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jools1959

Scottish Class 17 “Clayton”

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After all the Class 17’s were rounded up and reallocated to the Scottish Region, I wondered what depots they were allocated to and their typical workings.  Apart from the pictures of them dumped at Glasgow works, I’ve only seen pictures of them on Dundee, Grangemouth and Polmadie depots, where else were they likely to have worked?

 

On a humours note, my friend in the US (ex US Army) who also models UK railways calls them “Claymores” after the US land mine instead of Clayton’s because of the Class 17’s propensity to go bang :laugh_mini::laugh_mini::laugh_mini:

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When I visited Scotland IN 1970 - at a weekend admittedly - the only ones we saw working were on banking duties at Beattock. None at Grangemouth but examples on shed at Townhill, Bathgate, Millerhill and Haymarket. IIRC some were still in the North East at the time....

 

 

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I've a video of them double heading a freight on the Waverley route.

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I think the Claytons at Gateshead (52A) lasted there until they were withdrawn. Not sure about those at Thornaby. Funnily enough I never saw one in trouble; the NE batch is sometimes said to have been more reliable than the rest (they were built by Beyer-Peacock rather than Clayton).

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I thought that all the Class 17’s were concentrated at Scottish depots before withdraws began?  As per Beyer-Peacock, when I worked on the railway, I was told that their build quality was second to none, not only for the Hymek’s but a later batch of Class 25’s and the Class 17’s.

 

One of our ex Scottish drivers said of the Clayton’s that the build quality was built proof let down by unreliable power units.  He loved driving them but he said that there was always that nagging doubt of when it was going to go bang :lol_mini::lol_mini:

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Don’t forget a small number worked in the East Midlands coalfields allocated to Barrow Hill. 

Regarding reliability, Clayton original proposal was for the locos to be fitted with Rolls Royce engines (Clayton being a subsidury company of Rolls Royce) but the BR board insisted they use a PaxMan engine which had only been used in an experimental rail car. The engines suffered a number of problems including the aluminium crank cases cracking, seizures ( I have a sheet showing that some of the engines seized before the locos left Claytons when under test!) and miss alignment between engine and generator which would lead to crank failure. The 2 Rolls Royce engined locos were fine but it was to late.

A couple of the Gateshead allocation were tested for a few days as banking engines on the Consett iron ore workings, but were soon sent back to Gateshead.

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Typical working in Scotland included Ayr area coal traffic either singly or in pairs, freight on secondary routes (generally kept off the main lines in case they failed) including the Waverley Route through to Carlisle and parcels traffic which included workings on the G&SW route between Carlisle and Glasgow via Annan.  

 

I found a few working freight trips around Glasgow on my first visit to the area but many were lined up and out of use at Eastfield depot along with the equally unloved 29s.  They did work passenger trains on occasions but such use was uncommon and possibly not rostered but subbing for something else.  I recall seeing a picture of one leading a short train through Kilmarnock and there was another on the NER working what I think was a Newcastle - Alnmouth stopper.  

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In Australia, a 'Claytons' is something that is a poor substitute for the real thing. Its initial usage related to a then popular non-alcoholic drink, but it's usage expanded to everything, that is over rated.

 

It seems appropriate for the Class 17!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claytons

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Between February 1963 and September 1966, I saw Claytons on these Scottish sheds:

Polmadie, Haymarket, Dalry Road, St. Margaret's, Hawick, Motherwell and Thornton Junction.

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15 hours ago, jools1959 said:

I thought that all the Class 17’s were concentrated at Scottish depots before withdraws began?  As per Beyer-Peacock, when I worked on the railway, I was told that their build quality was second to none, not only for the Hymek’s but a later batch of Class 25’s and the Class 17’s.

 

 

Many of the early locos were withdrawn whilst allocated to the LMR. Some of the NE batch D8588 - D8604 were also withdrawn in the late 60s before moving to Scotland - the rest migrated north in May/June 1971 but were all gone by the year end. D8605 - D8616 were the batch allocated to Tinsley/Barrow Hill but they didnt stay long - In Scotland by May 66. So never a time when the whole class was active in Scotland.

 

In addition to trials on the Consett turns they were also trialled in the Leeds area - but there seemed to be a common theme.....

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I remember a load of them parked up in the yard (gone now) behind the south end of Platform 1 at Derby Midland station (Friargate was still open at that time!) awaiting repairs

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The only ones I ever saw were at Kingmoor in 1967, and of course I wasn't that interested when there was steam around.  But they were on shed and I never saw one with the engine running or in traffic,  Same goes for the only Metrovick I ever saw, same day at Upperby with 'Not to be moved' targets on it.  

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The only time I ever saw one was at Easter 1972, on the Derby to Stoke line. It was a light engine, and we saw it just before the junction with the former GN Stafford- Derby line near Mickleover. At the time, the BR Research Centre used the GN line as a test track, so presumably the working was in conjunction with that.

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12 hours ago, pH said:

I knew I had seen a picture of a Clayton on a passenger train:

 

https://www.railscot.co.uk/img/9/540/


There’s a very lovely full-colour shot of a Clayton pulling into Stirling (I think) on a passenger working but my google skills have failed me this morning. 
 

Since the Claytons weren’t fitted with the planned boiler, I assume these were summer-only workings. 
 

Paul

 

 

Found it! 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/david_christie/6309210891

Edited by Fenman

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Link to this page - https://www.railscot.co.uk/tags/Class_17_Clayton/  - and scroll down the page. You'll see quite a few photos of Claytons. Most are in Scotland, a few in England, and quite a few  actually hauling trains (!!). (There are a couple that might surprise you.)

 

Edit - you could also search in the Railscot site for "Clayton" and "Claytons" in picture captions (they don't produce all the same results). Those searches will get you a lot of the same pictures as the 'tag' search above, but also a few not retrieved by that search.

Edited by pH

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On 14/02/2020 at 21:44, Norton961 said:

Regarding reliability, Clayton original proposal was for the locos to be fitted with Rolls Royce engines (Clayton being a subsidury company of Rolls Royce) but the BR board insisted they use a PaxMan engine which had only been used in an experimental rail car. The engines suffered a number of problems including the aluminium crank cases cracking, seizures ( I have a sheet showing that some of the engines seized before the locos left Claytons when under test!) and miss alignment between engine and generator which would lead to crank failure. The 2 Rolls Royce engined locos were fine but it was to late.


I wonder what the outcome would have been if the BR board had listened to Clayton and fitted the Rolls Royce engines instead of the Paxman?  One thing would have been certain, had their reliability and availability been a whole lot better, I doubt the D83xx Class 20’s would have been built.

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4 hours ago, jools1959 said:


I wonder what the outcome would have been if the BR board had listened to Clayton and fitted the Rolls Royce engines instead of the Paxman?  One thing would have been certain, had their reliability and availability been a whole lot better, I doubt the D83xx Class 20’s would have been built.

 

Rather more than just the D8300 - 27 batch. D8128 - 99 were also not ordered until the failure of the Claytons came home to roost. D8127 - delivered July 62, D8128 delivered Jan 66.

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I am really not sure that the RR engines would have been a cure for all the class 17 woes, they may have been a bit better but that's not saying much given how poor the alternative was. And misalignment isn't an engine problem, it's a shoddy build and QC problem by however packaged the engine and generator. 

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17 hours ago, The Border Reiver said:

Here is a photo I took at Carlisle station on 31 July 1965 of a couple of Claytons D8582 and D8581 double heading a passenger heading south. The Claytons came off at Carlisle and were replaced by Jubilee 45626 so I presume it went down the Settle & Carlisle line.

 

CA007_11A_20171027_0012_1200.jpg.38d28d8182b741ac3f72dde87518e88a.jpg

 

I would say your assumption is correct, the headcode suggests a North Eastern destination, so Leeds is a fair bet, the question being, is it an Edinburgh train via the Waverley or a Glasgow?

 

Mike.

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1 minute ago, Enterprisingwestern said:

 

I would say your assumption is correct, the headcode suggests a North Eastern destination, so Leeds is a fair bet, the question being, is it an Edinburgh train via the Waverley or a Glasgow?

 

Mike.

I think it is the 9.50am Edinburgh Waverley - Leeds City which has had Claytons on a few times

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8 hours ago, jools1959 said:


I wonder what the outcome would have been if the BR board had listened to Clayton and fitted the Rolls Royce engines instead of the Paxman?  One thing would have been certain, had their reliability and availability been a whole lot better, I doubt the D83xx Class 20’s would have been built.

Fact is that the Class 20s were proven to be an excellent and reliable design,  so not surprising that BR decided to build more. 

The only possible improvement would have been a double cab version,  but I guess that wasn't practical. 

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To add to the already fairly comprehensive list, my sightings were on the Airdrie to Bathgate line, paired on coal/scrap workings. Saw D8500 in pristine rail blue on ECS workings into Glasgow Central about 1969.  They were more common on passenger trains than you may think, St Enoch to East Kilbride was a common Clayton working.  After withdrawal they were dumped at Ardrossan Depot (among other locations).

 

Jim

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