The Worst Ever

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The Worst Ever

Post by windsor_lad » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:47 pm

Can any member let us all know what in their opinion was the worst Modernisation Plan diesel locomotive type purchased by British Railways?

In my opinion it was the Metrovick Co-Bos, not only did they have a dismal appearance but also the power unit was unreliable. This is all second hand though as I never saw them ?in the flesh?.

So can any member nominate the worst ever based on their personal experiences.

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Re: The Worst Ever

Post by pdeaves » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:25 pm

How do you define 'worst'?
  • Ugliest?
  • Most prone to failure?
  • Extinct (in terms of BR use) soonest?
  • Costliest to maintain?
  • Most polluting?
It is unlikely that the same class type will be the worst in all these cases (and any other category that others may come up with).

For 'ugly' I will plump for class 31 (no doubt to the chagrin of many!).

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Re: The Worst Ever

Post by windsor_lad » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:32 pm

I am after members reactions to having seen them in the flesh or particularly horrendous journeys due to the inherent poor reliability of some types.

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Re: The Worst Ever

Post by MisterC » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:32 am

I don't have direct experience of any of the classes withdrawn in 1967-68 and very little of those withdrawn in 1971-72, but I have done a lot of research.

The first point to make is the distinction between the 174 locomotives of the prototype classes ordered at the start of the Modernisation Plan, and classes ordered subsequently. And, perhaps due to my economic training, "throwing good money after bad" is one of my key criteria.

Of the original 174 Modernisation Plan locomotives, in my view the NBL diesel electric Type 2s were the worst. If they had stopped at 10 locomotives they could be considered an experiment that did not work, like the MetroVicks or the Baby Deltics, but the BTC bought a load more of them, and BR spent a lot of money on a re-engine programme, even though they were clearly rubbish.

But for me the worst of the lot are the Claytons. A misconceived project to a specification that was no longer required, long after experimentation should have ceased. A lot of money wasted that could have been spent on other things instead.

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Re: The Worst Ever

Post by 10A » Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:43 pm

Almost certainly the North British Type 2 diesel hydraulics the unreliability of which was so poor that when used on passenger workings, had to be used in pairs. They (and the similarly unreliable diesel electric Type 2 used on the GN) only came to be built because the North British Company had considerable political influence and arranged for the government of the day (concerned about rising unemployment in Glasgow) to request that the NB be included in diesel plans. No sooner had the ink dried on the NB contracts than the price was increased by 20% which the BTC should have opposed but (largely because the BTC consisted of a large number of loosely related committees) was not.
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