BR DERBY/SULZER 'PEAK' TYPE 4
Early Days In Traffic
The BR Works at Derby was responsible for building the BTC's ten pilot scheme BR/Sulzer 2,300hp 1Co-Co1 numbered D1-D10 in the new diesel fleet. Introduced to traffic in 1959, the Type 4 'Peak' (later Class 44) was extremely heavy, turning the scale at more than 138 tons working weight, which necessitated the use of the cumbersome 1Co-Co1 wheel arrangement in order to distribute the load. The ten locomotives had the dubious distinction of being the heaviest of the pilot scheme designs, yet they had a neat appearance - the nose-end closely resembling that of the LMS pioneer Co-Cos Nos 10000-1 into which gangway doors were provided. All ten locomotives (Class 44) were named after Welsh or English mountains, and the name 'Peaks' was subsequently dubbed on the production models, 127 of which were ordered before the first pilot scheme batch had actually been completed. This headlong rush to oust steam meant that BR's new diesel fleet was acquired by a completely irrational process and, without the benefit of full prototype trials, several early types were quickly eliminated from BR stock. The 'Peaks', however, proved to be one of the more successful locomotives to appear subsequent to the pilot scheme orders.
(Above) Prior to the introduction of 'Peak' class Type 4 diesels on the LMR's Anglo-Scottish expresses north of Leeds, BR introduced an intensive crew training programme between Leeds and Appleby, involving train crewmen at Leeds Holbeck. However, until diesel facilities were made available at Holbeck, a pair of BR Sulzer Type 4s Nos D11 and D14 was allocated temporarily to Leeds Neville Hill for the purpose. Here, D12 heads away from Shipley on the return working to Leeds on 9th March 1961. At this same spot on the same day, I photographed Class A3 No 60092 Fairway heading the northbound 'Thames-Clyde Express' and 'Britannia' class 70054 Dornorch Firth heading the southbound 'Waverley' - see Aire Valley 3 page on the original site. For the record, No D12 (later Class 45 45011) was introduced to traffic in October 1960 and withdrawn in May 1981.
(Below) Sporting a stencilled train reporting number N580 on its nose, D14 (renumbered BR TOPS 45015) heads an interesting collection of articulated coaching stock through Apperley Bridge with the return working from Appleby to Leeds. The raking light picks out the three bodyside steps immediately behind the leading cab. With the introduction of modern coaching stock fitted with ETH (electric train heating) the old steam-heat boilers and water filling points on the 'Peaks' were removed from cantrail height and the 3 bodyside steps subsequently plated over. This was to prevent crewmen climbing up to roof level in areas with overhead electrification equipment.
(Above-Below) The ten pilot scheme BR/Sulzer 'Peak' class Nos D1-D10 (Class 44) was followed by 183 production locomotives Nos D11-D193, all built at Crewe and Derby to the same basic design, but equipped with the more powerful Sulzer 12LDA28 'B' engine uprated to 2,500hp. Later to become known as Class 45, Nos D11-D137 were fitted with Crompton Parkinson electrical equipment,and Nos D138-D193 (later Class 46) had Brush electrical equipment fitted instead. Although the production Peaks were similar in appearance to the pilot scheme machines, some front end variations were incorporated when the gangway doors and white headcode discs were abandoned in favour of divided headcode boxes - one each side of the nose on Nos D11-31 and D68-107 - and a two-piece or solid route indicator panel centrally placed on the remaining locomotives. (Above) The Anglo-Scottish 'Waverley' and 'Thames-Clyde' expresses became diesel-hauled throughout from the start of the 1961 summer timetable. With the 'Waverley' headboard attached to the nose end, No D30 heads northbound past Kirkstall Power Staion in July 1961. (Below) In the opposite direction, an undentified 'Peak' heads the southbound 'Thames-Clyde Express' on 22 July 1961.
(Above) Following the first 10 pilot scheme 2,300hp Type 4 diesels Nos D1-D10, the production 'Peaks' were uprated to 2,500hp by use of charge air cooling, which gave rise to two genetic types of basically similar production locomotives - TOPS Class 45 and Class 46. An unidentified 'Peak' class heads a southbound train across Dent Head viaduct.
(Below) In 1961, British Railways abandoned the aged 'disc' display system for identifying trains (a legacy of steam days) in favour of a new four-character letter and numeral headcode display. The train classification, destination and identification system was introduced to assist signalmen - and it helped spotters too, as it happens! The headcodes consisted of a four-character display, the first numeral identifying the class of train, followed by a letter indicating the destination, whilst the next two digits represented the train reporting number. Back in the Sixties, a familiar train reporting number on my local line was 1S 68 - London-Leeds-Glasgow 'Thames-Clyde Express', which is displayed on No D? in August 1961. However, the system was later abandoned, since vibrations caused the numbers to revolve on their own accord, and the varying non-descriptive digits that appeared was a major factor for BR's decision to dispense with headcodes entirely. From 1976, BR decreed that operating handles were to be removed and blinds set permanently at '0000', then during classified overhauls at Works the distinctive four-character headcode boxes were removed and two fixed-beam lamps were fitted on the nose.
(Above-Below) The named train headboards added a certain panache to diesel-hauled expresses, but such extravagances were soon to disappear. The 'Thames-Clyde' headboard is missing on 'Peak' class No D147 (later 46010) as it heads the northbound express through Newlay Cutting in August 1965. (Below) Crewe Works was responsible for building Nos D50-D137 in the fleet (Class 45). Here, the first of the batch, No D50 (later 45040) heads a uniform rake of Mk 1 coaching stock towards Leeds in Newlay Cutting in June 1964. The locomotive was later to be named King's Shropshire Light Infantry in May the following year. Incidentally, I am unable to fathom out the identification of this train…the headcode display reads 2D 85, but the single headlamp mounted on the top lamp-iron might indicate a failure of the roller blinds. Note also that both locomotives are sporting the compulsory rectangular yellow warning panels on the nose-end, although their effectiveness is somewhat marred by the centre position of the four-character headcode panel which restricts its size to the lower half of the nose
(Above-Below) The 183 production 'Peak' Type 4s were similar in appearance to the pilot scheme locomotives except for front end variations when the gangway doors and aged white headcode discs were abandoned in favour of route indicator panels. Striking an impressive pose at Holbeck shed is No D152 on the left with its panel centrally placed, while the earlier production 'Peaks' Nos D26 and D29 appear with divided headcode boxes either side of the nose. The reporting number are: 1M86 southbound 'Thames-Clyde Express', 1S49 10.25 Leeds-Glasgow and 0L50 light engine Leeds Division. Note also that Nos D26 and D29 are sporting a Holbeck 55A shed code on their rectangular warning panels. (Below) The rectangular yellow warning panel was standard through the 'Peak' series except for No D148 (later Class 46 46011) which was given a larger panel. No D148 heads a southbound express at Engine Shed Junction, Holbeck on 7 July 1963. In the background, Holbeck shed yard houses a fair complement of steam together with a pair of Class 25s and a solitary Class 03 shunter with its distinctive 'wasp' striped cab. The shed closed to steam on 30th September 1967, and three years later the roundhouse buildings and No 1 type coaling tower were demolished.
(Above-Below) The roller blind of D157 (later Class 46 No 46020) shows 2N71 on the 12.30 Morecambe-Leeds on 28th May 1963. The train is crossing an 'S' bend of the River Aire at Kirkstall, Leeds. (Below) The bare branches of Autumn trees allows this colour shot of No D24 (later Class 45 No 45027) heading the southbound 'Thames-Clyde Express' in September 1963.
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