbers of locos on their way to breaking.  Millerhill and Kingmoor Class 24s, Millerhill and Springburn Class 17s, Swindon and Bristol diesel hydraulics, Healey Mills Class 37s and 56s....

 

In real terms I surmise that there are potentially more diesels than steam - statistically - in preservation than were once on the national network, but I haven't done the maths.

 

I recommend http://www.brdatabase.info/ or WNXX if you're really interested, as all the data is there.

 

You could argue that the number of preserved diesels exceeds the amount of work available, the volunteers willing to fund them and work on them, and definitely exceeds the amount of covered accommodation available to them on the vast majority of heritage lines. 

 

In many cases 'preserved' locos have gone back onto the main line in revenue service, the better condition ones at least - Class 37s especially, and currently 50007 and 50049 are being used by CrossCountry as route learners for diversionary routes.

 

They were mostly cut up. The Savern Valley Railway has a large selection of preserved diesels and a new diesel maintenance depot. They also have a diesel gala.
There are schemes to fill gaps in preserved diesels with new builds. There is a group who aim to build a class 22 - they already have a power unit. There is also a scheme to build an LMS 10000 - they have acquired a class 58 to provide a chassis for this project. I’m sure there are others.

 

As Chris says, most have been turned into razor blades, just like their steam counterparts.  The SVR is only one example of a thriving diesel fan base, most preserved lines run diesels on general operating weekends, and have an annual diesel gala.  The East Lancs is predominantly a diesel railway.


Edited by 'CHARD, 11 March 2018 - 08:17 .

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#6 black and decker boy

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 09:18

You obviously missed the mass withdrawals of the 1970s & 80s (24s & 25s) and the long lines of scrappers at BR loco works and the tupe2 mountain at Vic Berry. Let’s not forget the total withdrawal of the Hydraulics too.

Through the 90s the diesel fleets was gradually reduced as sprinters took over. 45s (stored at March) first then 31s and 47s & 50s. When the class 60s arrived, the 20s were hit hard (lots stored at Stanton Gate and Falkland Yard) and then towards & just after privatisation the remaining ex-BR fleets were massacred as the 66 entered service. Springs Branch Wigan became the centre component recovery by EWS but you had other mass loco dumps such as Toton and Healey Mills.

There has been a steady stream of locos withdrawn and scrapped but with replacement by modern classes.
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#7 'CHARD

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 14:32

What there hasn't been, of course, is the equivalent of an August 4th or August 11th 1968 final curtain.


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#8 rockershovel

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 16:19

What there hasn't been, of course, is the equivalent of an August 4th or August 11th 1968 final curtain.


True, but I think it’s really because diesels don’t have the emotional resonance of steam. Ultimately, they mostly sound like an HGV, and THERE’s a category of transport with very few friends indeed. My main exposure to diesels was commuting in dirty, run-down LHCS with unreliable heating, unreliable lighting and a fair chance of a serious breakdown before the week was out (I particularly remember a week in which I didn’t complete a single journey on time).

Diesels came in at a time when private car ownership was rising rapidly, as was cheap air travel. They never acquired that rosy, sunlit backlighting of buckets and spades, crabbing on the rocks and chips on the sea wall that steam basks in. Who, really, is nostalgic for the inflation, power cuts, strikes and unrest of the later 60s and 70s?

#9 Flood

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 16:22

True, but I think it’s really because diesels don’t have the emotional resonance of steam. Ultimately, they mostly sound like an HGV...

Not in my opinion. A Class 50 sounds nothing like an HGV.


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#10 The Johnster

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 16:39

Nor will there be for the forseeable future; even on a future completely electrified railway there will be a role for diesel traction for power outages and so on.

 

We are concentrating on locos here, and most have examples in preservation to at least show you what they looked like; only the D84xx, D61xx, and D63xx are not represented off the top of my head along with some of the smaller shunters.

 

Scrapping a diesel is a somewhat different process to scrapping a steam loco, as a diesel has more removable and saleable/re-useable parts; engines, generators, pumps, air and fuel filters and all sorts may have a new life in another use nothing to do with railways, but a Royal Scot boiler is of no use to anyone unless they own a Royal Scot.  Withdrawn diesels tend to be cannibalised for bits that work to keep running examples going, and rapidly degenerate into hulks, whereas it is possible to resurrect a Barry wreck that has been standing in the sea air for a quarter of a century.  One might argue that steam locos are more solidly built and less vulnerable to corrosion and rust; a diesel loco that has not worked for a few years is only fit for razor blades.  

 

The above applies in greater force to dmus, which also have the asbestos issue in some cases.  Entire classes have been wiped out, or are not represented as full sets.  I suspect many of the 1st generation trains would not pass muster for modern safety standards anyway.


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#11 Dunsignalling

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 17:26

Nor will there be for the forseeable future; even on a future completely electrified railway there will be a role for diesel traction for power outages and so on.

 

We are concentrating on locos here, and most have examples in preservation to at least show you what they looked like; only the D84xx, D61xx, and D63xx are not represented off the top of my head along with some of the smaller shunters.

 

 

 

Not to mention the LMS and Southern pioneers, the D600 Warships and the D59xx Baby Deltics, though I understand there is a replica of the latter type under construction.

 

John



#12 Chris M

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 17:46

What there hasn't been, of course, is the equivalent of an August 4th or August 11th 1968 final curtain.


Not quite the same but there has been for certain classes on their final day. I well remember the Western finale double headed run some forty years ago. I saw it but didn’t get to ride on it. Westerns had celebrity status for most of the seventies as they were the end of the hydraulic era.

Edited by Chris M, 11 March 2018 - 17:48 .

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#13 Chris M

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 17:55

In order to mark the fortieth anniversary of the withdrawal of the Westerns last year I filmed my own tribute. My Western fleet has since been extended.

Edited by Chris M, 11 March 2018 - 17:57 .

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#14 Reorte

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 17:55

Not quite the same but there has been for certain classes on their final day. I well remember the Western finale double headed run some forty years ago. I saw it but didn’t get to ride on it. Westerns had celebrity status for most of the seventies as they were the end of the hydraulic era.

Some seem to be more noticable than others. The Westerns sound like they were (before my time!) and I can certainly imagine the last run of an HST in public service drawing the crowds. Hell, even the last Pacer might. Others just slip away, most of them in fact.



#15 Chris M

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 17:59

I think there will be great celebrations when the pacers go.
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#16 APOLLO

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 18:18

I remember well the diesels going - well most of them. Seeking out Warships and Westerners around Birmingham / Worcester in the late 60's early 70's, then the mighty Deltics early 80's. We lost all our (WCML) D400'ers (50's) to the Western region very quickly around 1973 when the leckys started up to Glasgow. Rats and Big D's died quickly also (25's & 40's) early 80's, as did the Peaks (45 & 46).

 

Brush 4's (47's) were everywhere, along with 56's, EE type 1's & 3's (20's & 37's) Brush 2's (31's) and Gronks (08's). They died ever so slowly, hardly noticeable and yes some are still with us on the main line..

 

It was sad to see the lines of decrepit locos at the ERS recovery centre at Wigan Springs Branch a few years ago. They have all gone now.

 

More frightening / worrying was the decimation of the WCML Electric loco fleet. Lots of fine locos stored / scrapped / sent abroad. Just why did we not keep a strategic reserve of these fine machines ?

 

Brit15


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#17 Hroth

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 18:24

I think there will be great celebrations when the pacers go.

Perhaps someone could organise a Clarkson-era Top Gear style send-off for the Last Pacer.

 

Something like rolling it at "full" speed over the edge of a cliff?

With lots of explosions.....


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#18 black and decker boy

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 18:35

Perhaps someone could organise a Clarkson-era Top Gear style send-off for the Last Pacer.

Something like rolling it at "full" speed over the edge of a cliff?
With lots of explosions.....

To get Clarkson on side, you’d need to drop a pacer into a caravan. Still works for me though.
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#19 APOLLO

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 19:01

Perhaps someone could organise a Clarkson-era Top Gear style send-off for the Last Pacer.

 

Something like rolling it at "full" speed over the edge of a cliff?

With lots of explosions.....

 

And Clarkson inside it !!!!!

 

Brit15


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#20 Lord Flashheart

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 19:03

Its not just diesel locomotives, look what's happened to all those HAA hoppers.

Rob
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#21 2mmMark

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 19:11

Its not just diesel locomotives, look what's happened to all those HAA hoppers.

Rob

 

They're going to be the rolling stock for the final diesel fifteen guinea special.


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#22 slilley

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 19:26

I remember well the diesels going - well most of them. Seeking out Warships and Westerners around Birmingham / Worcester in the late 60's early 70's, then the mighty Deltics early 80's. We lost all our (WCML) D400'ers (50's) to the Western region very quickly around 1973 when the leckys started up to Glasgow. Rats and Big D's died quickly also (25's & 40's) early 80's, as did the Peaks (45 & 46).

 

Brush 4's (47's) were everywhere, along with 56's, EE type 1's & 3's (20's & 37's) Brush 2's (31's) and Gronks (08's). They died ever so slowly, hardly noticeable and yes some are still with us on the main line..

 

It was sad to see the lines of decrepit locos at the ERS recovery centre at Wigan Springs Branch a few years ago. They have all gone now.

 

More frightening / worrying was the decimation of the WCML Electric loco fleet. Lots of fine locos stored / scrapped / sent abroad. Just why did we not keep a strategic reserve of these fine machines ?

 

Brit15

 

An interesting thought about a strategic reserve, but where would you keep them? If left outside for any length of time they would deteriorate quickly and then be almost unuseable. Indoor storage would be the best solutrion but space is always a premium.

 

Simon


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#23 Mike Storey

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 19:59

Even more so for EMU's.considering just what a huge proportion of the population used them for many decades in their daily lives. Even the NRM has not bothered to preserve anything but a very tiny sample. I understand the reasons for that, but in many aspects of museum life, many more examples of the most mundane and unromantic objects from past daily life have been preserved, especially road vehicles.

 

It is of note that, at The Museum of Liverpool, going back a couple of years, the "favourite" exhibit (according to blurb posted at the Help/Welcome Desk) was the single carriage retained from the Overhead Railway.


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#24 rockershovel

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 20:38

Even more so for EMU's.considering just what a huge proportion of the population used them for many decades in their daily lives. Even the NRM has not bothered to preserve anything but a very tiny sample. I understand the reasons for that, but in many aspects of museum life, many more examples of the most mundane and unromantic objects from past daily life have been preserved, especially road vehicles.
 
It is of note that, at The Museum of Liverpool, going back a couple of years, the "favourite" exhibit (according to blurb posted at the Help/Welcome Desk) was the single carriage retained from the Overhead Railway.


Has to be said, though; commuters, generally speaking, heartily dislike DMUs and EMUs of all sorts for their crowded, inadequate conditions, and wouldn’t contribute a bent ha’penny to preserve one.
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#25 Mike Storey

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 20:53

Has to be said, though; commuters, generally speaking, heartily dislike DMUs and EMUs of all sorts for their crowded, inadequate conditions, and wouldn’t contribute a bent ha’penny to preserve one.

 

Too true. Whilst failing to acknowledge the role they took in ensuring they could afford a half-decent, mock Tudor, 2.5 bedroom citadel in Penge, Bletchley or Guildford, and a mint Ford Escort, to allow same.

 

Ungrateful barstewards.


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