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Scheduled Double Headed Diesels

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Hi Mike

 

Were the ones used in the trials fitted with Deltic/class 50 traction motors and gears (or was it complete bogies) for the faster timings?

 

Edit, And wasn't the trial to see if faster trains could be managed with the new signalling installed ready for the DHST?

 

I know something was said at the time about bogie changes but that was in 'Modern Railways' I think and I don't know any other information about what actually happened.  But talking in later years to Drivers who worked them there don't seem to have been any problems with running at 100mph.

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Hi Mike

 

Were the ones used in the trials fitted with Deltic/class 50 traction motors and gears (or was it complete bogies) for the faster timings?

 

Edit, And wasn't the trial to see if faster trains could be managed with the new signalling installed ready for the DHST?

I thought the 2x 37 trials took place quite some time in the late 1960s, before the HST was even thought of. There were some runs with a borrowed Deltic in the mid-1970s which were related to the imminent arrival of the HST.

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There was the use of 37's paired up on the Cambrian during the summer in the 80's, even pairs of Tinsley's freight machines turned up.

Found this on the class 37 photo thread.

 

attachicon.gifa.jpg

It would be nice if you credited the original poster ?

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From various issues of 'Syphon' the Class 37 Loco Group magazine.

 

On 22 May 1965, a high speed test was riun with D6881 and D6882 from Cardiff powered the down 0845 Bristolian, returning to London on the 11.35 from Weston Super Mare.

 

On 3 June 1965 the same pair broke every WR speed record during a test from Paddington to Plymouth, out via Westbury and back via Bristol.

 

This pair also worked a leg of the Last Steam Hauled Train from Paddington on 27 November 1965, and were supposed to provide a fast return from Swindon to Paddington, but this didn't transpire apparently.

 

In 1966 the go-ahead for the high-speed services was given, and from 18 April 1966 the following services were covered by locos from D6875-6892 group, which had been specially re-geared for the work.

 

Diagram 1 - with XP64 stock

08.20 Swansea - Paddington (200 mins)

12.45 Paddington - Bristol TM (115 mins)

16.15 BTM - Paddington (105 mins)

19.00 Paddington - Swansea (no time given)

 

Diagram 2 - 370 ton set of B&G stock

08.45 Paddington - Bristol TM (105 mins)

11.15 BTM - Paddington (130 mins)

14.45 Paddington - BTM (110 mins)

18.15 BTM - Paddington (130 mins)

 

100 mph running was permitted between MP11 & 29.5 and 43 & 63.75 down, and MP63.75 & 43.75 and 43.25 & 10 on the up.

 

By September 1966 the EE type 3s had been replaced by single Westerns and 47s though the accelerated timetables were kept through to the 1967-8 timetable, when all service had 5 minutes recovery time added, ostensbily due to re-signalling work.

 

There isn't much on the re-gearing, and there is quite some doubt whether it was actually done given the expense of converting 18 locomotives. Interestingly the Deltics received cast bogies in 1966 instead of fabricated ones, and it's possible some cast sets were provided for the 37s too. I beleive these were rated for 105mph if maintained correctly.

 

I found some more information on the 3 June 1965 run.

 

360 ton train comprising 9 XP64 stock, plus track recording car. Unofficial max speed recorded 104 mph, an acceleration from 55 mph to 93 mph in 1.5 miles at Hemerdon, and 100 mph maintained between Steventon and Goring on the up run.

 

Here's a photo of a service run from April 1966 with D6881 & D6882.

 

A member of the RPS recording two runs with the service trains in 1966, further details here, from page 30 onwards. Top speed recorded was 101 mph, and both beat the 88 min schedule from Bath by 3-4 minutes, or 78.5 minutes net. By comparison the fastest service today is about 85 minutes, presumably with more stops.

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I certainly recall in the mid to late ‘60s seeing (my school backed onto the GW main line just east of Slough Station) double headed warships. Pretty sure the Cornish Riviera was double headed by them. Of course the Royal Train usually had two Warships at that time.

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Another regular double header was a loaded coal train from the Kent collieries, that used to pass northward through South Acton every day about midday with 2 x Class 73s working on diesel.

 

Jim

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Another angle - WR and pairs of 31s

 

Am sure that when 31s were all that was available for the Padd-BNS trains in the 70s pairs were used. However going back to the OP if 31s were all that was available this practice probably had more to do with trying to keep to timetable rather than accelerating it.

 

Phil

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From various issues of 'Syphon' the Class 37 Loco Group magazine.

 

On 22 May 1965, a high speed test was riun with D6881 and D6882 from Cardiff powered the down 0845 Bristolian, returning to London on the 11.35 from Weston Super Mare.

 

On 3 June 1965 the same pair broke every WR speed record during a test from Paddington to Plymouth, out via Westbury and back via Bristol.

 

This pair also worked a leg of the Last Steam Hauled Train from Paddington on 27 November 1965, and were supposed to provide a fast return from Swindon to Paddington, but this didn't transpire apparently.

 

In 1966 the go-ahead for the high-speed services was given, and from 18 April 1966 the following services were covered by locos from D6875-6892 group, which had been specially re-geared for the work.

 

Diagram 1 - with XP64 stock

08.20 Swansea - Paddington (200 mins)

12.45 Paddington - Bristol TM (115 mins)

16.15 BTM - Paddington (105 mins)

19.00 Paddington - Swansea (no time given)

 

Diagram 2 - 370 ton set of B&G stock

08.45 Paddington - Bristol TM (105 mins)

11.15 BTM - Paddington (130 mins)

14.45 Paddington - BTM (110 mins)

18.15 BTM - Paddington (130 mins)

 

100 mph running was permitted between MP11 & 29.5 and 43 & 63.75 down, and MP63.75 & 43.75 and 43.25 & 10 on the up.

 

By September 1966 the EE type 3s had been replaced by single Westerns and 47s though the accelerated timetables were kept through to the 1967-8 timetable, when all service had 5 minutes recovery time added, ostensbily due to re-signalling work.

 

There isn't much on the re-gearing, and there is quite some doubt whether it was actually done given the expense of converting 18 locomotives. Interestingly the Deltics received cast bogies in 1966 instead of fabricated ones, and it's possible some cast sets were provided for the 37s too. I beleive these were rated for 105mph if maintained correctly.

I was under the impression that the Deltics got cast bogies because cracks were appearing in the fabricated ones?

 

Were there not problems with flashovers with the class 37's used on high speed services?

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I am not sure that the Deltics and class 37's have a different gear ratio. Is it just an assumption based upon their different permitted speeds? The preserved Deltics (except no 2) were all given ex-class 37 bogies, and I doubt that BR went to the trouble of swapping axles and motors on what to them were scrap locos, and they have all (except 15) been passed to run at 100mph. They do have different tractive efforts, but that could just as easily be down to the generators ratings instead of motor gearing.

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Seeing Titan's post reminded me we both lived in Witham and the lovely sound a double headed class 37 freightliner would make as it pulled away from after a signal check.

 

Sorry for drifting away from the topic of two on the front of a passenger train.

 

Back on topic. I am sure I read that the Type 3s used on the speed trials had a different gearing to when they were freight engines. I could be wrong.

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Back in 1983 we had a coal train job at Stonebridge Park which was booked a pair of 25s to Nuneaton and light engine back.

 

Phil's mention of the pairs of 31s reminded me that Taunton had a pair on standby, known as 'the terrible twins' to some. At Old Oak, the 31 double header on the Brums was usually to cover for an absent 47 or 50, on the odd occasion when I worked one of these turns with 31s they could barely make it up Tackley Bank in both directions at full chat, and usually struggled like **** out of the dip south of Brum New St!

Edited by Rugd1022

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I am not sure that the Deltics and class 37's have a different gear ratio. Is it just an assumption based upon their different permitted speeds? The preserved Deltics (except no 2) were all given ex-class 37 bogies, and I doubt that BR went to the trouble of swapping axles and motors on what to them were scrap locos, and they have all (except 15) been passed to run at 100mph. They do have different tractive efforts, but that could just as easily be down to the generators ratings instead of motor gearing.

Brian Webb's book on EE diesels quotes the EE538 traction motors on the 37s as being interchangeable with those of the Deltics, although I have found a reference to some of the 37s (37/0 & 37/6) having a lower ratio - 2.22:1 as against the 2.81:1 of the Deltics and the bulk of the 37s. This may, however, not have been an original feature. The motors on the class 50s are differently geared (2.94:1), although the bogies are otherwise identical.

 

The generators are different between the 37s and 55s,however, which probably would explain the difference in the rated tractive effort, remembering that the two types of loco would have been designed against quite different duty cycles.

 

Jim

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On the WCML it wasa  standard diagram for  2 x class 50's on  almost all express services to Scotland,   the traction changeover from Electric locomotives  at Crewe station, while the  the  section to Glasgow was electrified .

 

As a commuter into Paddington,  in the mid- 1980's,  there was a regular double-headed class 50 working, one of the morning service trains, I believe it was a positioning move  for one of the 50's to avoid a light-engine working.

 

Prior to the HAA hopper wagons on the Merry-go-Round trains hauled by  single class 47's,  coal trains of 16T mineral wagons always seemed to have double headed by  class 31's in the Doncaster area. i do not ever recall seeing class 31's on the hopper wagon trains

Edited by Pandora

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If 2 x 4-car Southern 750v DC stock counts as double headed,  a motor coach in each set,  the Greyhound-modded slam door  stock, the field settings of the traction motor control system had been breathed upon,  would hit 100 mph and more

Edited by Pandora

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As a commuter into Paddington,  in the mid- 1980's,  there was a regular double-headed class 50 working, one of the morning service trains, I believe it was a positioning move  for one of the 50's to avoid a light-engine working.

 

 

 

As per my previous post on this thread, the double headed Class 50's were probably a BTM - PAD out and back working in an attempt to try and keep to HST timings which was caused by a shortage of HST sets.

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Seeing Titan's post reminded me we both lived in Witham and the lovely sound a double headed class 37 freightliner would make as it pulled away from after a signal check.

 

Sorry for drifting away from the topic of two on the front of a passenger train.

 

Back on topic. I am sure I read that the Type 3s used on the speed trials had a different gearing to when they were freight engines. I could be wrong.

 

Indeed. I fondly remember warm still summer nights with the bedroom window open. I was amazed at how long I could hear them for bearing in mind they were barrelling along wide open throttle at 75mph or thereabouts.  The sound would come and go on the wind - just when you thought you had heard the last sound fade a minute or two later it would come back again. Must have been able to hear them all of the way from Marks Tey to Boreham!

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Don't forget the booked double headed freights we had in South Wales

 

MGR's out of Aberthaw early 80's all booked for 37's, some of the West Wales oil trains booked 37's , Iron Ore triple headed 37's then double headed 56's. 

 

There was a double passenger booked for 2 50's Cardiff - Glasgow as far Birmingham New Street.

 

Double headed 25's and then 37's on the Summer Saturdays on the Cambrian.  

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Another angle - WR and pairs of 31s

 

Am sure that when 31s were all that was available for the Padd-BNS trains in the 70s pairs were used. However going back to the OP if 31s were all that was available this practice probably had more to do with trying to keep to timetable rather than accelerating it.

 

Phil

 

That was certainly the case when they worked commuter trains intro Paddington in the morning peak (and various other passenger trains of course).  I often used to joke with Drivers as we approached the start of the 85mph restriction at Acton on the Up Main that they needed to open-up if we were on a single 31, it wasn't much better with a  pair to be honest.

Don't forget the booked double headed freights we had in South Wales

 

MGR's out of Aberthaw early 80's all booked for 37's, some of the West Wales oil trains booked 37's , Iron Ore triple headed 37's then double headed 56's. 

 

There was a double passenger booked for 2 50's Cardiff - Glasgow as far Birmingham New Street.

 

Double headed 25's and then 37's on the Summer Saturdays on the Cambrian.  

 

I'm fairly sure that some of the first double-headed Class 37 freight workings on the Western were on stone trains from Westbury - particularly the early morning Acton.   The double-header 37s on the Theale tanks were, I think, instituted when the load went up to 1600 tons; they definitely had problems with very heavy tank trains through the Severn tunnel and one Inspector's report had them down to 5 mph on the climb out of the dip in the Tunnel.  I'm fairly sure the Westbury stone trains were heavier than that but my only source would be a copy of paper I gave at a Heavy Haul symposium at the IMechE and which gave the various load increases and operating problems as we progressed through various types of traction.

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That was certainly the case when they worked commuter trains intro Paddington in the morning peak (and various other passenger trains of course).  I often used to joke with Drivers as we approached the start of the 85mph restriction at Acton on the Up Main that they needed to open-up if we were on a single 31, it wasn't much better with a  pair to be honest.

 

I'm fairly sure that some of the first double-headed Class 37 freight workings on the Western were on stone trains from Westbury - particularly the early morning Acton.   The double-header 37s on the Theale tanks were, I think, instituted when the load went up to 1600 tons; they definitely had problems with very heavy tank trains through the Severn tunnel and one Inspector's report had them down to 5 mph on the climb out of the dip in the Tunnel.  I'm fairly sure the Westbury stone trains were heavier than that but my only source would be a copy of paper I gave at a Heavy Haul symposium at the IMechE and which gave the various load increases and operating problems as we progressed through various types of traction.

 

post-5471-0-78014700-1516035533_thumb.jpg

 

As you mention it!

37236/37106. Merehead. 8.10.82.

 

Mike.

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Don't forget the booked double headed freights we had in South Wales

 

MGR's out of Aberthaw early 80's all booked for 37's, some of the West Wales oil trains booked 37's , Iron Ore triple headed 37's then double headed 56's. 

 

There was a double passenger booked for 2 50's Cardiff - Glasgow as far Birmingham New Street.

 

Double headed 25's and then 37's on the Summer Saturdays on the Cambrian.  

 

Don't forget the (up to) 3x pairs of 37s booked for the Aberthaw PFA trains to the West Country for the M5 construction.

.

Brian R

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That was certainly the case when they worked commuter trains intro Paddington in the morning peak (and various other passenger trains of course).  I often used to joke with Drivers as we approached the start of the 85mph restriction at Acton on the Up Main that they needed to open-up if we were on a single 31, it wasn't much better with a  pair to be honest.

 

I'm fairly sure that some of the first double-headed Class 37 freight workings on the Western were on stone trains from Westbury - particularly the early morning Acton.   The double-header 37s on the Theale tanks were, I think, instituted when the load went up to 1600 tons; they definitely had problems with very heavy tank trains through the Severn tunnel and one Inspector's report had them down to 5 mph on the climb out of the dip in the Tunnel.  I'm fairly sure the Westbury stone trains were heavier than that but my only source would be a copy of paper I gave at a Heavy Haul symposium at the IMechE and which gave the various load increases and operating problems as we progressed through various types of traction.

 

How about the Waterston - Albion tanks Mike - when did they start?

 

Cheers

 

Phil

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If 2 x 4-car Southern 750v DC stock counts as double headed,  a motor coach in each set,  the Greyhound-modded slam door  stock, the field settings of the traction motor control system had been breathed upon,  would hit 100 mph and more

Whilst I suspect that the originators of this thread would consider the Southern to be beyond the pale, a 12-car Hastings service in pre-electric days mustered no less than four diesel-electric motor coaches all working in multiple. But, being spread throughout the length of the train, it isn't classic double-heading. On the other hand, is a double engined locomotive like a Western or a Deltic really any different to a pair of single engined locomotives working in multiple?

 

Jim

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... a 12-car Hastings service in pre-electric days ...

Possibly the only thing on BR with slower acceleration than a 31?

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It wasn't uncommon to see double headed trains on the North Wales coast. Rather than performance reasons they were used as running-in turns by Crewe depot for newly out-shopped locos, presumably with the original train engine acting as thunder-bird in the event of the "new" loco having problems.

 

 

Happy modelling.

 

Steven B.

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It would be nice if you credited the original poster ?

A thousand apologies I intended to but obviously didn't.

Sorry

Paul.

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