BR Class 31 31466
|BRBritish Rail or British Railways Class 31 31466|
31466 at Highley, September 2021
|Built By||Brush Traction|
|Other Numbers||D5533, 31115|
|2001||Withdrawn and preserved|
|2007||Preserved on the DFR|
|2021||Arrived at the SVRSevern Valley Railway on hire|
|2023||Left the SVRSevern Valley Railway|
BRBritish Rail or British Railways Class 31
The BRBritish Rail or British Railways Class 31 diesel-electric locomotive was originally classified as the Brush Type 2The British Railways classification for diesel locomotives of 1001 bhp to 1499 bhp. A total of 263 were built by Brush Traction between 1957 and 1962 as part of BRBritish Rail or British Railways's early modernisation plans to replace steam locomotives. The Type were built with Mirrlees JVS12T engines as used in locomotives built for the then Ceylon Government Railways, but uprated from 1,250hp to 1,365hp. This, however, proved unreliable and the Type was rebuilt with the proven English Electric 12CSVT found in the Class 37.
The introduction of TOPS saw the type designated as Class 30, and when re-engined as Class 31.
The locomotives received a number of derogatory nicknames including Goyles (short for "gargoyles" in reference to the perceived ugliness of the design), Peds (short for "pedal cars" in reference to their speed and pulling power) and Gurglers, after the noise they made. 26 members of the class have been preserved.
This locomotive entered service in June 1959 at Norwich Thorpe MPDMotive Power Depot numbered D5533. In April 1968 it was reclassified from Class 30 to Class 31 sub-type 31/1 (the standard locomotive fitted with steam heating and Blue StarAn electro-magnetic form of multiple working equipment widely used by BR in first generation diesel locomotives and multiple units whereby multiple like-coded vehicles are capable of running under the control of one driver. A blue star coupling code is normally indicated on the front of the vehicle. electro-pneumatic control).
The introduction of TOPSTotal Operations Processing System, an American computer system adopted by BR from the late 1960s to number and manage rolling stock. saw the locomotive renumbered as 31115 in January 1973. In March 1985 it was fitted with Electric Train Heating ('ETHElectric Train Heating'), becoming sub-type 31/4 and receiving its final number of 31466. The ETHElectric Train Heating was sufficient to power eleven Mk3 carriages, the type 31s often being used to pre-heat a train in a depot before a more modern and powerful locomotive would carry out the day's inter-city duties.
By May 1988 the locomotive had served in BRBritish Rail or British Railways's Eastern Region for all but a year. It was then transferred to Crewe Diesel, where it remained for a number of years. Prior to the introduction of the Class 66, English Welsh & Scottish (EWSEnglish, Welsh & Scottish Railway, a rail freight company) took control of the Class 31s from the Mainline Freight and Trainload Freight companies. 31466 was repainted into EWSEnglish, Welsh & Scottish Railway, a rail freight company livery for the Toton TMDTraction Maintenance Depot, also referred to as Diesel Depot open day in May 1998; Wikipedia suggests it was then the only one of the class to be in traffic running in the EWSEnglish, Welsh & Scottish Railway, a rail freight company colours.
31466's last duties were at Old Oak Common where it was used for small shunt moves and carriage heating. After being withdrawn from service in February 2001 it stored there until being acquired from EWSEnglish, Welsh & Scottish Railway, a rail freight company by the DeanWilliam Dean, Chief Locomotive Engineer of the Great Western Railway 1877-1902 Forest Diesel Association (DFDA), arriving at Lydney on the DeanWilliam Dean, Chief Locomotive Engineer of the Great Western Railway 1877-1902 Forest Railway by low loader on 14 March 2007. After a number of small defects were addressed it operated its first service train in October of that year. It was repainted in EWSEnglish, Welsh & Scottish Railway, a rail freight company livery in 2009 and attended a gala at the Worth Valley Railway in 2012.
31466 had remained resident on the DeanWilliam Dean, Chief Locomotive Engineer of the Great Western Railway 1877-1902 Forest Railway since. Its 1470 hp English Electric twelve-cylinder diesel engine, which powers the generator supplying the DC motors on four out of the six axles (UIC classification A1A-A1A), has remained in working order throughout. A three year overhaul was completed by the DFDA in November 2020, which involved replacing entire sections of rotten or corroded cab with fresh metal or timber, renewing window surrounds and wiring, as well as re-painting in the EWSEnglish, Welsh & Scottish Railway, a rail freight company colours.
On 9 July 2021 31466 was collected from the DFR by 50049 Defiance and delivered to the SVRSevern Valley Railway as cover for BR Class 33 33108. While at the SVRSevern Valley Railway it carried out various P-Way duties as well as working some passenger trains. It left in June 2023, collected by 20142 and 20189 and moved to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. In July 2023 it was reported on social media that the locomotive had been bought by Peter Best and would be based at the NYMR in future.
- SVR On-line Forum
- BR Class 31 on Wikipedia
- BRDatabase - 31466
- Dean Forest Diesel Association (retrieved 2 August 2021)
- Dean Forest Railway, Diesel Locomotives page
- Punchline Gloucester
- National Preservation Forum (retrieved 3 July 2023)