British Rail Class 27

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BRCW Type 2
British Rail Class 27
Carlisle 26066.jpg
27066 at Carlisle Citadel[when?]
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderBirmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company
Serial numberDEL190–DEL258
Build date1961–1962
Total produced69
Specifications
Configuration:
 • UICBo'Bo'
 • CommonwealthBo-Bo
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter3 ft 7 in (1.092 m)
Minimum curve5 chains (100 m)
Wheelbase39 ft 0 in (11.89 m)
Length50 ft 9 in (15.47 m)
Width8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
Height12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)
Loco weightOriginally: 72.50 long tons (73.7 t; 81.2 short tons)
71–76 tonnes (70–75 long tons; 78–84 short tons)
Fuel capacity685 imp gal (3,110 l; 823 US gal)
Prime moverSulzer 6LDA28-B
GeneratorDC
Traction motorsfour GEC WT459 DC traction motors
TransmissionDiesel electric
MU working Blue Star
Train heatingAs built, Steam generator
subclass 27/2, Electric Train Heating, Houchin 120 kW (160 hp) alternator powered by Deutz 8-cylinder air-cooled diesel engine, type F8L413
Train brakesInitially 14 dual-braked, 10 fitted with additional air brakes later on. Remainder vacuum only.
Performance figures
Maximum speed90 mph (145 km/h)
Power outputEngine: 1,250 hp (932 kW) @750 rpm
At rail: 933 hp (696 kW)
Tractive effortMaximum: 42,000 lbf (187 kN)
Continuous: 25,000 lbf (111 kN)
Brakeforce34 long tons-force (340 kN)
Career
OperatorsBritish Railways
NumbersD5347–D5415; later 27001–27066
Axle load classRoute availability 6 (RA 5 from 1969)
First run1961
Retired1987
Disposition8 preserved, remainder scrapped

British Rail's Class 27 comprised 69 diesel locomotives built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company (BRCW) during 1961 and 1962. They were a development of the earlier Class 26; both were originally classified as the BRCW Type 2. The Class 27s were numbered D5347-D5415.[1]

Working life[edit]

27005 at Glasgow Queen Street.
Distribution of locomotives,
March 1974[2]
British Rail Class 27 is located in Scotland
ED
ED
HA
HA
Code Name Quantity
ED Eastfield 57
HA Haymarket 11
Withdrawn (1966) 1
Total built: 69

Original allocations were D5347–D5369 to Glasgow Eastfield, D5370–D5378 to Thornaby and D5379–D5415 to London Cricklewood for Tilbury Boat trains and Cross-London freight services. In the period September to December 1963, some of the Cricklewood allocation were transferred to Leicester and in December 1965 the Thornaby allocation was also nominally transferred to Leicester to join them. Traffic changes combined with reallocation of Class 25s led to the gradual transfer of the Leicester and Cricklewood locomotives to Scotland during 1969 thus concentrating the whole class within Scotland and being part of the replacement fleet that allowed the withdrawal of the poorly performing Clayton Class 17 locomotives from traffic. For many years they were extensively used on the West Highland Line. By September 1986, the final vacuum brake only locos had been withdrawn, regular passenger services had ceased and only 21 locos remained, allocated entirely to Eastfield depot. A mass withdrawal in July 1987 due to the presence of blue asbestos left 27008 as the last in service. Its final working was on 13 August and the loco was officially withdrawn on 19 August 1987. The Class 27s were actually outlived by the older Class 26s, whose less powerful engines were more reliable.

Sub-Classes[edit]

  • 27/0: Locomotives as built with steam heating (excluding 27024–27031)
  • 27/1: Locomotives converted in 1971–1973 for push pull operation, renumbered back to 27/0 after conversion starting in 1982.
  • 27/2: Locomotives converted in 1973–1976 with Electric Train Heat, renumbered back to 27/0 after conversion starting in 1982.

Edinburgh-Glasgow push-pull operation[edit]

By the late 1960s, the Swindon-built Inter City DMUs operating the Edinburgh Waverley - Glasgow Queen Street express service were becoming unreliable. In 1970 the decision was made to replace them with locomotive-hauled carriages. So between 1971 and 1973, twenty-four Class 27s were fitted-up with dual (vacuum and air) brakes and reclassified Class 27/1, while 36 Mark 2 carriages (7 brake second opens, 22 open seconds, and 7 corridor firsts) swapped their vacuum-operated shoe brakes for air-operated disc brakes and were though-wired with "Blue Star" control cables to enable "top and tail" push-pull working. It was later decided that as the Mark 2 stock was dual (steam or electric) heated, to convert half the 27/1 fleet to electric train heat, by replacing the train heating boiler with a Deutz 8-cylinder, air-cooled diesel engine and alternator. The conversions were then classified as Class 27/2, and were used on one end of the train, with a 27/1 on the other.

The very intensive 90 mph (140 km/h) "push-pull" service was demanding on the locomotives and reliability started to suffer. The 27/2s, especially, appeared prone to fire damage, especially from their electric train heating alternators. The push-pull sets were replaced in 1980 by single Class 47/7s at one end of a rake of Mark 3 carriages and a DBSO. The Class 27/1s and 27/2s were then renumbered to 27/0 and could often be found on Edinburgh-Dundee semi-fast passenger services, until their replacement, briefly by Class 101 and subsequently by Class 150 Sprinter DMUs in 1987, whilst the remainder were largely used on freight.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 30 June 1962, locomotive D5386 was in a minor collision with a diesel multiple unit at Cricklewood carriage sidings, London due to confusion over a hand signal.[3]
  • On 25 August 1965, locomotive D5383 was heading a freight train that collided with the rear on another freight train at East Langton. It was taken to Derby Works for evaluation, but was withdrawn in January the following year.[4]
  • Locomotive 27 044 was severely damaged by fire before 5 September 1980. It was consequently withdrawn and scrapped.[5]

Fleet list[edit]

Table of locomotives[6]
Original
D-series
No.
First
TOPS No.
Second
TOPS No.
Third
TOPS No.
BRCW
serial No.
Date built Date withdrawn Notes
D5347 27001 DEL190 Jun 1961 Jul 1987 Preserved
D5348 27002 DEL191 Jul 1961 Jan 1986
D5349 27003 DEL192 Jul 1961 Jan 1987
D5350 27004 DEL193 Aug 1961 May 1986
D5351 27005 DEL194 Aug 1961 Jul 1987 Preserved
D5352 27006 DEL195 Sep 1961 Jan 1976
D5353 27007 DEL196 Sep 1961 Jan 1985 Preserved
D5354 27008 DEL197 Sep 1961 Aug 1987
D5355 27009 DEL198 Sep 1961 Jul 1980 Withdrawn due to fire damage[7]
D5356 27010 DEL199 Oct 1961 Apr 1986
D5357 27011 DEL200 Oct 1961 Mar 1981
D5358 27012 DEL201 Oct 1961 May 1986
D5359 27013 DEL202 Nov 1961 Jul 1976
D5360 27014 DEL203 Nov 1961 Sep 1986
D5361 27015 DEL204 Nov 1961 Jan 1977 Withdrawn due to accident damage[7]
D5362 27016 DEL205 Nov 1961 Apr 1984
D5363 27017 DEL206 Dec 1961 May 1986
D5364 27018 DEL207 Dec 1961 May 1986
D5365 27019 DEL208 Dec 1961 May 1984
D5366 27020 DEL209 Jan 1962 Apr 1986
D5367 27021 DEL210 Jan 1962 Jun 1985
D5368 27022 DEL211 Jan 1962 Jan 1985
D5369 27023 DEL212 Jan 1962 May 1986
D5370 27024 ADB968028 DEL213 Jan 1962 Jul 1987 Preserved
D5371 27025 DEL214 Jan 1962 Jun 1987
D5372 27026 DEL215 Jan 1962 Jul 1987
D5373 27027 DEL216 Jan 1962 Jun 1983
D5374 27101 27045 DEL217 Feb 1962 May 1986
D5375 27028 DEL218 Feb 1962 Aug 1984
D5376 27029 DEL219 Feb 1962 Jan 1986
D5377 27030 DEL220 Feb 1962 Apr 1986
D5378 27031 DEL221 Mar 1962 May 1978 Withdrawn due to fire damage[7]
D5379 27032 DEL222 Mar 1962 May 1985
D5380 27102 27046 DEL223 Apr 1962 Jul 1987
D5381 27033 DEL224 Apr 1962 Feb 1986
D5382 27034 DEL225 Apr 1962 Jul 1984
D5383 DEL226 Apr 1962 Jan 1966 Withdrawn due to accident damage[7] at East Langton, 20 August 1965
D5384 27035 DEL227 May 1962 Sep 1976
D5385 27036 DEL228 May 1962 Apr 1986
D5386 27103 27212[i] 27066 DEL229 May 1962 Jul 1987 Preserved
D5387 27104 27048 DEL230 May 1962 May 1986
D5388 27105 27049 DEL231 May 1962 Apr 1987
D5389 27037 DEL232 May 1962 Mar 1986
D5390 27038 DEL233 Jun 1962 Feb 1987
D5391 27119 27201 DEL234 Jun 1962 Jan 1979
D5392 27120 27202 DEL235 Jun 1962 Aug 1980 Withdrawn due to fire damage[7]
D5393 27121 27203 27057 DEL236 Jun 1962 May 1985
D5394 27106 27050 DEL237 Jun 1962 Jul 1987 Preserved
D5395 27107 27051 DEL238 Jun 1962 Jul 1987
D5396 27108 27052 DEL239 Jun 1962 Jul 1987
D5397 27109 27053 DEL240 Aug 1962 May 1987
D5398 27039 DEL241 Jul 1962 Oct 1975
D5399 27110 27054 DEL242 Jul 1962 Jul 1987
D5400 27111 27055 DEL243 Jul 1962 Jul 1987
D5401 27112 27056 DEL244 Jul 1962 Feb 1987 Preserved
D5402 27040 DEL245 Jul 1962 Jan 1986
D5403 27122 27204 27058 DEL246 Jul 1962 May 1986
D5404 27133 27207 27061 DEL247 Jul 1962 May 1986
D5405 27041 DEL248 Jul 1962 May 1986
D5406 27042 DEL249 Jul 1962 May 1987
D5407 27114 27208 27062 DEL250 Aug 1962 Feb 1986
D5408 27115 27209 27063 DEL251 Aug 1962 Jul 1987
D5409 27116 27210 27064 DEL252 Aug 1962 May 1986 27116 allocated, but never carried
D5410 27123 27205 27059 DEL253 Aug 1962 Jul 1987 Preserved
D5411 27117 27211 27065 DEL254 Sep 1962 May 1986
D5412 27124 27206 27060 DEL255 Sep 1962 Mar 1986
D5413 27118 27203[i] 27047 DEL256 Sep 1962 Apr 1986
D5414 27043 DEL257 Sep 1962 Apr 1980 Withdrawn due to fire damage[7]
D5415 27044 DEL258 Oct 1962 Jul 1980 Withdrawn due to fire damage[7]

Preserved locomotives[edit]

Eight examples of the class have been preserved at various heritage railways in Great Britain.[9]

Numbers
(current in bold)
Livery Location Condition
D5347 27001 BR Blue Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway Serviceable
D5351 27005 BR Blue Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway Stored
D5353 27007 BR Green Scotland Stored
D5370 27024 ADB968028 BR Green (Yellow Warning Panels) Caledonian Railway (Brechin) Serviceable
D5386 27103 27212 27066 BR Blue Barrow Hill Roundhouse Stored, Running
D5394 27106 27050 BR Green (no Yellow Warning Panels) Strathspey Railway Serviceable
D5401 27112 27056 BR Blue Great Central Railway Under Repairs
D5410 27123 27205 27059 BR Green UK Rail Leasing, Leicester Under Restoration

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Webb gives DEL256 as being numbered D5413, 27 118, 27 212 [8]


  1. ^ http://www.brdatabase.info/locoqry.php?action=class&type=D&id=25
  2. ^ British Railways Locoshed Book 1974 edition. Shepperton: Ian Allan. 1974. pp. 21–22. ISBN 0-7110-0558-3.
  3. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1991). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 7. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 41. ISBN 0-906899-50-8.
  4. ^ "BRCW Type 2: 1958–1976". DerbySulzers.com. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  5. ^ Butlin, Ashley. Diesels and Electrics for scrap. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 9. ISBN 0 906899 27 3.
  6. ^ "BR Class 27 Fleet". BRdatabase.info. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Strickland, p. 85.
  8. ^ Webb (1978), p. 53.
  9. ^ "Preserved Diesels - Class 27". Retrieved 28 October 2009.

Sources[edit]

  • Harris, Roger (1985). The Allocation History of BR Diesels and Electrics (2nd ed.). Bromsgrove: Roger Harris.
  • Marsden, Colin J. (1981). Motive power recognition:1 Locomotives. Shepperton: Ian Allan Ltd. ISBN 0-7110-1109-5.
  • Oakley, Michael (1981). BR Class 26/27 Diesels. Truro: D Bradford Barton. ISBN 0-85153-418-X.
  • Strickland, David C. (September 1983). Locomotive Directory: Every Single One There Has Ever Been. Camberley, Surrey: Diesel and Electric Group. ISBN 978-0-9063-7510-5. OCLC 16601890.
  • Tayler, A.T.H (1984). BR Locomotives:2 Sulzer Types 2 and 3. Ian Allan Ltd. ISBN 0-7110-1340-3.
  • Webb, Brian (1978). Sulzer Diesel Locomotives of British Rail. David & Charles. ISBN 0715375148.
  • Williams, Alan; Percival, David (1977). British Railways Locomotives and Multiple Units including Preserved Locomotives 1977. Shepperton: Ian Allan Ltd. ISBN 0-7110-0751-9.
  • Ian Allan ABC of British Railways Locomotives, 1983 edition

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]