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Front cover of Modern Railways Pictorial Magazine, October 1981 Issue
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Modern Railways Pictorial Magazine, October 1981 Issue

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Contents Listing - Articles & Features in this issue

Parkstone Bank
Horbury Cutting
Old Oak Common
Picture Parade
Class 50s in Scotland
Class 47/7s at work
Southport
Photonews
Welsh namings
Railscene

Article Snippets
Article Snippets
Introduction:
It seems that the BRB's well-publicised decision to scrap 1,000 Mark 1 coaches within the next year or two, thereby eliminating steam heated passenger trains by 1984, may have caught the Regional Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineers napping. There is ample motive power available to haul the dwindling number of trains at present but the majority of locomotives are unable to provide electric train heating. There are few problems to worry about during the four months of English summer, but for the other eight months of the year train heating is a necessity. There is, of course, a programme for converting the boiler-fitted Class 47/Os to eth Class 47/4s but there will need to be frantic activity if sufficient eth locomotives are to be made available by 1984. Hundreds of Class 26/1, 27, 31,37, 40, 45/0 and 47 diesels are still fitted with boilers and relatively few locomotives are eth fitted. There is a handful of Class 3 l/4s, 94 Class 33s, some 50 Class 45/ls, the Class 50s and about 200 Class 47/4-7s with eth. Following the withdrawal of the dual heat Class 55s, only slightly over 400 locomotives will be available to - haul passenger trains over non-electrified lines. At the moment, a single Class 37 is at BREL Doncaster Works for conversion to eth. The problem with all less powerful diesel classes is that to provide eth and air conditioning requires several hundred horsepower of the locomotives total power output. Class 3 l/33/37s can ill afford to lose that amount of power unless restricted to very short trains. Therefore, the guinea-pig-Class 37 is being uprated to 2,000hp in an attempt to overcome these problems. It is probably not worthwhile carrying out similar experiments with the ageing 1-Co-Co-l classes and other than converting all Class 47s, or perhaps even providing facilities for Class 56s, the only logical candidates for conversion are the Class 37s. It is rumoured that 45 Class 37s will be converted to eth if the initial experiment is successful and, if this happens, presumably some parts of Cornwall and South Wales will lose their allocations. The ramifications of such moves will be interesting.

What is surprising is that the SR can continue to justify the use of a large number of Class 33s on freight while the WR still rosters Class 50s to head humble freights in Devon or cement wagons in Cornwall. The outcome of the train heating problems will be interesting, especially when added to the saga of the disappearing diesel classes mentioned in previous MRP editorials. In the November issue of MRP there will be a look at Freightliners, an item on south-west Wales, features on the Strathclyde 'Blue Trains', SR dmus, BR's new dmus plus pages of Photonews and the railway photographers' Picture Parade. Also we will keep you up to date with movements in Railscene and other information in our Works Round-up and Stocklist — all for only 50p.
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