177, 46040, darlington
D177, 177, 46040

The delivery of the later series BR/Sulzer Type 4's (to become the Class 46's) from Derby Works saw the fifty six machines split between the LMR and the NER. For many of those that were allocated to the NER depot at Gateshead (52A) this would be their only allocation for their entire working life. This would not however limit their travels, the Gateshead machines would regularly visit Aberdeen, Kings Cross, Liverpool, Plymouth and many other places in between, and a few that weren't!

D177/46040 was just such one of these machines, being delivered to Gateshead on August 9th 1962 and spending eighteen years allocated to this one depot before being stored unserviceable in September 1980 and finally withdrawn during December 1980.

Service highlights

The vast majority of D177/46040's workings have vanished unrecorded into history, revealed occasionally in a number jotted down in a spotters notebook, a chalked note on a workings board at a depot's train crew office, an image on a roll of film, or a print or slide tucked away in a shoebox somewhere. The sightings below provide a brief insight into the workings of D177/46040.

The East Coast mainline was one of the routes heavily travelled by newly delivered D177, frequently on the heavier, slower overnight services. However on November 15th 1962 a shortage of Deltics found the 7.50am & 9.40am Newcastle - Kings Cross being handled by D173 & D177 respectively.

The bad weather of January 1963 perhaps prompted Gateshead to use two of its English Electric Type 3s and Peak D177 on freights to Consett, the first time either class had been to Consett, both proved capable of handling the route, being able to handle a double load of eighteen loaded 21ton hoppers from South Pelaw to Consett, and doing it un-assisted.

The above views carry no date or location, but the location has since been identified as New England shed, Peterborough during February 1964. Quite how the events occurred of D177 running through a substantial shop wall and entering another shop is not recorded. However the Peak will require extensive cab and nose repairs and the shunter hit by the wagon will most likely need some cosmetic repairs. (Photographs collection of webmaster)

The routes travelled by D177 gradually expanded to include the NE/SW route as far as Bristol and the Trans-Pennine line to Manchester & Liverpool. Out of Liverpool the 9.00am & 11am to Newcastle was frequently doubleheaded during February 1965, 13th saw D186 & D272 on the 9am with D277 & D346 on the 11am, on 24th the 11am ran with D177 & D277.

An overcast August 26th 1972 finds Class 25 No.7506 and Class 46 No.177 on parade for the annual Open Day at Derby Locomotive Works.
Photograph courtesy Steve Marshall.

During February 1974 177 was renumbered to 46040.

On May 10th 1974 long distance work beckoned for 46040, handling a Folkestone Arbroath special, presumably taking the train over somewhere in the London area.

Its August 1979 and 46040 heads west past Diggle Junction with the 13.47 York - Liverpool. Photograph courtesy J Davenport.
1979 ended with heavy rains leading to flooding from December 27th onwards in many areas. The Berks & Hants line was closed at Laverton, as was Box Tunnel and the WR Bristol line at Saltford. On the SR the Weymouth line was closed at Yetminster, with the Exeter route closed at Crewkerne and between Chard & Axminster. The Barnstaple and Looe branches also went underwater. The Central Wales line was closed south of Llanwrtyd Wells, whilst the Hereford Newport line was cut in two places, at Ponthir & Pandy, trapping 46040 on the 12.25 Crewe Cardiff. The Class 46 was finally released from its impoundment early on December 29th. Also closed were the Rhondda & Rhymney Valley lines and a weakened embankment on the South Wales main line west of Neath led to single line working.

46040 was stored unserviceable at Swindon Works during October 1980 and withdrawn during December 1980. At the same time 46001 was withdrawn after sustaining a seized-up engine. To offset this loss 46032 was reinstated on December 21st at Gateshead. It did not immediately re-enter traffic, being sent to Derby Works for an unclassified repair, and noted there early in January 1982. To assist in the repair of 46032 the previously withdrawn 46040 was moved from Swindon Works via Toton to Derby between January 7th & 23rd to donate its power unit and other spares to 46032.

Withdrawn 46040 stands in the main erecting shop at Derby on February 6th 1982 surrendering parts for reuse by recently reinstated 46032 and others. For this purpose 46040 had been sent up from Swindon Works. By April 46040 would be broken up.
Photograph courtesy Jerry Glover.
The recipient of the power unit and other parts from 46040 is seen here in this view of 46032 standing in the lines at Derby Works on February 6th 1982. 46032 would operate for a further two years prior to withdrawal during April 1984.
Photograph courtesy Jerry Glover.

During April 46040 was broken up at Derby, leaving the Works without any Class 46s present.

Page added May 27th 2011

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