1958 – 2008
n 1958, the English e 4s, with their distinctive whistling sound, a look back at these action over the last0 years.
March 2008, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the EE Type 4s/Class 40s and to mark the occasion we take a look back over the last half-century at these locomotives on a variety of duties from top link passenger work, to the humble pick-up freights, summer holiday trains to the heavy freights and weekend departmental work, a sight all to familiar for the class in the later years.
Prototypes D200 – D209
The Class 40 story started back in 1955, when British Railways were ordering various prototype locomotives from UK manufactures to evaluate for possible mainline use. Five classification types were drawn up based on engine horsepower (type 1 – 5) with the class 40s falling into the Type 4 category.
British Railways ordered ten of these locomotives from English Electric in 1955, as part of the prototype evaluation program. Three years later in March 1958, the first locomotive D200 emerged from the English Electric Vulcan Foundry works at Newton-Le-Willows. After acceptance trials at Doncaster Works D200 moved to her new home depot at Norwich shed (32A).
On April 18, 1958, an immaculate D200 made its first public appearance when she worked a press demonstration train from London Liverpool Street station to Norwich complete with headboard proclaiming the ‘first 2000 hp Diesel London-Norwich – Progress by Great Eastern’.
Between March and September 1958, the other nine locomotives were delivered to British Railways and divided between two London depots. D201 – D205 were all allocated to Stratford (30A) and employed on the Great Eastern Region together with D200 working services between London Liverpool Street to Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich. Meanwhile, D206 – D209 were allocated to Hornsey (34B) on the Great Northern Region and worked out of London Kings Cross on Sheffield, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh services.
Before the full evaluation of the first ten locomotives had taken place, British Railways abandoned the prototype scheme and placed an order with English Electric for a further 190 locomotives, ending in September 1962 with the appearance of D399 which was the 200th English Electric Type 4 locomotive to be built by English Electric for British Railways. They were all built at Vulcan Foundry, with exception to 20 locomotives, numbers D305 – D324, which were all constructed at Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns workshops in Darlington, while the 22 strong Deltic fleet was built at Vulcan Foundry.
The first production loco D210, was delivered to BR in May 1959 and allocated to Willesden (1A) on the London Midland Region for upgrading services on the West Coast Main Line. Others followed and were allocated to Crewe North, Longsight and Carlisle Upperby. The Eastern Region started to receive its allocation from October 1959 when D237 was allocated to Gateshead. Haymarket sampled its first taste of English Electric type 4 motive power in February 1960 when D260 was allocated to the depot. With the introduction of the ‘Deltics’ on the Eastern Region in 1961 the EE type 4’s were soon displaced off top link passenger work and by 1965 the more powerful Brush Sulzer Type 4s (class 47s) had took over the majority of East Anglia passenger working out of London Liverpool Street and, by 1967, the EE Type 4s had all been transferred to the London Midland Region.
The 200 strong fleet took four years to build and entered service with significant front end design differences. The first 125 locomotives, numbers D200 – D324 were all constructed with white marker disc headcodes but British Railways later adapted a new policy of train headcodes displaying four character train reporting number. D325 – D344 were built with split headcode boxes displaying two characters either side of the gangway doors. Another policy change meant locomotives were no longer built with gangway doors. As a result, the final batch, Nos. D345 – D399, were all constructed with four character centre headcode panels and without gangway doors, creating a much neater appearance to the front end design. Later, seven of the original Scottish based locomotives Nos. D260 – D266 were all modified to centre headcode design. Other modifications and experiments were carried out on individual class members, over the years and one of the most noticeable examples was D255, which was fitted with Electric Train Heating equipment (ETH) in addition to the standard steam heat generator. However, after various trials, the equipment was removed and the locomotive returned to a normal steam heat example. Another loco easy recognizable from a distance was 40069 due to its unique cut-away lower bodyside.
Names, Livery and Numbers
Being such a large class, it was incredible that only a small number of these locomotives received names. Between April 1960 and March 1963, 25 of the London Midland Region fleet, Nos. D210 – D225 and D226 – D235 were all named after ocean liners belonging to Cunard, Elder Dempster Lines and Canadian Pacific all associated with the port of Liverpool. Only the first three D210, D211 and D212 received naming ceremonies in 1960, while the other members received their names during works visits. Mystery has always surrounded D226 which was officially allocated the name ‘Media’ but the plate was never carried by the locomotive. During the early 1970s the nameplates started to disappear off these locos, which was a shame as the 40’s carried one of the best designed name plates ever fitted to any British Rail diesel locomotive.
The English Electric type 4s emerged from Vulcan Foundry in all-over British Rail standard green livery with a light grey roof and a thin grey band just below the bodyside roof line plus red buffer beams. Initially the class saw very little change to the overhaul appearance apart from the introduction of a half-yellow warning panels to the nose ends. These helped improve visibility for permanent way gangs working on the track and made approaching trains more visible from a distance. The final batch of locomotives were delivered to British Rail with half yellow warning panels already applied, while the rest were painted at depots or during works visits. Later full yellow ends were applied to all locomotives making them even easier to see. From 1966 onwards, British Rail adopted the new ‘Corporate’ blue image with full yellow ends. When locomotives received works attention, they would re-emerge in the new livery with exception to one locomotive, 40106. This was the last member of the class still to retain its original green livery and, when she was called into Crewe works for a general overhaul during early 1978, everyone thought that was the end of the green 40s. However, in a surprise move, the locomotive emerged from Crewe Works in the autumn of that year repainted in green livery with full yellow ends and numbered 40106 on all four cab sides.
The first ten locomotives entered service in 1958 numbered D200 – D209 and were followed later by the production series, which carried on the same numbering sequence from D210 to D399. With the demise of steam in 1968, the ‘D’ prefix on all diesels was discontinued. In 1973 BR introduced the new TOPS computer system and the English Electric Type 4s became known as Class 40s. Renumbering saw 201 – 321 became 40001 – 40121 and 323 – 399 become 40123 – 40199, with 200 taking up the number 40122 (vacant because D322 was scrapped after a serious accident at Acton Grange Junction while working the 20:40 Euston-Stranraer on May 13 1966).
In the early 1980s, some of the original named 40s regained their names after enthusiastic depot staff stenciled the names back on the bodysides using white paint. A later version saw the names neatly hand painted, again using white letters, this time on a red background in the position where the original name plates were once fitted. There was also a brief period of locos being unofficially named but this was short lived and the names were soon removed.
Over the years, the EE Type 4s have operated on the London Midland, Eastern, Scottish, Great Eastern and Great Northern Regions with great success. Once they had settled down and the initial faults had been ironed out and the locomotive crews and fitters come to understand them, the locos produced some sterling service for British Rail over the years. Even before the last locos were being built, more powerful locomotives were arriving on the scene. After entering service, the class was soon put to work on top link passenger duties operating over the Eastern, London Midland and Scottish regions but with the introduction of the ‘Deltics’ on the East Coast Main Line and the Brush Type 4s on the Great Eastern, the EE Type 4s soon found themselves delegated to secondary passenger duties. The story was very different on the London Midland Region where the class remained on top link passenger duties until the mid-1960s when electrification was introduced south of Crewe. In 1967 the complete electrification of the Euston-Manchester and Liverpool service started and more powerful 2700 hp EE Type 4s (later class 50s) were introduced and took over service north of Crewe to Glasgow.
The 40s eventually settled down to secondary passenger duties, summer holiday trains, parcel traffic and heavy freight trains together with weekend engineering trains and could be found working over a vast area from the Midlands to Inverness, Holyhead across to Scarborough and the Severn Tunnel Junction to Carlisle. In fact, the only region not familiar with the class was the Southern Region and parts of the Western Region such as Devon and Cornwall. However, in later years, the Class ventured onto the Southern and Western region on enthusiasts specials. North Wales was one of the last regular haunts for the class, a route associated with them from the early 1960s. By the early 1980s, only a hand full of the class could be found hauling summer holiday train to places such as Skegness, Blackpool, Bangor, York, Llandudno, Leeds, Manchester, Scarborough, Holyhead, Newcastle and Crewe. By then the majority of the Class were kept busy hauling heavy freight train around the country during the week. At weekends they found work on engineering trains, together with the occasional ‘dragging’ of electric motive power when the overhead live wires were switched off for vital engineering work to be carried out.
The Royal Train
The Class has always been associated with the Royal Train from the early 1960s until the late 1970s when the stock was replaced with air-conditioned electric train heating stock which the Class 40s were unable to work. Crewe depot would usually provide the motive power for Royal duties and always turn out two immaculate looking 40s for the train, which included the named examples on numerous occasions.
Probably the best known member of the Class was D326 (40126), but unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. On Boxing Day 1962, while hauling the ‘Midday Scot’ from Glasgow to Euston, she ran into the rear of 16:45 Liverpool-Birmingham train. Some 18 passengers were killed and 33 seriously injured. On the night of August 7/8, 1963, she worked 1M44 1850 Aberdeen/Glasgow-Euston mail and became involved in the ‘Great Train Robbery’. Twelve months later she was in the news again when a secondman on the loco came in contact with the overhead wires and was electrocuted. Finally in August 1965, while approaching Birmingham New Street, the loco suffered a total brake failure. Quick reactions by signal staff diverted the loco into another platform, where she ran into the back of a goods train, injuring the guard but avoiding a serious accident.
Decline of the class
Overweight, underpowered, cold, draughty and uncomfortable by today’s standards, was reason enough to get rid of them. In addition to this they were now starting to fail with serious problems, such as main generator and traction motor flashovers, bogie fractures and power unit failures. Prior to the start of 1976, only one members of the Class, No. D322, had been withdrawn from active service after suffering serious collision damage.
January 1976 saw the first planned withdrawals of the class when 40005/40039, still in its original green livery, and 40102 (all allocated to Healey Mills) were condemned. The reason given at the time was they were life-expired. Others were just switched off when due works overhaul instead of spending money on them. Any involved in accidents or in general poor condition were automatically scrapped. Remarkably only 12 members of the Class had been withdrawn by the end of 1976.
Towards the end of the 1970s, BR found themselves suffering from a general recession which hit their freight and parcel business hard. As the 40s found less and less work, their future looked bleak. However, with prediction of a total withdrawal of the class by January 1985. However, poor availability of other classes at the time helped keep withdrawals down to a minimum and in some cases locos were being put back through the work for major overhauls again. By the end of the 1970s there were still 183 locos in traffic.
As we moved into the 1980s, the Class was still giving a good account of themselves and could be found more or less any where in the country working on passenger, parcels, newspapers and a Varity of freight movements from local trip workings to heavy freightliner traffic plus weekend engineering duties.
However, for some members of the fleet, the summer of 1980 was to be their last, with BR announcing a program which would affect many of the first generation diesels. At the time, there was a large percentage of vacuum-only locos still in traffic, unable to haul the modern air brake freight and passenger stock, and which were prime candidates for early withdrawal. Towards the end of 1980, a further 20 members of the class were taken out of traffic and the remaining Eastern region 40s were all transferred to the Midland Region. 1981 witnessed even more changes with the announcement that Haymarket depot was to lose its allocation of class 40s after 21 years of being associated with the Class. The remaining ex-Scottish members of the class were all transferred away to the Midland Region, but this still did not stop the Class still venturing north of the border. The year also witnessed the largest number of withdrawals to date, with a staggering 40 members of the class being condemned including pioneer 40122 (ex D200) at Carlisle Kingmoor depot.
During the early part of 1982, Gateshead depot nominated 40057 and 40084 for special duties, and gave both locos a complete repaint prior to them taking on these duties. Withdrawals of the class continued at a steady pace and, by the end of the year, the Class was down to less than half the original build.
One of the highlights of 1983 was the reinstatement of D200/40122 back into traffic. D200 was repainted in original green livery with full yellow ends and was a tribute to all the hard work and effort put in by Toton staff. Allocated to Carlisle Kingmoor, the loco soon took up its new roll as a ‘celebrity’ loco working special charters and enthusiast rail tours. She was also classed as a general user loco and could be found on freight and passenger duties such as the daily out-and-back Carlisle-Leeds service. D200 was also seen as a direct replacement for the ageing vacuum-only 40106 which was withdrawn in April after twenty two and half years of loyal service with BR.
At the start of 1984 almost three quarters of the class had been withdrawn and were to be found lingering around at depots and works waiting their final fate. However, what was remarkable was vacuum only 40009,one of the original ten prototype locos was still in traffic some 26 years service. The loco was finally withdrawn in November 1984 and holds a place in history as the last vacuum only class 40 in traffic.
The year 1984 also saw the Class still associated with the Carlisle-Leeds service, summer Saturday Manchester to Skegness holiday trains and occasional appearances north of the border. Complete with headboard, and a train packed with enthusiasts, 40181 had the honors of hauling the last Skegness- Manchester service into Piccadilly on September 15.
The last few remaining 40s were in heavy demand on tours and special charters, taking the class from one end of the country to the other, but like all good things, they came to an end.
By now an official date of January 1985 had been earmarked for withdrawal of the Class with exception to D200/40122 and two other locos, namely 40012 and 40118, which would be retained to honour rail tours and charter commitments.
At the time I remember thinking, ‘surely they are not going to just switch all these locos off when there is nothing wrong with them?’ But that was exactly what did happen. The locos were all just switched off and, in some cases, within days were taken to Crewe or Doncaster works for cutting up.
40060 gained special dispensation to work around Carlisle yard hauling electric freights destined for electric locos for a short time and did even end up working the northbound ‘Clansman’ one day. 40012 soldiered on to February 8, while 40118 was withdrawn on February 13, leaving just D200 to carry on.
Just when most of us thought the 40’s had finished, four of them were temporary reinstated back into traffic for departmental use associated with Crewe Station re-modeling program, which was schedule to run for a period of six weeks. Renumbered Class 97s and restricted to a maximum speed of 35 mph, the locos in question were 97405 (40060), 97406 (40135), 97407 (40012), and 97408 (40118).
After Crewe Station re-opened, the four 40s continued in departmental service working ballast, freight and the occasional parcels train until finally being withdrawn between April 1986 and March 1987.
Eventually, three out of the four departmental locos were offered up for sale to preservationists, but sadly, 40060, unofficial named ‘Ancient Mariner’ never made it and were cut up at Vic Berry’s during March 1988.
End of the line
D200 successfully soldiered on for another three years with enthusiasts following the locos every move, which took her to all parts of the country on Railtours and special charter work. Even the die-hard steam enthusiasts respected D200, as she was seen as something special.
At the start of 1988, BR announced the final countdown of D200 with a withdrawal date set for April that year, almost 30 years to the day since she entered service. This sent a shiver down every ones spine as they new it was only a matter of months till the end. Rail tour operators were kept busy and the loco put in some sterling performances during the last few months of traffic.
D200’s ‘Farewell’ tour started at Liverpool Street station and travel over the same route to Norwich as she had done thirty years earlier, then onto York, where the loco was to be officially handed over to the National Railway Museum as part of the National Collection.
Out of a total number of 200 EE Type 4’s/Class 40’s built for British Railways between 1958-1962, only seven members made it into preservation.
As the 1970’s draw to a close, the future looked very uncertain for the class, especially as British Rail were now starting to feel the knock-on effects of the current recession which was hitting their freight and parcel business hard. Over the next few years, BR planned a mass withdrawal of the class and by the mid-1980’s the 40’s would just be a memory. This sent shock waves out to all class 40 enthusiasts highlighting the importance of trying to save one of these magnificent machines before it was too late.
A New Beginning
With interest in the class running at an all time high, there was never a better time to set up a preservation group and try to secure at least one of these locomotives for future generations to enjoy.
Towards the end of 1979, a group of enthusiasts got together and formed the Class Forty Preservation Society. This was the first serious attempt at saving one of these locomotives from the cutters torch, so word soon spread amongst the enthusiasts and within no time the money started coming in as the group recruited more and more members. The group introduced their own quarterly newsletter entitled “The Whistler” which kept members right up to date with all actives and withdrawals of the class. They also brought out a selection of sales merchandise to raise additional funds together with organizing of several highly successful railtour which promoted the class at the same time as promoting the CFPS.
Privately, a number of individuals were showing interest in saving one of these locomotives but their thoughts and ideas on the subject were keep very much to them selves until such times as BR sent out tender forms.
During later part of 1983, two members of the class were put on the tender list and offered up for sale by BR. The first was vacuum braked 40106 which captured the lime light in 1978 when she emerged from Crewe Works in green livery instead of the new ‘Corporate’ blue image which everyone expected. The second loco offered for sale was 40145 which was the first of the later batch to be constructed with four character centre headcode panels. The loco was also one of the original four (D345-D348) allocated to Neville Hill Leeds (55H) which appeared frequently on the short-lived “Queen of Scots Pullman” between Leeds and Edinburgh/Glasgow.
In early December 1983, BR confirmed Mr. Gerald Boden was now the new owner of 40106 and the CFPS had successfully secured 40145 for preservation. This must have been the best Christmas present ever, for all the Society members and justified all the hard work and effort put into the project by everyone concern.
With two members of the class now preserved, BR had no real intentions of offering any more Class 40’s for sale as they considered the spares retrieved off these redundant locos to be far too valuable.
With no prospects of a split headcode member of the class being saved, another group, based in the West Midlands, set up shop to try and secure one of these examples. At first BR refused to sell any more members of the class but had a change of heart after receiving a formal letter from the group concerned. A price of £50,000 was looked upon by BR at the time as a fair and realistic price to pay for such a loco that could reveal such a high payload of value spares. This highly inflated price never put the group off trying to raise the money, in fact I think it made them more determined to give it a go.
Eventually, BR decided to offer another four Class 40’s up for sale through the tender system. These would be sold in two batches with 40012 and 40135 being offered up for sale first and, shortly afterwards 40013 and 40118.
No 40012 had been dragged from Crewe to Carlisle as a Christmas tree of spares to keep D200/40122 alive, so was heavily strip of valuable components, including all the cab windows, which let all the rain into the cab causing addition damage. She was also sitting on badly fractured bogies and a 72 inch fracture was discovered in the free end of the engine block.
40013 was more or less complete and was used for a time as the LMR exhibition loco. The only down side to this loco was the fact she was sitting on D200/40122 scrap wheelsets.
40118 was another member of the class dragged up to Carlisle as a Christmas tree of spares for D200/40122 and again was heavily stripped of valuable components. She also had power unit problems with a damaged camshaft and a six inch hole in the free end of the engine block. Number five traction motor was also damaged and would need replacing.
40135 was the only one out of all four locos to be fully operational, thanks to the efforts of enthusiastic staff at Tyseley depot, who spent many unpaid hours cosmetically restoring the loco. D335 as it was now known once more, also received a full repaint into green livery with a small yellow warning panel as originally carried by the loco in the early 1960’s and made appearances at the Severn Valley Railway diesel gala and the GW Society at Didcot.
A reasonable interest was shown in all four locos prior to the closing date of the tender. The result from the first tender confirmed 40135 had been purchased by the Class Forty Preservation Society and would now be joining the groups other loco, 40145 at the ELR. The second loco numbered 40012 was successfully purchased by the Class 40 Appeal and would be moving to the Midland Railway –Butterley.
40013 and 40118 were on the second tender form sent out and, again, there was quite a bit of interest in the two locos concerned. 40013 was purchased privately by a Mr. Trevor Dean and would shortly be moving to the South Yorkshire Railway at Meadow Hall, Sheffield. The final class 40 to be sold was 40118 which was purchased by D318 Limited and moved to the Birmingham Railway Museum, at Tyseley.
The deadly word Asbestos seemed to come up quite often when the conversation involved scrap locomotives but until now this had always escaped the 40’s as it was always regarded that this had been removed during works overhaul
Shortly after all four locos had been sold, someone in the higher ranks of BR asked the question: ’Are these locos clear of asbestos?’ Not knowing the answer, BR carried out its own inspection of the locos which reveled an asbestos presents in both cab bulkheads. At this point the sale of all four locos was put on hold while arrangements were made for the locos to visit Vic Berry’s at Leicester for asbestos removal before being handed over to their new owners.
The CFPS moved 40145 to the ELR in February 1984 and then started work on the long road to restoring the loco back to full running order. One of the main obstacles they faced was replacing the air brake gear which was removed at Crewe works for further use. Eventually the group obtained all the missing components from a withdrawn electric locomotive which was fitted with the same standard Westinghouse brake equipment. On the 16th April 1984, the new proud owner of 40106 Mr.Gerald Boden moved the locomotive from Crewe Diesel depot to Loughborough yard by rail and then forward two days later by road to the Great Central Railway. Restoration work started more or less immediately and on 23rd of the month the power unit was restarted for the first time in preservation. Now renumbered D306, the loco was officially named “Atlantic Conveyor” on August 11th 1984 by Mr. John Brocklehurst, Chief Officer of the container ship, which was so tragically lost in the Falklands conflict of 1982. Following the naming ceremony, the loco worked its first passenger service over the line and became the first member of the class to haul a passenger train in preservation. Meanwhile back at the ELR, excellent progress was being made on 40145 and on Sunday 1st September 1985, the loco moved under its own power for the first time in preservation however, it was not until July 1987, that the loco was to work its first passenger service when the line from Bury to Ramsbottom was reopened.
Back at the Great Central Railway, D306 was becoming an even bigger celebrity when both the railway and locomotive were chosen to feature in the ‘Buster’ movie. The loco was disguised as the infamous D326 and fitted with mock-up split headcode boxes displaying the train reporting number 1M44, 18:50 Aberdeen/Glasgow-Euston postal. The filming on the Great Central Railway took place on 29th October 1987, and was based on one of the leading gang members from the Great Train Robbery of 1963.
Departmental numbered 97408 (40118) and 40013 were both moved from Crewe Basford Hall Yard to Humberstone Road Leicester on May 10th 1988, and then tripped into Vic Berry’s yard the following day for asbestos removal . Four months later, on September 28th, 97408 the first of the four class 40’s to be treated, was moved out of Vic Berry’s yard to Leicester depot. From here she moved to Toton and then forward to Bescot and finally the Birmingham Railway Museum, Tyseley on November 1st 1988.
Another loco heading for Vic Berry’s was 97406 (40135) which remarkably, travelled under its own power from Tyseley depot to Leicester on September 6th 1988 and therefore holds the honour of being the last class 40 to work under its own power on BR metals. After asbestos removal, the loco left Vic Berry’s on January 12th 1989 and was dragged to Toton depot. The following day she was tripped to Bescot and then forward to Crewe depot where some work was carried out, before moving onto the ELR on February 6th. Once on site restoration work continued and some three months later on May 27, the loco burst back into life for the first time in preservation.
The third loco to be treated at Vic Berry’s was 97407 (40012) which arrived at the Midland Railway-Butterley on Friday March 3rd 1989, and two days later the first working party gathered to assess the daunting task which lay ahead. One of the first jobs was to replace all the missing windows and smarten her up as the loco had been requested to appear at the last ever Coalville open day held on Sunday June 11th 1989.
After asbestos removal had taken place at Vic Berry’s Leicester 40013 was moved onto Leicester depot and then forward to Tinsley Yard on a Toton-Doncaster Speedlink service. From here the loco was moved to Sheffield Freight Yard and then loaded onto a low loader for the final journey to the South Yorkshire Railway Museum at Meadow Hall Sheffield. Since she arrived at the museum, in 1989, she became one of the museum’s main attractions during open day events but unfortunately, very little work had been done to the loco apart from a spruce up of the paintwork and renumbering as 40027 on one side only.
After nearly six year’s of being based at the Great Central Railway, D306 Atlantic Conveyor was moved to a new home at the Nene Valley Railway on February 21st 1990.
The CFPS stole the show at the East Lancs 1991 diesel gala, when 40145 appeared as 40445 in Large-Logo livery complete with Scottie dog emblems, large numbers and ETH jumper cables, even the nose end headlights worked. Although none of the class ever carried this livery, it was interesting to see what might have been had the Scottish Region retained its allocation of Class 40’s for a few more years. The group also repainted their split box machine in all over Brunswick Green and numbered her back to D335. The steam heat boiler was also restored in December 1991, which included the building of new boiler water tanks. Yellow warning panels were later applied to the loco in time for the 1992 running season.
At the start of 1992 the Class 40 Appeal was contacted by an enthusiastic bunch of lads from Longsight depot looking for a class 40 for their forthcoming open day. At the time Aureol was still a long way off being finished and was still in undercoat but their enthusiasm and offers of help pushed the group forward and to this day they have never looked back. The loco needed a full repaint, air tanks refitting, brake blocks changing the list was endless but against all the odds they made it. On Saturday April 25th 1992 there was once again an immaculate named class 40 sitting on Longsight depot when 212 stole the show. During the afternoon the locomotive was rededicated with the name ‘Aureol’ in a short naming ceremony carried out by Pete Waterman, which was the icing on the cake. From here it was back to work again and during the summer of 1992 the power unit was gradually rebuilt. One of the most dramatic fire-up ever achieved in preservation was on Sunday October 18th 1992 when Aureol burst into life for the first time in preservation. At around 15:00 hours with a massive crowd of supporters who had turned out to witness the event the first attempt was made to fire the loco up but due to low batteries the first attempt was unsuccessful. An hour later and another attempt was made, this time with the help of four cans of ‘Easy Start’ one for each turbocharger and amazingly to the cheers and shouting from the crowds, Aureol burst into life. On July 17th 1993, Aureol made its first public run in preservation. As the loco approached Butterley station with air horns blasting away, she smashed through a special banner welcoming her back into traffic. The loco also appeared at various BR open days during the 1992-1993 seasons, such as Longsight, Bescot, Leicester, Worcester, Worksop and Doncaster Works.
Since the pioneer D200 retired to the National Railway Museum, at the end of its main line career in 1988, it had done very little apart from being on show inside the Great Hall of Fame at York for a while however, all that change 1993 when she visited the nearby North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
Back in BR blue livery with full yellow ends, 40145 was invited to the 1994 Crewe Basford Hall Yard open day, along with sister loco D212 Aureol, and this was the first time these two locos had been together since becoming preserved. The following year the organizers held a similar event and invited three members of the class: 212 Aureol and 40145 (both in BR blue livery), plus 40135 in green with full yellow ends. This was another first for the class in preservation with all three nose end variations on show in one place at the same time. Aureol also visited Worcester for the second time, Exeter, Doncaster Works (again for the second time) and the Severn Valley Railway diesel gala in May 1994. The following year saw Aureol off on its travels again when she was invited to the Mid-Hants gala which was held over the weekend of March 4th & 5th 1995. However, disaster hit the group when the loco inspector who past the loco fit to run two days earlier, failed the loco with fractured bogies which prevented her from returning to the Midland Railway-Butterley with the rest of the convoy. Eventually, the situation was resolved and the loco returned home via the Crewe Basford Hall open day.
In September 1995 40145 broke new ground for the class when she made a guest appearance at the West Somerset Railways Autumn diesel gala. It was also the first time the loco had worked on another preserved line.
The CFPS were kept busy throughout the summer of 1997 with the arrival on the line of D200 which was on loan from the NRM and the repainting of 40145 into all-over dark Brunswick green livery and numbered D345. Unfortunately while on the line, D200 developed main generator problems which lead to the power unit/main generator being lifted out and sent away for repairs. The Main Generator was returned during the early part of 1998 and fitted back into the loco, at the same time D200 received a spruce up of its paint work and the yellow warning panels were removed in favour of all-over dark Brunswick green. Work complete, the loco took part in the ELR ‘Roaring Forties’ event, on April 18th, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the loco inaugural run from Liverpool Street to Norwich. During 1999, a small yellow warning panel was added to D345 prior to the loco appearing at the ELR “Maga” diesel event. Later that year the loco paid another highly successful visit to the West Somerset Railway and became the first ever green class 40 to travel over the line. From the WSR the loco made its way to the Severn Valley Railway’s diesel gala and onto North Yorkshire Moors before returning back to the East Lancs in late November.
During April 1998, D335 suffered serious power unit damage and as a result was out of traffic for more than two years and did not return to traffic until September 2000, when she took part in the ELR diesel gala. Following this event, the loco was taken out of traffic again for minor bodywork and a full repaint into BR blue livery in time for the ELR 2001 diesel gala.
With the threat of closure looming over the South Yorkshire Railway Museum, owner Trevor Dean was looking to move 40013 out to pastures new. The Class 40 Appeal had always expressed an interest in trying to obtain the loco, but the owner was adamant the loco was not up for sale. Eventually both parties agreed a package which would allow 40013 to move to the Midland Railway-Butterley on a five year lease so on Monday September 13th 1999 after 10 years based at the South Yorkshire Railway, 40013 finally left Meadow Hall and headed for the MR-Butterley arriving there the following day.
More or less from day one, the Class 40’s had always associated with Crewe Works, so it was no real surprise to find D200 had been invited along to the May 2000 event. The loco also made a guest appearance at the Old Oak Common event in August of that year along with D345.
Since Andania arrived at the MR-Butterley hundred’s of man hours were spent restoring the loco and then on Sunday November 4th 2001, at around 19:00 hours an attempt was made to fire 40013 up for the first time in preservation. However, after only running for a short period of time a serious knocking noise was heard and the loco was shut down. The loco agreement between both parties was terminated shortly after and the loco moved to Barrow Hill where restoration continues. Seven months later the loco was successfully started again and the following week she moved under her own power for the first time in preservation.
Still in all-over green livery, D200 made another guest appearance at the ELR during the summer of 2001 and worked at the July and September diesel events. After a gap of some ten years, D200 found her self back on the NYMR in 2003 and as remained there ever since apart from a one off trip to Barrow Hill during 2003.
Having lost 40013, the Class 40 Appeal concentrated all its efforts on its own class 40 and in August 2001 the loco was taken out of traffic for major bodywork and a full repaint in 1960’s style Green. However, things did not go according to plan and by 2005 the loco was still in undercoat. Ten months later and the situation had not changed; the loco was still in undercoat waiting shed space. Eventually, things started moving and Aureol was moved inside for her repaint and emerged two weeks later in 1960’s dark Brunswick green with small yellow warning panels, a light grey roof and numbered D212. The year also saw 40135 at the ELR repainted back into dark Brunswick green and numbered D335.
On July 25th 2007, 40145 appeared at Bolton Street station Bury, in Large-Logo livery and was named “East Lancashire Railway” using the name plates which were originally fitted to 37418. The loco also carries a crest above the name plates commemorating the life of East Lancs member, Trevor Jones. The repaint was sponsored by DVD producer Visions International.
Apart from the seven locomotives in preservation, one other piece of class 40 memorabilia which can often be found in the public eye is the cab off 40088.
Donated to the Crewe Hertiage Centre in 1988, by Crewe Locomotive Works, the cab attracted very little interest and was eventually obtained by the 16 SVT Group at the Birmingham Railway Museum, Tyseley, who stripped it of all its valuable components for their own loco and then set about restoring it back to its former glory in Green Livery with a small yellow warning panel. The cab was subsequently acquired by a business man from Lye, near Stourbridge in the West Midlands. He kept it a few years and then sold it on and today it forms a very important part of the CFPS sales stand.
The Ones that got away
Having secured 40012 for preservation, the Class 40 Appeal still wanted to try and achieve its original aims of preserving a split headcode Class 40, so contacted B.R.E.L 88 Ltd (Crewe Works) with the view to buying 40139 which was the only other member of the twenty strong fleet (40125-40144) still left in existence, but due to the high value of recoverable components placed on the locomotive at the time, a realistic price could not be agreed and the locos were eventually cut up on site. There was also a potential interest in trying to save one or two other members of the class scattered around the works at the time, like 40104, 40181 and 40195 but unfortunately, nothing ever became of this.
Main Line Running
Another mile stone in the history of the class was achieved on Monday October 28th 2002, when D345 hauling a loaded test train from Crewe to Carnforth and return become the first Class 40 to return to the main line since 16th April 1988.
In order to gain main line certification, the loco needed to carry out two test runs. The first took place on Friday October 18th when the loco travelled light engine from Castleton Junction to Crewe, with 37197 DIT. Then on Monday October 28th the loco completed two loaded test runs from Crewe to Carnforth and return without any problems and was certified by Resco Railways Ltd, as fit for mainline running.
On 30th November 2002, D345 hauled the first Class 40 mainline passenger train since April 1988, when she worked the ‘Christmas Cracker IV’ railtour from Birmingham New Street to Holyhead and return. Since then, the loco as work numerous railtour and as travelled thousands of miles throughout the country and is a credit to the CFPS and all those involved in mainline running.
Latest Information (correct at the start of 2008).
Built at: Vulcan Foundry 1958
Current Running Number: D200
Status: Under Repairs
Current Livery: Dark Brunswick Green
Owned By: National Railway Museum and is a part of the National Railway Collection.
Current Location: NRM York.
Built at: Vulcan Foundry 1959
Current Running Number: D212
Current Livery: Dark Brunswick Green with small yellow warning panels.
Owned By: Class 40 Appeal
Current Location: Midland Railway-Butterley.
Built at: Vulcan Foundry 1959
Current Running Number: 40013
Status: Under Restoration
Current Livery: BR Blue with full yellow ends
Owned By: Privately owned
Current Location: Barrow Hill Roundhouse
Built at: Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn 1960
Current Running Number: D306
Name: Atlantic Conveyor
Current Livery: Dark Brunswick Green with full yellow ends
Owned By: Privately owned
Current Location: Nene Valley Railway
Built at: Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn 1961
Current Running Number: 40118
Status: Under Restoration
Current Livery: BR Blue with full yellow ends
Owned By: D318 Ltd
Current Location: Birmingham Railway Museum, Tyseley
Built at: Vulcan Foundry 1961
Current Running Number: D335
Current Livery: Dark Brunswick Green
Owned By: Class Forty Preservation Society
Current Location: East Lancs Railway
Built at: Vulcan Foundry 1961
Current Running Number: 40145
Name: East Lancashire Railway
Current Livery: BR Large-Logo Blue
Owned By: Class Forty Preservation Society
Current Location: East Lancs Railway
Main Line Certified.