1961 class 24, class 25, class 45 information history
1961

Page updated July 2011

Highlights

January: Darlington lays the frames for the first Class 25, D5151.
February: Derby/Nottingham - St Pancras services become Peak hauled.
March: Derby Works delivers its 700th diesel, D21.
April: D5151 is delivered to Thornaby, Midland passenger expresses fully dieselised.
May: D12 visits Darlington Works for attention.
June: D5079 returns from its long stint at Carlisle, Peaks reach Glasgow & Edinburgh.
July: Peaks start to dominate long distance S&C & Waverley route workings.
August: St Pancras station pilot and ECS duties dieselised.
September: Crewe starts to repair diesels, including Type 2's.
October: Class 27's reach the West Highland, steam north of Inverness is almost gone.
November: D5176 - 5232 ordered, a number of BR Standards put to store.

The New Year brought a number of changes, both good and bad. Northwards from St Pancras, the new Type 4's coming out of Derby & Crewe (D11 - D15, D68 - D78 to date) at a rate of six per month were diagrammed for the Manchester passenger services, the D5700 MetroVicks were already familiar to these workings as were a small number of English Electric Type 4's. A new refueling plant at Cambridge Street, adjacent to St Pancras opened on January 16th. D70 was used on crew training between Cricklewood & Turvey, and crews from Sheffield & Leeds also received training on the Type 4's. Across at Stratford the new EE Type 3's D6700 6702 were in service, a stranger amongst them on January 16th was D18, whilst Darlington Works was closing out its current production run with D5113 and had already laid the frames for the first of the more powerful Type 2's, D5151/52. The new 'Trans Pennine' Intercity diesel service commenced between Hull, Leeds, Manchester & Liverpool, whilst all remaining steam passenger workings between Leeds & Manchester were converted to diesel multiple units. North of Newcastle two EE Type 4 turns were converted to pairs of Gateshead Type 2's, handling the 6.55am & 9.18am Newcastle - Edinburgh, returning with the 1.30pm 'Heart of Midlothian' & 2.25pm service. D5107/08 were on the 6.55am diagram on December 17th! The Gateshead Type 2's were also encroaching further into the local J39 freight workings, now including the Ponteland branch.

On the WCML effective January 2nd use was to be made of those locomotives fitted with the four position alpha/numeric headcode displays.

During January D13 was loaned to the Darnall (41A), to be followed in February by D12/15/16. During the first week of February D13 was used in a series of tests to establish load classification for freight train working for the new diesels. Tests included trips from New England with a dynamometer car and brake tender, next day a working to Highdyke, then a Class F from there to Frodingham via Boston with twenty nine 27ton tipplers. Brake tests were conducted at Grantham South, Rauceby, Old Leake, Elsham & Appleby. The locomotive then returned light to Darnall via Doncaster, to be used the next day on a Class F 1,000 ton Woodhouse Yard - Brocklesby & return freight. The next day, Thursday it was another Highdyke - Frodingham trip, this time via Doncaster. The last day of testing involved a Woodhouse - Brocklesby Class C freight. Prior to the use of D13 EE Type 4 209 had been used on these tests and a Brush Type 2 would follow. By this time Crewe had construction well in hand up to D105, whilst Derby had frames laid upto D30.

D5079 was still at Carlisle in early January on the Hellifield turn (8.05 out, 11.57 return), and additionally was used on the Carlisle Carstairs leg of the 1.05pm Euston Perth. The Hellifield turn included the working of milk tankers on the northbound leg. Type 2's coming into Scotland on the 'Condor' service were noted filling in on the 09.15am Clydesmill Oakley, so noted in February were D5084/92 & 5708. The Anglo Scottish services were now seeing much activity by the EE Type 4's especially with increased diesel diagrams introduced towards the month end, but only D4 of the Peaks is recorded as having broken the EE monopoly. Also in Scotland the recently introduced Glasgow suburban electric service came to a sudden halt after several vehicles suffered transformer explosions/fires. A procession of vehicles commenced in February to the AEI works in Manchester and the Pressed Steel plant at Linwood to have rectification work carried out.

The steam hauled freight workings on the Allhallows branch came to an end on February 4th with the Derby Type 2's & BRCW Type 3's taking over. Typical of the winter duties for the SR Type 2's was the use of D6538 & D5003 on February 26th's down Golden Arrow. Perhaps the biggest news of the month however was the arrival of the first of the Deltics for service on the ECML, with D9000 being allocated to Haymarket (64B).

By the end of February the diesel hauled passenger workings out of St Pancras included the services to Derby, Nottingham and Leeds as well as almost total control of those to Manchester, made possible by the growing number of Peaks released from Derby & Crewe. Time keeping with the diesels was excellent including the 'up' Palatine & 'down' Robin Hood. Bedford was using D85 for crew training, frequently covering the 8.21am passenger to Wellingborough. The Peaks were also at home on the freights, including the longer distance jobs. On February 25th D19 was noted at Carlisle in charge of the Harpenden - Bonnybridge car train. On the lines out of Euston the proportion of diesel hauled passenger services continued to increase, though for the time being the freights were still predominantly steam hauled. Local workings in the hands of the Type 2's included 12.05pm Euston Rugby and 3.40pm return, another being the 4.44pm Northampton Birmingham and 7.37pm return to Euston. Four Type 2's stabled overnight at Northampton, three for the morning's Euston services and one for the 07.13 am Peterborough train. Likewise at Bletchley three were normally present overnight, two for the morning stopping Euston services and one for the 6.20am to Northampton followed by a semi-fast to Euston. An interesting diagram bringing a March Brush Type 2 into the area involved the 8.59pm Peterborough Rugby fish, going back on the 2.59am mail, taking the 6.40am Peterborough Norwich mail and coming back with the 11.20am Lowestoft York from Norwich to March!

On February 5th D14 was sent north on a Neville Hill - Tyneside test train of fourteen bogies. D13's stay at Darnall was brief in February it joined its sisters at Neville Hill, all the Holbeck allocated Peaks would be transferred to Neville Hill in February.

Derby's 700th diesel, D21 was delivered to traffic during March, being noted at Saltley for crew training on 12th. All the Type 2's recently transferred to the GN passed through Stratford Works to have trip cock apparatus fitted to permit working over LTE lines. The partial closure of Battersea yard as an interchange point found the cross London workings from Ferme Park now going to Norwood. Usually in the hands of J50's or BR/Sulzer Type 2's these were routed via the Widened Lines, Herne Hill & Tulse Hill, inward via Crystal Palace, returning via Selhurst & Streatham. An unusual combination noted March 2nd at Polmadie was D5706 & 5086, presumably diagrammed for the evening's 'Condor' service. By the last week in March D5079 had been removed from its long time Carlisle Hellifield working, replaced by Class 5's, Clans or Jubilees. The Type 2's powering the Chiltern Green - Greenhill (Bonnybridge) car trains were frequently replaced by Peaks, so noted were D85 (March 18th), D83 (March 23rd) & D20 (April 8th), these locomotives were serviced at Polmadie.

April 11th found D5106 visiting Scarborough whilst on a training trip from Leeds.

April 15th saw the delivery from Darlington of D5151, the first of the uprated BR/Sulzer Type 2's, later to become the Class 25's. BR's first purpose built diesel depot at Thornaby would receive these machines to assist in the eradication of steam working in the Tees area. This new depot replaced Newport (51B) and Middlesborough (51D), having cost GBP 1 million, opened to steam during June 1958 on a seventy acre site, it comprised an octagonal roundhouse, the last built by BR and a through shed, suitable for use by the newly arriving diesels. It would close to steam on December 14, 1964. D5151 was the first locomotive built with the newer "B" engine of 1,250hp, and modified generator assembly and traction motors. The increased power was obtained from an air/water free flow intercooler fitted between a higher capacity pressure charger and inlet manifold, included within the normal cooling circuit to maintain simplicity. The cylinder head was also modified and strengthened. The generator was now rated as 735kW, 750/545V, 1090/1500A at 750 rpm, only slightly different from the Class 24's. The traction motors were rated at 245hp, 545V, 375A at 560 rpm with a gear ratio of 18:79. Maximum tractive effort was 39,000lb whilst continuous tractive effort was 20,800lb at 17.1mph, the latter standard for all Class 25's. At rail hp was 949, now available between 9.3 and 77.6 mph, with maximum speed now raised to 90mph. The first fifteen's fuel capacity remained at 520 gallons, loco weight was 70.25 tons, whilst the last ten had larger 620 gallon fuel tanks, with a weight of 72.35 tons. D5151 - D5175 were not boiler equipped, they utilized the Class 24/1 bodyshell and cabs, being delivered without yellow cab warning panels. Similar to the earlier Darlington built Type 2's and more recently the Class 45's their side grilles were highlighted in grey.

April 17th was the scheduled date for the full dieselization of the passenger services out of St Pancras. Difficulties with diesel failures and of maintaining diagrams that required use of almost every Type 4 available did not allow for quality service initially. With the 'Peaks' in charge the Royal Scots & Jubilees migrated to the semi-fasts and other lessor services, but as the diesel failures multiplied they rapidly came back to the expresses. Also in use were Britannias 70043/46. During April Type 4 D93 was loaned to the WR (82B - St Phillips Marsh but worked by Barrow Road (82E) crews) and was noted westbound through Barnt Green light engine on April 10th. It would be used for crew training and running-in between Bristol & Gloucester, being noted from April 17th on the 4.20pm Bristol - Gloucester and the return 5.45pm Birmingham - Bristol forward from Gloucester. Saltley had by this time also acquired D91 for crew training, two turns left Saltley at 9.40am & 11.20am running via Castle Bromwich and Aldridge. Other Peaks noted in the Birmingham area were arriving on 5.20pm passenger Derby - Birmingham, returning north next morning on the 8.05am Birmingham - Newcastle as far as York where the locomotive returns on the 2.24pm (12.43pm ex Newcastle) to Bristol, this latter turn being for the training of York crews.

The first few days of May were not pleasant for the Peaks, on May 1st D12 expired on the 4.10pm St Pancras - Sheffield at Westhouses, replaced by Class 4 76053. The next day the southbound 'Thames-Clyde' running ahead of time with D19 failed totally at Dore & Totley, Millhouses sent out Jubilee 45623, but as in both these failures an hour was lost in each case. Several days later all services were back in the hands of the diesels, such were the vagaries of operating brand new diesels against a declining steam fleet. Over on the WCML three quarters of the express passenger trains were in the hands of diesels, principally the EE Type 4's. From May 1st all the Birmingham Euston services were rostered for the Type 4's whilst the Birmingham Glasgow services were still split evenly between steam and diesel.

From May 11th - 14th the BTC held an exhibition of rolling stock at Marylebone parcels depot to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Institute of Locomotive Engineers. Amongst the twenty vehicles present was D28 fresh out of Derby Works. In the middle of May D12 was awaiting works attention at Darlington, possibly the first Peak to receive attention here? The first Peak loaned to a Scottish shed was D24 to Corkerhill (67A) during late April. It had been noted on the 5.03pm St Enoch - KilmarnocK, returning with a freight to Elderslie, by the end of May it was a frequent visitor on the St Enoch - Ayr services.

The transfer of D5020/21 to Willesden (1A) during May completed the movement of sixteen Type 2's (D5020 5035) between the GE and the LMR. This was made possible by the newly arriving EE Type 3's and Brush Type 2's upwards from D5694, and permitted more of the local services out of Euston to be dieselized. Towards the end of May D5146 was transferred to Monument Lane (21E) for a month of crew training prior to returning to Willesden. A holiday treat for D5082 on Whit Sunday (May 21st?) was handling a Bletchley Bognor Regis excursion throughout. The previous day D5150 had hauled an afternoon Manchester Newcastle relief. With the Kent Coast electrification now fully complete the loaned LMR Type 2's were venturing elsewhere including D5006 reaching Ferme Park on a cross London freight on June 21st.

The summer timetable saw a number of Peaks transferred from Derby (17A) to the NER and two - D91 & D101 to Carlisle (12B). At this time Derby had laid frames upto D49, the last of its current order. Despite increasing numbers on the St Pancras services steam still filled in on failures, on June 10th the 10.21am Derby - St Pancras got no further than Wellingborough when D88 expired. 9F 92083 was added to the train, but one hundred minutes were still lost before arriving at St Pancras. Elsewhere the dieselisation of the NE/SW services began on June 12th; included were the 6.30pm Bristol - Birmingham New Street, returning south-west at 11.30pm on a parcels and heading back north on the next morning's 8.40am Bristol - Sheffield. Another working taken over by diesels was a 5.00pm Bristol - Derby : the reign of the Peaks on the NE/SW services had begun! At the other end of the country the Peaks were making intermittent workings on the Leeds - Glasgow St Enoch services whilst on June 14th D91 was noted working two round trips of empty vans over the Waverley route - between Carlisle & Hawick, seen as a precursor to the use of the Peaks on the Edinburgh - Leeds workings, truly were the times looking up for these 138 ton monsters. And still they had more unusual routes to traverse. And after the redoubtable D5079 returned to Willesden in June after its long stint at Carlisle working its regular Hellifield turn it was left for the Peaks to fill in for a short while. BRCW Type 2's were also noted for the first time on certain Edinburgh Waverley Carlisle services.

Beginning the week of June 12th the Up Thames-Clyde was diesel hauled as much as possible, the first week saw D20 & D26 (twice) in use alongside Royal Scots & Britannias whilst the sleeper services had more Peaks diagrammed, D12 on 16th. By June 28th more Peaks were on the Waverley route, D101 worked the down Waverley from Carlisle, returning with the 10.50pm sleeper, D29 working these on July 4th. On July 3rd D25 started to work the down sleeper from Leeds returning with the up Waverley.

Lineside observation at Rugby on a Saturday in late July revealed steam & diesel evenly split on the passenger workings with Willesden's Type 2's noticeable on the local passenger duties. Although the EE Type 4's predominated on the long distance WCML passenger workings the early Peaks (D1 - D10) could be found anywhere from Euston to Carlisle. Surprisingly on July 15th the 9.00am Perth - Euston arrived at Carlisle behind D3, filling in for a Kingmoor Duchess, the diesel went to Upperby for servicing before taking out the 10.14am Aberdeen - Euston later that afternoon.

During July more of Derby's Peaks were transferred, three to Neville Hill (55H)(all Derby built) and three to the WR (all Crewe built), though more would soon follow to both locations. Derby had also begun to start its order for what would become the Class 46's. (D138 - D193). And more Peaks were being sent to Darlington for works attention. From July 3rd more passenger services over the Settle & Carlisle became diesel hauled, in addition to the Thames-Clyde & Waverley, in support of this major reconstruction was taking place at Leeds Holbeck in support of the growing diesel fleet. Steam continued on a number of the S&C local services or those that were not of a daily nature. In July a couple of arriving services at St Enoch had steam/diesel combinations, the 13th's 9.25 ex St Pancras had D11 & 46109 and the 10.27am ex Leeds had D18 & 70044. On Saturdays D24 was a regular on the 7.50am St Enoch - Ayr, usually returning on a relief or parcels service, during August it would be returned to the LMR. Other Peaks had worked in on the Saturday's only 11.53 St Enoch - Ayr, D26 & D28 in late June, presumably a fill-in turn before heading south with an overnighter. By July seven passenger services into Bristol were Peak hauled, five returned north as passenger & two as parcels, further Peaks were loaned to Barrow Road as they became available, though the borrowed Crewe built Peaks were exchanged for recently built Derby variants!.

The dieselisation in the St Pancras area had reached down to the level of the station pilots and certain ecs workings, in early August D5085/86 were on these duties, this was also reflected in the storage of eighteen steam locomotives at Kentish Town shed. Also reflecting changed operating procedures was the recent opening of a fuelling point at Cambridge Road, easing the workload at Cricklewood and saving many light engine movements. Down the road at Camden shed only a handful of steam locomotives remained, heavily outnumbered by the diesels. D5020 recently transferred from the GE returned to its former haunts on August 7th in charge of a Bletchley Southend excursion. Two days later Eastleigh Works hosted its annual Open Day, modern traction represented by D3667 & E5008 whilst D5008/09 were under repair in the main workshops. The last day of August found D21 failed at Tynehead in charge of the Up sleeper, the 10.05 Waverley - St Pancras, V2 60937 dragged the train to Hawick where B1 61184 took over to Carlisle.

At the end of August new deliveries from Derby Works in the shape of D43/44/45 were allocated directly to Cricklewood (14A) rather than to Derby (17A) as had all Peak deliveries to date, deliveries from Crewe still continued to be allocated to Derby (17A), though this would change in October when D68/69/70 went directly to Cricklewood (14A). D77 was used on the testing of a brake tender with a substantial number of coal wagons at the end of August on the Midland main line. September 3rd found D5097/5108 & B1 61002 in charge of the Clifton (York) Red Bank empty coaching stock.

A visit to Crewe Works in early September found D5074/80 present for attention, possibly the first to be received there for repairs. Also present was accident damaged D103 which had been noted at Hillhouse shed on August 25th making its way to Crewe. Crewe was still very heavily into steam repairs, with almost one hundred and twenty on Works alongside seventeen 'Peaks' (D117 132) in various stages of construction. Doncaster and Stratford were also taking on overhauls and repairs to the Type 2's. Noted at Doncaster in early October freshly painted was Finsbury Park's D5050, whilst Stratford had given a variety of repairs to D5036/45/58/64. Darlington of course had been dealing with the Type 2's since the beginning of 1960. Although the Peaks at Neville Hill had made occasional forays on the ECML they would soon become far more frequent following the transfer of D14 & D18 to Gateshead (52A) in September, their stay here was brief being quickly replaced by three more Derby built Peaks. D18 was in charge of the 7.14pm York - Scarborough on September 2nd whilst the next day D14 had been noted at York in charge of the 11.25 Kings Cross - Glasgow.

With the end of the summer timetable and the disappearance of the seasonal reliefs the services out of St Pancras were now very much the domain of the diesels, steam becoming an instant rarity. The spell was brief though, the 'Peaks' were stretched far and wide, failures caused steam substitution, particularly Jubilees and Britannias, with the diesels themselves visiting Horwich for modification. Even worse was the temporary loss of the Metro Vick Type 2's whilst they were sent to their makers works at Dukinfield for modification and overhaul, with the possibility that upon their return they would be re-allocated to the Barrow area. The last day of the summer timetable in East Anglia also marked the end of steam hauled express passenger workings in the area. It was however not a day to remember favourably. An early morning Norwich London service failed at Diss behind 70006, with D5631 coming to the rescue, no doubt impacting the plans for this 'last day' service. The woes continued with the failure of D5037 at Witham and just before 10am catenary problems at Ingatestone led to cancellations, single line working and diversions for much of the remainder of the day!

In Scotland the arrival of a new batch of BRCW Type 2's, D5347 onwards, found them testing successfully on the West Highland line, as more became available they would soon oust the troubled NBL Type 2's from this route. Also changing was the allocation of steam power north of Inverness. The previous use of steam at a variety of sub sheds, e.g. Wick, Helmsdale etc was swept away through use of the Type 2 diesels doing whatever necessary in between their long distance workings, the intention being to make Inverness the only depot in the region. Steam was still present on the Highland mainline freights, possibly only awaiting the imminent delivery of more Type 4's to Haymarket. That shed was also increasing the use of Type 2's for local passenger services over the Waverley route. Midland Type 2's arriving on the 'Condor' service were used by Polmadie on a morning freight to Ayr, though their use was diminishing due an increasing number of new Type 1's being allocated to Eastfield.

Although the early Peaks had received names they were done so without fanfare. However on September 23rd D100 was publicly named 'Sherwood Forester' at Derby, receiving the regimental crests from Royal Scot 46112. It had been intended to use this machine on the 'Robin Hood' but its frequent absence was covered by Jubilees. During October Derby would deliver its last Class 45 Peak - D49, all remaining Crompton Parkinson fitted Peaks would come out of Crewe, though Derby was busy with the Brush equipped Class 46 Peaks, the first - D138 was almost ready for outshopping, it would be allocated at the end of October to Derby (17A). A number of modifications were being carried out on the Peaks, some of the work being handled by Horwich Works, so noted there was D91 in the middle of October. Whilst the Peaks were undergoing these modifications a number of the diesel turns out of Carlisle reverted to steam temporarily.

On September 29th failures caused headaches in the Watford area. Just before noon D5142 on the 11.25am Camden Edgeley freight caught fire at Carpenders Park, necessitating use of the slow lines for all traffic. This obstruction had just been cleared when D1 on the 8.15am Manchester Euston caught fire near Kings Langley, the offending locomotive being removed to Watford before being forwarded to Derby Works. The use of one of Saltley's Peaks on a Water Orton - Carlisle freight laid up stoker fitted 9F's 92165/167 at Saltley. On the WR Barrow Road reached its allocated number of Peaks with D33 - D42 officially transferred there during October, though servicing was carried out at the recently opened Bath Road diesel depot. Because of this manoeuvre Barrow Road lost its Jubilees. Four diagrams were now available over the NE/SW, the 10.30am Bristol - Newcastle & 8.15am Newcastle - Cardiff, the 8.30am Cardiff - Newcastle & 7.5pm Newcastle - Bristol, the 8.5am Birmingham - Newcastle & 3.30pm Newcastle - Birmingham and the 6.55am York - Edinburgh (to Newcastle) & 12.43 Newcastle - Bristol. Failures north of York were generally covered by V2's & Pacifics. And as more Peaks came off the production lines they were used to take over the majority of the freights between Birmingham & Bristol.

A somewhat strange innovation implemented by Eastleigh Works was the use of ex-works diesels on the Southampton Waterloo boat trains, a risky venture as the out shopped locomotives ran alone. D5000 worked the 10.05am Venus boat train on October 27th, but on reaching Brookwood an electrical fault failed the locomotive, necessitating the use of 30765 for the remainder of the journey to Waterloo. D5000 spent several days enjoying the delights of Brookwood yard before being towed back to Eastleigh. Somewhat more successful was the testing of D5017 on November 3rd's 10.35pm Old Dock- Waterloo, though time was lost on this trip.

During November further orders were received for new diesels, twenty seven Brush Type 2's (D5836 5862) for the Sheffield area and a further fifty seven BR/Sulzer Type 2's (D5176 5232), the majority of which were destined for the Midland Lines. In a swap of locomotives Gateshead sent D5112 & 5113 to Thornaby in exchange for D5156 & 5157. The increasing fleets of diesels and electrics, both locomotives and multiple units led to the storage of a number of BR Standards, including 73065, 78023/38, 80126, 84003 and 92165 92167. On 15th November D25 took part in high speed dynamometer car trials between Newcastle & Kings Cross. The load was ten coaches plus dynamometer car - 385 tons - allowed four hours seven minutes, Newark was passed three and a half minutes early. The next day a northbound trip was made leaving Kings Cross at 9.50am but to a slightly slower schedule. A less prestigous duty befell D42 on November 11th when it covered a morning Sheffield - York & return local working, normally a Class 2 2-6-0 job. New loans to the region included D144 to Neville Hill (55H) and D146 to Gateshead (52A).

As the winter approached the steam heating equipment on the 'Peaks' (and for that matter the majority of BR's diesels) continued to cause trouble, relegating the big Type 4's to freight duty, allowing more Jubilees & Royal Scots to find themselves in charge of Midland expresses again, mostly the Nottingham turns. A shortage of DMU's on the St Pancras Bedford service found hauled stock substituting, with both Type 2 & 4 locomotives being used, some of the coaching stock being off the Moorgate line services. A visit to Crewe Works in mid December found Crewe almost finished with D132 - D137 and laying frames for D50 - D59, an order transferred from Derby, in the repair shop amongst others were D1, D8 & D9. The 7.46am Crewe - Euston was frequently used as a running-in turn for the new diesels. At the same time Darlington Works was host to D11/12/15/16/26/28 for attention - not a pretty sight.

A football match between Dartford & Bristol on November 25th saw two eleven coach specials run. The second one ran with D5013 & 6573 as far as Kensington where steam locomotive 6960 took over. More interestingly the first ran with D5009 & 6523 throughout, making the journey via Clapham Jcn, Salisbury, Westbury and Bath. The BRCW Type 3's were adventuring elsewhere, from December 4 they were scheduled to work the Holborough - Uddingston bulk cement train as far as York. On December 4 & 5th there were no return empties so D6528/66 returned southbound light. The next day D6572/75 handled a double load of empties (56 wagons).

Another fill-in turn for the long distance Type 4's involved the 7.50pm arrival at St Enoch (ex-Leeds) which was then diagrammed to work the 10.25pm Glasgow - Carlisle returning with the 9.35pm ex-Euston prior to taking out the 9.20am St Enoch - Leeds. D29 spent four days (December 7th - 10th) dumped at Hawick after failing on the 10.5pm Edinburgh - St Pancras (Up Waverley), its working being taken up by lowly 80113!

The last week of the year brought severe weather conditions to much of the country. The inactivity over the Christmas holidays allowed creation of huge icicles in many tunnels, in the Peak District Dove Holes & Cowburn tunnels suffered this. On Boxing Day the driver of a St Pancras - Manchester express suffered injury from icicles in Dove Holes tunnel, in Cowburn 42314 on the 7am Chinley - Sheffield suffered a damaged cab, the crew escaped injury. In the London area on New Years Eve heavy snow crippled Waterloo in the evening rush hour, not helped by a chronic shortage of electric stock, with many services running with short formations. The Central Division suffered severe dislocation, taking several days to sort out the confusion, not helped by the loss of telephone communication in many areas. On the Shenfield/Southend lines frozen points and immobilized stock created chaos.

As the year drew to a close good news came from the Liverpool - Crewe electrification project, it had been completed a month ahead of schedule allowing a limited electric service to begin on January 1, 1962, with a full timetable beginning with the summer timetable in June. 1961 had opened with the wagon fleet standing at about 960,000 (at the time of the Modernisation Plan it stood at 1,400,000), by year's end it was down to 880,000, a reduction rate of about 200 per day!

Operating statistics as at January 1st 1961:
Steam locomotives: 13,244
Diesel hydraulic line service locomotives: 79
Diesel hydraulic & diesel mechanical shunting locomotives: 511
Diesel electric line service locomotives: 763
Diesel electric shunting locomotives: 1,198
Gas turbine locomotive: 1
Diesel railbuses: 22
Diesel electric power cars: 72
Diesel mechanical & diesel hydromechanical power cars: 2,218
Railcar trailers: 1,521
Average train-miles per train-engine hour in passenger service - steam 15.60
Average train-miles per train-engine hour in passenger service - diesel 18.54
Average train-miles per train-engine hour in freight - steam 9.16
Average train-miles per train-engine hour in freight - diesel 10.73
Fuel consumption - coal per locomotive-mile (including lighting up etc): 62.5lb
Fuel consumption - locomotive-mile per gallon (including shunting): 1.58
Fuel consumption - railcar-mile per gallon: 6.82

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