Could Class 08's be used as Emergency Generators?

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Peter Hall
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Could Class 08's be used as Emergency Generators?

Post by Peter Hall » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:34 pm

Through 'Diesel Dilemmas' I occasional receive intriguing questions for which I know not where to turn for an answer. One such was received earlier this year as follows:-

"Can you confirm or dismiss the following: ''A number of Class 08s during the Cold War era had an electrical switch holding box affixed high up to the outside of the cab wall, something like 24 inches square by maybe 8 inches thick. The idea was that if the national grid failed, a modest supply for a very limited area, say a hospital and environs, could be provided by a nearby parked 08. The box was to be point of attachment of cabling provided by 'others'. The fixing holes for the boxes could be seen years later.''

I do recall that when the Manchester tram was first demonstrated to the press and politicians, the very temporary power supply was provided to a short length of tram OLE, by cables attached to a main line EMU unit parked nearby. That's fact. But the above ... "

The enquirer recalled his Uncle Geoff (Geoff Ford, then District Motive Power Manager Norwich Thorpe) saying something about this, but cannot now fully recall, as it was a very long time ago.

Can anyone help with this one?

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Re: Could Class 08's be used as Emergency Generators?

Post by pdeaves » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:11 pm

Peter Hall wrote:Can anyone help with this one?
In answer to the question posed in the thread title, yes, a class 08 could be used as a generator. It is essentially a mobile generator with a bit of equipment allowing it to move itself.

Regarding the finer detail of whether any 08s were in actuality fitted with external cable sockets, someone else will be able to assist with that!

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Re: Could Class 08's be used as Emergency Generators?

Post by MisterC » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:21 pm

There are other known uses of locomotives as stationary generators. The best example is for train heating, where we already gave a Diesel Dilemma. I recollect in the 1970s 47155 was borrowed by the CEGB for use at West Thurrock power station, and others may be able to think of more examples.

But I'm sceptical about this story for two reasons. Would a class 08 be able to generate sufficient power to supply a hospital? And reference is made to Norwich which only had class 03s until well into the 1970s.

This is a case where a picture is worth a thousand words. Do we have a picture showing this alleged modification?

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