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and spending eighteen years allocated to this one depot before being stored unserviceable in September 1980 and finally withdrawn during December 1980.
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 3’s 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.
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.
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.
During April 46040 was broken up at Derby, leaving the Works without any Class 46’s present.
Page added May 27th 2011