Darlington’s first main line diesel D5094 was ceremoniously driven out of the Works on January 12th. Trials, using empty coaching stock took place between Darlington & Newcastle, using both the main & coast line. Delivery to the Eastern Region was delayed until February 18th whilst minor adjustments were made. Six days later different trials took place, this time with BRCW Type 2’s D5337 & 5338 testing on a three hour Edinburgh - Aberdeen run. The run utilized ten empty coaches and a recording car, weighing in at 350 tons, one round trip was made, with further daily trips made on regular service workings.
Brush Type 2 D5579 was noted at Liverpool Street on January 16th displaying a bronze- gold livery. D5578 was also intended to be displayed in its new electric blue livery but had failed its acceptance trials from Doncaster Works. Complaints had been raised that the quieter green diesels tended to blend into the countryside giving rise to greater risk of accidents. On January 11th a damaged D5014 was noted for repair at Derby Works having sustained injury somewhere on the Southern Region. That same day the diesel suburban service on the St Pancras - Bedford route was inaugurated, the early days were beset by problems, frequently steam haulage was called upon. Recovery from these teething difficulties was slow but steady, the high volumes of freight on these lines did not help matters either. The Moorgate services remained in the hands of the 2-6-2T’s or the D57xx diesels, whilst the St Pancras - Barking services also converted to DMU’s at this time. Diesel multiple units had also gained a foothold in the Chester area, from January 4th taking over services from Chester to Wrexham & New Brighton, offering greater frequency and shorter journey times. The Preston - Colne route also saw the arrival of DMU’s on this date, although not as a comprehensive takeover as the Chester services. Further south Hampshire diesel units entered service on the Eastleigh - Andover Junction line, with DEMU’s 1123 - 1125 replacing the steam push-pull services.
February found both Derby and Crewe laying down frames for new batches of Type 2’s, Derby had D5114 - 5119 under construction for the ScR and Crewe with D5080 - 5089 destined for the ER & LMR. The construction of D5114 involved the first major change to the physical appearance of the Type 2’s. The use of the lamp & disc method of train identification was being replaced by a four position alpha/numeric system. This equipment was contained in a housing on the cab roof, considerably altering the aesthetics of the cab front, the omission of the discs and lights presented a tidier appearance. Also returning to the LMR temporarily were a number of the loaned SR Type 2’s, ironically to have their boilers refitted. Derby was also laying down the frames for the follow-on order from D1 - D10, these were very similar apart from the uprating of the power unit to 2,500hp.
Early March found D6500 & 6501 testing in the Kent area, they were so noted at Tonbridge on March 4th with a ten coach empty coaching stock train. The second week in March found D5077 in use for crew training purposes between Rugby and Crewe. The Type 2’s from March depot were given new diagrams to work up to London, then performing a variety of local work including trips to Temple Mills, the LTS lines, Spitalfields and cross-London workings to the Southern Region. D5048 was noted on the 6.55pm Hoe Street - Whitemoor during this period, normally this working was double headed. Further east at Ipswich a cyclic working of the Type 2’s had been introduced with some considerable success. The six day rosters ensured the machines returned to Ipswich for scheduled maintenance, provisions were available to ensure that on-the-road failures did not interfere with scheduled maintenance. The Ipswich pilot was by this time a BR/Sulzer Type 2, frequently used to rescue ailing main line workings. It had also become clear by this time that the NBL machines (D61XX series) were certainly not as reliable as the other Type 2’s.
From March 7th diesel multiple units arrived on the Leeds, York & Scarborough service, though steam was not completely vanquished as the first and last services carried heavy mail & parcels traffic which demanded more room than the DMU’s could provide, and the 10.10am still carried a through coach to Kings Cross. By early April English Electric type 4’s were on crew training at Scarborough, whilst on April 30th D5096 showed up for testing! Elsewhere Derby relinquished a number of its ‘Peak’s back to Camden, D1, 4 & 9 being the first to return south. One working they took over was the 07.45am Crewe - Euston.
On March 18th a ceremony was held at Swindon Works for the naming of BR’s last steam locomotive, 9F 2-10-0 92220 ‘Evening Star’.
The last day of March found D5072 & D8035 working a test train down the LNW mainline. Crewe’s latest batch of Type 2’s, although initially allocated to the ER were quickly reallocated to the LM, working out of Willesden. They were frequently allocated to the Broad St business trains, keeping company with 10000/01 & 10201/2/3. A little further afield from April 11th a Type 2 was rostered for the 7.53am Norwich - Birmingham and 3.55pm return, a working once familiar to 10800, on April 12th D5080 was noted on this run. On the SR the Type 2’s were finally allowed onto the Sheerness branch following the opening of the new Kingsferry bridge. With this route now open to diesels and with the assistance of steam from Hoo Junction & Tonbridge it was possible to close Gillingham shed effective June 13th.
During April Hornsey’s BRCW & NBL Type 2s reached the Scottish Region through an interesting series of moves. The NBL units were collected in pairs by Doncaster men from New England, going light to Newcastle where ScR crews would take over. By April 22nd D6100 - 6109 had made the trip. For the BRCW’s transfer Doncaster men worked up to Hornsey with brand new Brush Type 2’s, bringing back a pair of BRCW’s, with crew changes at Doncaster & Newcastle. So noted on April 12th were D5602/03 going up and D5300/01 going down and April 21st D5604/05 up & D5302/03 down. The Newcastle area had become home to the first of its Type 2s, D5096, working out of Gateshead, Heaton and South Gosforth. It worked the 9.40am Newcastle - Newbiggin parcels on April 19th, was noted at Edinburgh Waverley on April 23rd with a test train and as previously mentioned it reached Scarborough on April 30th, later being noted on the morning Carlisle parcels on May 9th, 11th, 12th & 14th, by which time D5097 had been released from Darlington.
The introduction of an intensive diesel service from April 4th on the Edinburgh - Aberdeen route took advantage of the recently transferred Hornsey machines and also pulled away a great many Type 2’s from the Highland mainline. In the first quarter of 1960 the diesels had made considerable inroads on the freight workings over this route, steam returned in quantity as the diesels moved to Dundee, Ferryhill or Haymarket. With the completion of the diesel depot at Haymarket the depot at Leith Central was left to its DMU’s and shunters.
Easter Sunday brought two excursions from the LMR to Bognor Regis. From Bletchley came D5074 and from Bedford came 75061, both working over the Mid-Sussex line. Over on the Brighton line on April 4th D5714 arrived from Cricklewood for trials utilizing the track testing station at Balcombe Tunnel Junction, tests were carried out on April 6th & 7th, alongside E5003 and two motor coaches from EMU 7152. Possibly the first visit of an LMR Type 2 to Eastleigh Works for repair was D5007 during April, previously the machines had visited Derby for overhaul. During the 3rd week of April the BR/Sulzer Type 2s were noted on the Allhallows branch, possibly for the first time.
April 27th & 28th saw Marylebone Goods yard hosting an exhibition for the Institute of Transport Congress. On display were D269, D5081, E5012, E3037, EMU coaches Sc75591 (026) & E61441 (413) and DMU M59666. A similar exhibition at Stoke on Trent during May to recognise the city’s golden Jubilee included amongst other machines D5081. More of the ‘Peak’s moved from Derby to Camden during April, though for some of them the stay was brief, during May D1 moved to Longsight (9A), D2, 9 to Edge Hill (8A), D3, 8 & 10 to Crewe (5A) & D6 to Carlisle (12B). These transfers would allow crew training to take place, for D6 allocated to Carlisle this would only entail working south from Carlisle.
Towards the end of May Inverness regained most of its fleet of Type 2s following the arrival of all the machines from Hornsey. Initially returning to the freight workings, May 22nd saw D5338/39 rostered for the seven coach 5.05pm Inverness - Perth, with at least one locomotive returning on the next day’s 4.00pm Perth - Inverness. That same day D5114 had worked the class H 8.06am Perth - Inverness, whilst Inverness depot held D6146, the former Lochgorm Workshops now converted into the diesel servicing shed.
Whitsun Bank holiday found a number of Type 2s visiting Southend with excursions from the north London area, so noted were D5032/38/44 & 77. During May D5083 was allocated to Longsight (9A) for crew training prior to the arrival of a batch from Derby Works later in the year. By November D5083 would be at Willesden joining other members of the class recently transferred from the ER.
Early June found nearly all the Metro Vick diesels out of service, mostly waiting repair at either Derby or Cricklewood. In a more positive light Neville Hill diesel depot was officially opened on June 17th. Although principally a diesel multiple unit depot, diesel locomotive servicing was provided, on display on the opening day were D278 & D5099. Super power took hold of June 22nd’s 8.30pm Dagenham Dock - Cambridge freight with D5054 & 5064 rescuing an ailing D5509.
D5088 - D5090 arrived on the Midland for crew training, one machine each being allocated to Bedford, Cricklewood and Kentish Town, working local parcels trips and the Moorgate services. Installed into regular service from July 4th was one of the Blue Pullman sets, putting in some good running between St Pancras and Manchester. Other principal services were in the hands of seemingly uncared for Scots, Brittanias and Stanier Class 5’s. On the freight side, the once familiar 3F & 4F’s were giving way to Stanier 8F’s and BR’s 9F’s. Further north the Type 2’s had returned to handling the Newcastle - York - Leeds services, D5097 on 7.30am Leeds - Newcastle and 11.05am return (July 9th) and D5099 on 11.40am Leeds - Newcastle and 5.33pm return (July 9th). By month end they were being used in pairs, so noted were D5100 & 5096 handling the 12.05 York - Glasgow relief. A little further north D5122 was noted on the 8.41 arrival at Edinburgh, ex Inverness (July 13th), most likely having worked the train throughout. By late July BRCW Type 2s had gained two workings over the Wick line, handling the 6.40am Inverness - Wick and 3.40pm return, a working previously in the hands of an Inverness Class 5.
Travellers on a July 31st excursion from Birmingham to Ramsgate/Margate made the journey in a seven car dmu, (1 three car and 2 two cars), in both directions arrival was ahead of schedule with a number of delays being fully recovered. A Type 2 was also handling the 2.25pm Rugby - Birmingham and 7.40pm Birmingham - Euston, D5074 was loaned from Willesden for this. D5080 was a frequent performer on the Rugby – Norwich services during late July.
A refinement to the diagram working the evening parcels to Carlisle involved the locomotive returning on the eastbound Stranraer boat train, non-boilered D5103 was noted August 10th on this duty.
With the continuing delivery of Brush Type 2s, Ipswich said farewell to its last three NBL Type 2s Nos.D6119/D6120/D6120 on August 23rd as they ran light to Scotland, the remaining NBLs in East Anglia (D6110/D6111/D6114) would be sent north on September 13th. It was also expected that further deliveries of the Brush Type 2s to Finsbury Park would displace the English Electric 'Baby Deltics', with the latter possibly headed for freight work in the Sheffield area.
With the end of the summer season the Rugby - Norwich working reverted to a Type 2, usually D5079, during the summer this was a Rugby Stanier Class 5 duty, required for the 10-12 bogies, the winter service only carried five. Likewise the NER Type 2s on the Newcastle - York - Leeds services were replaced by diesel multiple units. Sister machine D5080 worked the 9am Nottingham Midland - Liverpool Central on September 10th, returning with the 1.15pm to Harwich, taking this service as far as Manchester. This working was at this time, at least from Sheffield, a Brittania working. On November 1st 70035 failed at Ipswich on the down working, D5054 substituted as far as Sheffield, returning somewhat late with the up working!
During late September/early October the Inverness based Type 2s visited St Rollox workshops for the fitting of tablet catcher equipment for use on those lines radiating out of Inverness. Reports about the Type 2s on the Highland mainline at this time suggest the Derby machines were considered inferior to the BRCW built locomotives, the latter were preferred partially due to their better finished, less draughty, quieter cabs. On passenger workings they were rated poorly against the Class 5’s, though on September 24th D5118 & 5119 were noted hauling the 6.05pm Inverness - Perth comprised of fifteen coaches, requiring the use of 80092 as banker from Blair Atholl. In use on the freight trains they were more than equal to the Class 5’s, being able to handle a greater load.
Sometime during September the first of the uprated Peak’s entered service, D11 was allocated to Derby (17A) from Derby Works and D68 to Crewe (5A) from Crewe Works. Derby had amount seven under construction, Crewe Works about twice that number. The Crewe built machines tended to migrate towards Derby after their shakedown trials were complete. By the delivery of D78 they were being allocated directly to Derby (17A). Although they were intended for service on the passenger expresses out of St Pancras it would not be too long (December 1960) before D14 was loaned to Leeds Holbeck (55A) but was worked out of Neville Hill for crew training. During November D11 was noted on nocturnal test train workings south from Derby.
On October 2nd D5000 came to grief at New Cross Gate whilst working the 9.05pm London Bridge – Deal passenger, the train sustaining an hours delay awaiting a replacement locomotive.
D5016 found itself on front-line duty on October 9th when the down ‘Royal Scot’ experienced serious difficulties with D222. After a slow departure from Euston and attention at Willesden all was still not well, the Type 4 coming off at Watford and replaced by the Type 2. The small machine put up quite a performance, however the glory was brief, Class 5 44712 took over at Bletchley, with 44938 added at Rugby! Further north D5079 was noted on the northern end of the Settle & Carlisle, working the 8.05am Carlisle - Hellifield and 11.57am return from October 19th a service it consistently handled into the New Year with only a handful of absences.
With the increasing arrival of more Type 2’s at Willesden, their use on the Rugby locals had increased considerably, relegating Rugby’s Patriots to freight workings.
November found Inverness based D5117 consistently working the 8.12am Glasgow Queen Street - Larbert and 12.52pm ex Polmont return working, later working the 5.35pm Queen St – Waverley slow. On November 11th D5081 & 5085 were also in Scotland having arrived on the Luton - Bonnybridge car train. The SR borrowed D5044 & 5070 from Stratford during November due to a shortage of boiler equipped locomotives. The evening mail trains on the South Eastern Division were regularly hauled by Type 2s, during December they featured in an unusual ‘push-pull’ maneuver in the Redhill area. Amongst trains affected were the 11.50pm London Bridge – Deal and the 9.28pm Margate – Cannon Street, both running via Redhill. Engineering works required use of the Quarry Line, necessitating the use of a steam locomotive on the Earlswood – Redhill section to draw the train backwards. On December 9th this move featured D5000 on the Deal and D5002 on the Margate. The SR civil engineer had recently permitted the use of the BR/Sulzer Type 2’s over Blackfriars Bridge & Coldharbour Lane Bridge, this would allow use of these machines on cross London freights from Finsbury Park, replacing the J50’s. D5094 had visited Hither Green & Feltham whilst on loan to Finsbury Park from March. Over at Liverpool Street Sunday November 20th saw London’s last steam worked suburban services, prior to introduction of full electric working the next day. Not all the final workings were steam hauled. The 10.27pm Hertford East – Liverpool Street was in the hands of a BR/Sulzer Type 2, having arrived earlier with the 8.22 ex Liverpool St.
It was not only the Modernisation Plan' diesel and electric locomotives that encountered teething problems. The recent conversion of some Glasgow suburban services from steam to electric started positively but serious incidents on December 13th & 17th with the electrical equipment on the multiple units saw the new services suspended, with steam taking over from December 19th until repairs could be made to the electric multiple units. Late in December one three car electric set made its way to the AEI Works for evaluation, whilst early in January the motor brakes were removed from the trainsets and began their journeys south for repair.
The recent arrival of a number of Type 2s at Longsight during December saw them working new turns, one such was the 9.35pm Huddersfield Hillhouse – Willesden Class D freight returning north as far as Northampton on the 2.50pm ex Euston, so noted have been D5083, 5134 – 5137/39. By this time just over fifty percent of the passenger trains out of Euston were in the hands of the diesels, the EE Type 4’s clearly dominating on the long distance expresses, with the Type 2s a distant second on the local workings.
The crew on December 17th's 12.53am Whitemoor - Broxbourne coal train had a narrow escape at Stretham Fen, Cambridgeshire when a vehicle in the 7.14pm Romford - Whitemoor parcels became derailed and fouled the up line at about 2.40am. The locomotive of the coal train, less than a year old D5095 suffered considerable damage to the cab whilst the force of the impact derailed the locomotive and sent it down an eight foot high embankment. The driver, Mr W Barker and fireman Mr P Read escaped with minor injuries when considering how severely damaged the cab was. The speed of the parcels train was reported as 60mph whilst that of the coal train was 45mph.
During December D5143 – D5146 were delivered to Willesden from Derby, the first received here fresh from the workshops, a number of others had arrived transferred from the Eastern Region. And as the year closed D11 was loaned to Leeds Holbeck (55A) but used by Neville Hill for crew training. Along with D14 & D302 it was used on a turn to Appleby West - reporting number N580, leaving Neville Hill at 9.31am, arriving Appleby West at 11.43am, departing there at 12.55pm. They were also used regularly on a short Stourton - Lancaster van train, leaving Stourton at 9.30am, returning from Lancaster at 2.15pm. Future plans were for the big Type 4’s to take over the ‘Thames-Clyde’ north of Leeds, currently in the hands of Britannias, Royal Scots & A3’s. After these training sessions the Peaks would normally be found working south of Leeds.