BR Class 40 40106 Atlantic Conveyor

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BR Class 40 40106 Atlantic Conveyor
40106 20201017.jpg
40106 at Kidderminster in October 2020
Built By Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns Ltd
Configuration 1Co-Co1
Power type Diesel-electric
Status Operational
Loco Number 40106
Other Numbers D306
Built 1960
Type Class 40
1984 Preserved
2018 Arrived on the SVR on hire
Length 69ft 6in
Weight 135 tons

Diesel Locomotives

BR Class 40 40106 Atlantic Conveyor is a diesel-electric locomotive which has been on hire to the SVR since August 2018.

The 200 examples of the Class 40, also known as the "English Electric Type 4", were built between 1958 and 1962. They were initially used by BR on express passenger services; 25 of the class which hauled express trains to Liverpool were named after ships operated by companies based at the port of Liverpool including Cunard Line, Elder Dempster Lines and Canadian Pacific Steamships. The Class 40s gradually moved onto secondary passenger and freight services as their 'top-link' duties were taken over by more powerful locomotives. Class 40s are sometimes nicknamed "Whistlers"[1].

40106 in service

The majority of the Class 40s were built by English Electric but this example was one of 20 built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns Ltd at Darlington. Initially numbered D306 (and never named by BR), the locomotive entered service in BR diesel green livery at Crewe on 13 October 1960, moving to Edge Hill later the same year. In June 1964 it suffered a severe fire due to electrical overload/arcing, resulting in damage to the insulation material. After repair, service continued with allocations to a number of other North West depots.

In March 1974 the locomotive was re-numbered 40106 following the introduction of TOPS. It was allocated to Longsight, Manchester in 1976 where it remained based for the remainder of its BR service.[2] In September 1978 40106 was one of the last Class 40s to be repainted into BR blue and yellow livery, with a further repaint in Dark Brunswick green with full yellow ends following almost immediately. In that form 40106 was used on a number of railtour and other special passenger workings, including a visit to the SVR on 5 May 1979 with the Severn Valley Pioneer railtour. It also participated in the 'Rocket 150' celebrations at Rainhill in May 1980[3].

The locomotive was finally withdrawn from BR service on 21 April 1983[2].

40106 in preservation

40106 was bought by the late Gerald Boden in March 1984 and delivered to the Great Central Railway. On 11 August 1984 the locomotive, re-numbered D306, was named "Atlantic Conveyor" in memory of the Cunard cargo ship and those on board who lost their lives in the 1982 Falklands war. Following the naming ceremony, D306 became the first Class 40 to work a passenger train in preservation. In October 1987 the locomotive, disguised as D326, was used in a re-enactment of the 'Great Train Robbery' for the film 'Buster'.

D306 visited the SVR for diesel galas in 2011 and 2014. In November 2015 the locomotive was purchased by the Class 40 Preservation Society, based at the East Lancashire Railway in Bury.[3] In 2018 the SVR signed a contract with the Society to hire one of their Class 40s, initially for a 12 month period. Being fitted with vacuum brakes and steam heating equipment, it would be capable of working passenger services during the winter period,[4] and could also cover for BR Class 37 37688 Great Rocks which was not then able to operate vacuum braked coaches. 40106 arrived on the SVR on 2 August as a temporary replacement for the nominated locomotive 40135.

In the event, difficulties with completing work on 40135 led to 40106 remaining on hire. While on the SVR, 40106 is being maintained by SVR-based CFPS members with a knowledge of the Class. On 21 July 2020 the locomotive temporarily moved back to the ELR to be lifted for segmental bearing and steam heat pipework repairs, returning to the SVR on 15 October.

By 2023 it had accumulated 14,000 miles since it arrived for its loan[5].

Steam heating boiler

A failure of the steam heat boiler ('baby Stones' OK4625) restricted its use during winter 2018-19. The boiler (OK4610) from 40135 was palleted down from Bury and fitted to 40106 in the Diesel Depot, to fulfil the commitment to the SVR of providing a steam heat 40. It was recommissioned on 18 September 2019 and saw use from winter 2019-20.[6]

The Class 40 Preservation Society

The Class 40 Preservation Society is Registered Charity No: 326323. Its principal activities are "To preserve and restore to full working order and operate at galas around the UK, 3 x heritage English Electric Class 40 diesel electric locomotives"[7].

See also


  1. Wikipedia
  2. 2.0 2.1 BR Database (Retrieved 24 September 2019)
  3. 3.0 3.1 CFPS website
  4. SVR News 203 p. 48.
  5. 40106 Support Crew on Facebook 21 May 2023
  6. SVR News 206, p. 22.
  7. Charity Commission