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jools1959

Questions about the North British Class 41 D6xx Loco's

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Fair point.  They were always known as "600s" to me and to those railway staff I spoke with at Penzance when they were running.  Likewise classes 42/3 were "800s" and class 52 were "1000s".

 

I believe the BR class numbers were assigned before TOPS and that these locos were in fact given the class 41 designation while in service.  In another world the Raworth "boosters" on the SR were class 70 and were also gone long before TOPS went live.

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I believe the BR class numbers were assigned before TOPS and that these locos were in fact given the class 41 designation while in service.  In another world the Raworth "boosters" on the SR were class 70 and were also gone long before TOPS went live.

Well yes you are right as I have a copy of a BR diesel diagram book that lists the BR TOPS classes from 1969, a few years before the engines actually received TOPS numbers. This one lists the wrong subclass, ie class 26/0 is shown as class 26/1 etc.

 

But the main question is this, when did BR start using TOPS? What year did the start implementing it for the locos? Once that answer is known then it will help!

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BR was looking at TOPS from 1968, and licensed it in 1971. Implementation of the first phase took until late 1974. There was a fair amount of preparation work done prior to 1971, and this included designating loco class numbers. There were some changes to sub-classes subsequently, such as 26/1 to 26/0. I suspect this was probably due to the system requirements being misunderstood initially. Data panel stickers were also applied to locos from mid-1968* on - I'm not sure whether this was related to TOPS or some other initiative.

 

*Thanks Rugd!

 

 

Edited by stovepipe

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I always thought that TOPS was 'discovered' by BR in 1968, but was wondering. So there is no way that the D600's were ever class 41 as they were all withdrawn by the end of 1967.

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So far as I am aware they were assigned class 41 even though they might all have been withdrawn by the time TOPS was developed and implemented.  Other classes also withdrawn before TOPS but generally recognised without debate are shunters of classes 11 and 12; class 10 was also extinct pretty early in the seventies.  As I noted above there was also an SR electric type known as class 70 though generally referred to as "boosters".  These early types all got class numbers which is why gaps appear to exist in the sequence - they were assigned but the type had been withdrawn.

 

BR had developed the numeric classification system at least for diesel and electric locomotives some years in advance of its daily implementation in anticipation of computerisation.

Edited by Gwiwer

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But why would BR give a TOPS class to a class that is all withdrawn by the time TOPS was introduced? Doesn't make sense!

 

Classes 11 and 12 certainly lasted long enough to have a TOPS class, lasting into the early 1970's, not sure about the class 10 but I understand that there were other variants that never received a TOPS class as they were retired relatively early.

 

The SR boosters did last until 1968, so I agree that it is possible that they did receive a TOPS class. Also since the 76's had originally been numbered 26xxx and the 77's had been 27xxx then it is quite plausible that they became class 70.

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Certainly a gap was left in the TOPS sequence between class 40 and 42 for these locos. Whether they were ever designated as class 41 on official paperwork is perhaps debatable, but the facility was there and for convenience people use it. Would you know what a class D20/2 was without looking it up?

Edited by stovepipe

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I've thought about this over the years,and come to the conclusion that the class numbers were probably drawn up in 67 sometime. Was class 49 for DP2 it would certainly fit?

36 for 10001?

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BR was looking at TOPS from 1968, and licensed it in 1971. Implementation of the first phase took until late 1974. There was a fair amount of preparation work done prior to 1971, and this included designating loco class numbers. There were some changes to sub-classes subsequently, such as 26/1 to 26/0. I suspect this was probably due to the system requirements being misunderstood initially. Data panel stickers were also applied to locos from 1969 on - I'm not sure whether this was related to TOPS or some other initiative.

 

Data panel stickers were first applied from mid' 68 onwards.

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And to cover some of the other less obvious gaps 34 was the original classification for the push-pull fitted Cromptons better known as class 33/1 and class 48 applied to a handful of Brush type 4 locos originally fitted with different traction to a standard class 47.

 

Given that class 34 was used for a modification planned and commenced in about 1966 I'd suggest the numeric classification originated slightly earlier than 1967 and that definitely allowed for the D600s to be class 41 while in service.

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And to cover some of the other less obvious gaps 34 was the original classification for the push-pull fitted Cromptons better known as class 33/1 and class 48 applied to a handful of Brush type 4 locos originally fitted with different traction to a standard class 47.

 

Given that class 34 was used for a modification planned and commenced in about 1966 I'd suggest the numeric classification originated slightly earlier than 1967 and that definitely allowed for the D600s to be class 41 while in service.

Class 48 - D1702 - D1706, fitted with 12LVA24 Sulzer engine as opposed to 12LDA28 fitted to Class 47s

 

Examples lasted until 1971 in this form so at least they were in the TOPs class era if not the renumbering era

 

Cheers

 

Phil

Edited by Phil Bullock

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Reading previous threads on RMWeb about this subject I now know that the loco data panels were added to locos in connection with a new freight train loads system in mid-1968, and therefore not related to TOPS which BR had not begun to investigate until late 1968. The data panels had places for loco classes to be added, but actually came as blanks to be filled in by depot staff. The regions had already developed their own referencing schemes for diesel locos, which can be seen in WTTs from the 1960s, and it is therefore quite likely that some kind of standardisation process was underway a year or two before TOPS had even been heard of. Fortunately the class system selected was largely compatible with TOPS, at least for the initial phase of implementation. BR was such a large organisation that it would surely not be unusual for several initiatives to be underway concurrently, and for some of them to be in partial conflict, and indeed for some to be partly complimentary?

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Let's get this right shall we - please.

 

1.  The BRB M&EE Dept recognised the need - during the  latter half of the 1960s  - to create a national system of class designation to diesel and electric locos because of the various systems in use on different Regions.

 

2.  There was an operational need in 1968 for a universal simple code system to identify loco classes for use with the new (nationally applicable) Freight Train Loads System which was introduced during that year.  It was decided to use the new Class designations as part of that system.

 

3. In terms of adoption for use TOPS was hardly a glint in BR's eyes in 1968 - some people might well have heard of it but all of those latterly involved in seeing how it worked on SP and adopting/implementing for BR use were on very different sorts of projects etc back then.

 

4. The Anglicised (in reality part Anglicised) version of TOP was introduced on a trial site basis in 1973 - I know that as I worked at one of the first trial sites and also the very first one to use other than IBM terminals.  At that time TOPs worked in precisely the SP way as far as loco numbers were concerned as it could take a free format number up to, as far as I know, a maximum of 4 digits.  I understand that there were working loco files on the system by 1973, and definitely during 1974, and these used the original numbers, not so called 'TOPS numbers'.

 

5. There was a feeling within M&EE HQ circles as far back as 1966 (and probably earlier) that BR should move towards a continental style numbering system for 'modern' (as it then was) traction and even some who felt a chance had been missed at the time of diesel introductions under the Modernisation Plan.  The people who were thinking about that had more than likely never even heard of TOPS, they just wanted a more sensible system for loco numbering than the jungle which had 'just growed' in the preceding 10 years.

 

6. It seems more than likely that the 'renumberers' grasped the opportunity of TOPS to not only achieve their long standing aim but also to develop and take further advantages offered by both renumbering and computerised records but - and here comes the awkward bit for the term 'TOPS numbers' the software had to be re-written to accept the new style numbers and the sub-divisions implicit within it rather than the numbers being altered to comply with TOPS.  In other words cost was added to the TOPS project in order to accept the renumbering of locos, the locs were not altered because of it.

 

So technically the so called 'TOPS numbers' are actually numbers by class designation and the fact that they appeared on locos after TOPS had been introduced (some time after it had been introduced) owes absolutely nothing to a need or whatever created by TOPS, it was quite happy working with 4 digit numbers (and shorter) as it had been designed to do in the USofA.

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Cheers Mike

So were locos with 4 digit numbers actually on TOPS during the initial trials?

Were westerns shown on TOPS with 4 digit numbers or were they shown 52xxx?

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As I recall from a TOPS demonstration in the early 1970s class 52 was at that time on the database using four-digit 1xxx numbers.

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Cheers Mike

So were locos with 4 digit numbers actually on TOPS during the initial trials?

Were westerns shown on TOPS with 4 digit numbers or were they shown 52xxx?

Everything locowise that was on TOPS was on it with its painted number - thus all our EE Type 3s in the Cardiff Valleys were on there with 68XX numbers although they were, I suspect, at that stage entirely free format with no library details.  But in '74 locos were clearly on there with library details as the system could calculate loads and brakeforce for you - the diesel hydraulics were always (until withdrawal) on TOPS with their original running numbers although I'm fairly sure that the loco files showed the class designation.  

 

Other locos were changed over at some time on their individual loco file - presumably as they were renumbered (which would make sense as you hopefully would report a loco by its painted number).  As the same had been done with wagon files as they were added to the system I wouldn't have thought there would be any problem adjusting loco numbers although it would have been done centrally whereas wagons were recorded as they were found in each area being cutover.

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I still think that the D600s  were the most handsome of all the early diesels.

 

Keith.

I agree...and the one I saw was D600 at Barry scrapyard in 1974. In green as I recall.

Edited by Swissrail

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I agree...and the one I saw was D600 at Barry scrapyard in 1974. In green as I recall.

 

The loco you saw in green would have been D601 Swissrail, D600 was blue but was cut up on site at Barry in March 1970. (D601 lasted until June 1980) ;) 

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I have a note that says BR started to give locos Class identities (i.e Class 42/ 43 for Warships, 52 for Westerns etc) from July 1968. I don't know how soon after that data panels started to appear tho.

 

With TOPS for Westerns you had to put in a code of some description so it would know you were looking for a 4 digit loco number...

 

The attached shows the TOPS report for Leeds when 1013 went there in 1977...

post-8027-0-31540400-1480525542_thumb.jpg

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When NBL was in financial trouble there was pressure on the BRB to give NBL an order for a type4 co-co design it had with a 12LDA sulzer engine. I wonder how these would have performed and how long they would have lasted

 

Russ 

 

It would have been a case of NBL building the Brush Type 4 as a sub-contractor. NBL did have their own design of Sulzer powered Type 4 diesel-electric but that was ruled out by BR in 1960 as too expensive.

 

Simon

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Thanks Simon, were there any actual drawings of the NBL type 4 produced

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Russ 

 

It would have been a case of NBL building the Brush Type 4 as a sub-contractor. NBL did have their own design of Sulzer powered Type 4 diesel-electric but that was ruled out by BR in 1960 as too expensive.

 

Simon

Neither the BRB or the government of the day were interested in saving BRCW as well by spreading some of the Type 4 Sulzer order to the midlands based company either. Instead they saw the writing on the wall possibly to keeping all of the then British Railway's works open and employed instead.

 

Kevin

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I agree...and the one I saw was D600 at Barry scrapyard in 1974. In green as I recall.

 

 

The loco you saw in green would have been D601 Swissrail, D600 was blue but was cut up on site at Barry in March 1970. (D601 lasted until June 1980) ;)

 

Just found this by accident ....................

 

http://www.davidheyscollection.com/userimages/00001-d-salmon-D600-1-Barry.jpg

Edited by Southernman46
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Hi, Just come across this thread and thought that I'd add my two pennoth. There has been a lot of good info so far, as well as some regurgitated inaccuracies, many of which are written down in various books, therefore are taken as gospel.

 

Now, no one as yet has actually looked at how the 1968 class numbering system was constructed.

 

The basic principal was

 

Class 0X  Untyped locos e.g. shunters

Class 1X  Type 1 loco's (actually start at Class 13, 10 - 12 overran from 0X)

Class 2X  Type 2 loco's  (Class 20 was nominally Type 1, but, within the Type 2 power range)

Class 3X  Type 3 loco's

Class 4X  Type 4 loco's

Class 5X  Type 5 loco's  (Actually start at Class 55, 50 - 53 overran from 4X, 54 not used)

Class 6X  Type 5 loco's  (Overrun from 5X, although I doubt that there would ever have been a 69!)

Class 7X   DC Electrics

Class 8X   AC Electrics

Class 9X   Everything that didn't fit anywhere else

 

Within each Class range, the lowest horsepower came first and date of introduction as a secondary filter. e.g Class 20, 21 & 22 were all 1,000hp (at least the originals were) the 20's were introduced first, followed by the 21's with the 22's being last as the were introduced a couple of weeks after the 21's.

 

Now, lets consider the Class 4X. Both the D600's and the D200's were rated at 2,000hp. Now, the 600's were introduced before the 200's, therefore had the 600's been allocated a class number it would have been Class 40 and the loco's we know and love as Class 40 would have been Class 41.

 

Interesting, isn't it!

 

Regards,

 

doug

Edited by Doug

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