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Yorkshire Eng Co & BTH Ltd 15 Bo-Bo

Locomotive History
Information and History

Of the many orders placed under the Modernisation Plan pilot scheme, one was a contract awarded to Clayton Equipment Co. to construct a fleet of ten (subsequently increased to 44) Type A (Type 1) 800hp locomotives for local freight and branch line operation.

The locomotives were powered by a Paxman 16YHXL engine which drove British Thomson-Houston (BTH) electrical equipment. The original order for ten locomotives, allocated BR running numbers D8200-D8209, was placed during November 1955 with construction being effected by the Yorkshire Engine Co. during 1956-57. Subsequent orders were placed for identical locomotives during 1958- 59 which led to an eventual production fleet of 44, running numbers for subsequent locomotives being D8210-D8243.

Construction of locomotives D8210-D8243 was carried out by Clayton. The first locomotive of the build was handed over to the BTC at Euston station on 18th November 1957, after initial testing and proving the locomotive was allocated to Devons Road (Bow) shed and commenced operation in and around East London. However after only a short time their operating range was extended by taking over many cross-London freights. lt is interesting to note that when ordered this fleet was to be deployed in East Anglia, but due to several London authorities demanding the implementation of the newly passed Clean Air Act it was decided to use the fleet in London, enabling steam to be phased out from several areas.

ln less than a year from the introduction of No. D8200 the initial fleet of ten pilot order locomotives were in service and providing a good miles-per-casualty figure. The order for locomotives No. D8210-D8243 began to appear in October 1959, with the final locomotive taking to the rails in February 1961. The complete fleet of BTH Type 1s as they became known were deployed on ER London area freights and some empty stock duties for many years, until the gradual decline in freight traffic in the late 1960s/early 1970s led to their withdrawal. Two machines soldiered on during the early 1970s for empty stock working in the Stratford—Liverpool Street area but the majority of locomotives were sold for scrap. Under the BR numerical classification the locomotive fleet became Class 15, but none survived to receive their five figure TOPS numbers.

After withdrawal from operational service four locomotives were taken into departmental service as carriage pre-heating units. Today all but one of these have been withdrawn. Luckily one example, No.D8233 has been saved by the Class 15 Preservation Society and is in the process of restoration to full operational condition. When built the fleet was painted in all over BR green livery, which was later altered to accommodate yellow warning ends.

New 800 h.p. diesel locomotive for B.R.

From Trains Illustrated No 112 (January, 1958). Reproduced with the kind permission of Ian Allan Publishing Ltd

The first of ten British Thomson-Houston 800 h.p. diesel-electric locomotives, No. D8200, was formally delivered to British Railways at a ceremony at Euston station on November 18. These locomotives are classified as Type "1" (formerly known as Type "A”) in the British Railways’ diesel range, and ten will be allocated to Devons Road motive power depot, in the London area of the L.M.R., to work freight trains between Poplar, Temple Mills, Acton and Willesden.

The new locomotive is rated at 800 h.p. and is to be used primarily for freight duty. It has a maximum designed speed of 60 m.p.h., a maximum tractive effort of 37,500 lb. at starting, and is capable of exerting a continuous tractive effort of 20,000 lb. at 10.5 m.p.h.

The locomotive has been designed under the overall direction of Messrs. R. C. Bond and S. B. Warder (respectively Chief Mechanical Engineer and Chief Electrical Engineer, British Railways Central Staff, B.T.C.), and Mr. John Barnes, F.S.I.A., of Allen-Bowden Ltd., Leamington Spa, acted as design consultant on behalf of the B.T.C. Design Panel. A piece of evidence of sorne attention to outline is that originally the ventilating louvres were to be located in the access doors, but in the final design the doors were made flush and the louvres arranged above in one continuous panel. At the same time other louvres and filter panels were rearranged to harmonise with the general design and the necessary grab rail above the access doors was made in aluminium to form an unpainted trim line.

The British Thomson-Houston Co. Ltd., in addition to acting as main contractor for the whole locomotive, provided all the electrical equipment of No. D8200. The mechanical structure was designed by the Clayton Equipment Co. Ltd., in close collaboration with B.T.H. and the bogies and the superstructure were built by the Clayton Equipment Co. at their Tutbury works. The underframe was built by the Yorkshire Engine Co. Ltd., Sheffield and the final assembly and painting of the complete locomotive were carried out by them.

The locomotive is of generally conventional "hood-unit" design and mounted on two four-wheeled swing bolster bogies fitted with SKF roller-bearing axleboxes. There is a nose-suspended traction motor mounted on each axle, driving through single reduction gearing with a resilient gearwheel. The body comprises a power unit and radiator compartment, a driver’s cab, and a short rear compartment behind the driver’s cab housing the electrical control equipment and certain auxiliaries. The main power plant consists of a Paxman 16-cylinder YHXL “V"-type diesel engine, pressure-charged by two Napier exhaust gas-driven turbo-chargers rated 800 b.h.p. at 1,250 r.p.m., and coupled to a BTH 6-pole, 500-kW. generator rated 690/337 volts, 720/1,320 amps.

In the cab there are driving positions for either direction of travel. At each driving position there is a swivelling seat, master controller, airbrake valve, vacuum brake valve, sanding valve, deadman’s pedal, two-tone horn control and an illuminated instrument panel; a food cupboard and cooker are also provided, and for further driving comfort there are two "Clayton" heaters (one at each driving position) and four demisters for front and rear windows.

The locomotive is fitted with compressed- air brakes, and with vacuum exhausters and control equipment for application of vacuum train brakes. It is arranged for operation in multiple with certain locomotives of similar or of greater rating in groups of up to three locomotives.