Diesel Dilemmas

Steam Heat Generators - Diesel and Electric Locomotives

Often discussed amongst those with an interest in the passenger activities of BR diesel and electric locomotives is precisely which locomotives were fitted with Steam Heat Generators (SHG), often referred to as 'boilers' and if/when these were removed. For most Classes the details are never disputed but for Class 31, 37, 40 and 47 which from the late 1960's had SHG removed progressively, not connected with a major modification, the situation is far from clear. Similarly, for Class 76 it would appear the situation is not as clear cut as has often been recorded. The intention of this dilemma, initially, is to try and build up a better understanding of which locomotives of these classes had SHG removed and when, before May 1980*. Later removals will be hopefully incorporated later.

*Class 31 until December 1982

For starters, this is a summary of locomotives that it is believed were fitted with SHG and the major changes.

Class 21/29 – All built with Spanner

Class 22 – All built with Spanner (D6300-D6305), Stone-Vapor or Clayton (D6306-D6357)

Class 23 – All built with Stone-Vapor

Class 24 – All built with Stone-Vapor. Removed from D5102-D5111 in 1966

Class 25 - D5176-D5178, D5183-D5237, D7568-D7597 built with Stone-Vapor.
Removed from D7592 in c1973 when dual-braked

Class 26 – All built with Stone-Vapor.
Removed from D5300-D5306 in 1967

Class 27 - D5347-D5369, D5379-D5415 built with Stone-Vapor, D5374 subsequently fitted in c1971.
Removed from D5386 (27103-27212), D5391 (27119-27201), D5392 (27120-27202), D5393 (27121-27203), D5403 (27122-27204), D5404 (27113-27207), D5407 (27114-27208), D5408 (27115-27209), D5409 (27116-27210), D5410 (27123-27205), D5411 (27117-27211), D5412 (27124-27206) in 1973-1976 when fitted with ETS supply.

Class 28 – All built with Spanner.

Class 31 � All built with Spanner. Click on Class 31 link for details of removals.

Class 35 – All built with Stone-Vapor (D7000-D7044), Spanner (D7045-D7100)

Class 37 – D6700-D6938 built with Clayton. D6947/D6960-D6968 subsequently fitted 1967-1968.
Removed from D6755-57/59-74/76-80, D6819-74/93-D6938 in c1964. Removed from D6701-D6710 and fitted to D6947/D6960-68 in 1967-1968. Click on Class 37 link for subsequent removals.

Class 40 � All built with Stone-Vapor (D200-D259, D267-D286, D305-D324) Clayton (D260-D266, D287-D304, D325-D399). Click on Class 40 link for details of removals.

Class 41 (D600-4) � All built with Spanner

Class 42/43 – All built with Spanner or Stone-Vapor

Class 44/45/46 – All built with Stone-Vapor (D1-D165), Spanner (D166-D193). Removed from D1-10 in 1962. Removed from the fifty that became Class 45/1 in 1973-1975 when ETS supply fitted.

Class 47 – D1500-D1615/ D1682-D1781 built with Spanner, D1616-D1635/ D1837-D1874 built with Stone-Vapor, D1101-D1111/D1948-D1976 built with Stones, D1100/D1636-D1681/ D1901-D1947/D1977-D1999 built with Clayton.
Removed from those that became 47424/47427/47432-47434/47436-47456/47459/47462-47513/47529-47540/47544-47547/47549-47551/47553-47585 when ETS supply fitted. Click on Class 47 link for details of other removals.

Class 52 – All built with Spanner

Class 53 – Built with Spanner

Class 55 – All Built with Spanner

Class 76 � E26000/ E26020/E26046-E26057 fitted with Bastain & Allen although probably not from new on E26020/E26046-E26049. Click on Class 76 link for further details.

Class 77 – E27000-E27006 Built with Bastain & Allen

Prior to the publication of the RCTS ‘Locomotive Stock of British Railways 1977 including detail differences’ little information had been published about which locomotives built with SHG had had the equipment removed. Some changes had been shown in the ‘Locomotive Stock Alterations’ published in the RO but that was it. Subsequently of course the Platform 5 books appeared and much more information about changes began to be published.

By clicking on the Class 31, Class 37, Class 40 and Class 47 links above further details can be found about the locomotives that are believed to have had their SHG removed, not connected with a major modification, before the publication of the sixth edition of the Platform 5 ‘Motive Power Pocket Book’ which had been updated to 17th May 1980. For each locomotive it is shown whether this is believed to have taken place before 12/76 (included in the RCTS book), between 12/76-11/77 (after the RCTS book and before the first edition of the Platform 5 book) and between 11/77-5/80 (after the first Platform 5 book and before the sixth Platform 5 book). Fortunately, for Class 31, the situation as of 10/70 is known thanks to a RO article so an extra grouping exists for these. A more precise removal date will be added as information becomes available. Also any relevant comments such as whether removal took place during a major works overhaul.

It should be emphasised that no differentiation is made between SHG equipment that was operative within the locomotive or inoperative within the locomotive, often referred to as ‘isolated’. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, official records may have shown the SHG as operative but the reality was that for many locomotives not normally used on passenger trains the SHG was far from operative. This particularly being the case when locomotives were normally used on freight trains and the depot to at which they were based had no or few regular winter passenger turns. Secondly, it can be revealed that in the late 1970’s it became apparent to those involved with the Platform 5 books that this was the case and physical examination of locomotives and their repair books confirmed this. In fact on occasions locomotives recorded on official notifications as having SHG had had it removed whilst others shown as having had it removed still had it fitted either operative or inoperative. This may also explain differences between enthusiast sources as to locomotives fitted with SHG and its status.

Those with any knowledge of SHG removal from the locomotives listed are asked to make contact in order that the lists below can be made more accurate. It would also be interesting to know if anyone has the dates these locomotives were in main workshops as this may help greatly when taken with correlated with other information

Photographs and other information will be welcomed by Peter Hall

last updated: 28/11/17