Diesel-Hydraulic Locomotives Of The Western Region
The 309 diesel-hydraulic line-service locomotives of the Western Region caused more comment, commotion and opprobrium than any other motive power built under the British Rail-ways Modernisation plan initiated in 1955. They were so completely different in conception and construction from the 2,500 BR diesel-electrics; apart from the provision of a trans-mission new to Britain they introduced the then modern quick-running light-weight diesel engine. Opposition to them on non-technical and non-reasoned grounds was strong at BR headquarters and in sections of British industry. But in their time the War-ship and Western classes became `Great Western' hallmarks as much as the steam Castles and Kings they replaced, and they made possible the 70-75 mph framework of Western Region main line timetables. Un-fortunately they formed only 11 per cent of the total BR diesel fleet, and they were thus made victims of the 1967 so-called National Traction Plan which envisaged early withdrawal and replacement by more standard diesel-electric types. While a few survived until 1977, with a handful preserved, the majority had been taken out of service by 1973, when aggregate diesel-hydraulic mileage was approaching 200 million. Locomotives of the D800 Maybach-engined Warship class had almost throughout their lives shown average annual mileages greater than any BR-type diesel-electrics. Indeed, on the WR, diesel-hydraulic traction proved its capabilities, but only in conjunction with heavy expenditure on maintenance.
Hardback with dust jacket, 112 pages, black & white photographs
Condition: Very Good
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