class 26, class 27, BRCW Type 2, crompton
BRCW Type 2s
Class 26 & 27
Part 1: 1958 - 1969

Introduction & Highlights

The BRCW/Sulzer Type 2s (later Class 26 & 27) originated with twenty locomotives as part of the 1956 Modernisation Plan's initial order for 171 (later 174) locomotives, identified under the Type B category (maximum of 1,250bhp).

Eventually orders were placed for a total of 116 locomotives:
D5300 - D5319 (20) ER (Initial Modernisation Plan order)
D5320 - D5328 (9) ER
D5329 - D5346 (18) ScR
D5347 - D5369 (23) ScR
D5370 - D5378 (9) LMR
D5379 - D5415 (38) LMR

The Power Unit

The 6LDA28 power unit selected for the Type 2 was available from the Sulzer catalogue and had already seen use in locomotives built by BRCW for use in Sierra Leone & Australia. The 1,160hp engine was also fitted to the Derby Type 2s, later Class 24.

Trials with the earliest of the 1,160hp engined locomotives revealed a higher maximum speed and a little more power would be very useful for the operating authorities. The introduction of charge air cooling provided the necessary technical advance to introduce the 'B' variant which had a continuous traction output of 1,250bhp at 750rpm. The 'B' unit would be employed in the Class 25 & Class 27 locomotives.


D5300 was delivered from BRCW during September to Doncaster for acceptance trials. The design specification had called for a maximum axle loading of 18.75 tons (total 73 tons), in practice the locomotives were delivered weighing 77tons 17cwt. From Doncaster D5300 and her sisters were sent down to Hornsey (34B) for crew training prior to handling services from Kings Cross to Hitchin, Hertford North & Welwyn. Because the locomotives were overweight they were banned from working to the Southern Region via the Metropolitan Widened Lines.

D5300 was noted at an Open Day at Wood Green depot sometime during 1958, D5300 appeared to be almost ex-works and was on display with a variety of steam and diesel locomotives.

Whilst on test from Doncaster on November 20th D5305 failed in the Newark area. Fitters were called to assist in getting the locomotive operational. D5306 was noted on test on the ECML on December 4th, and D5307 similarly on December 10th.

Regular operation from Moorgate commenced on December 1st.

By December a further nine Class 26s had been ordered (D5338 - D5346).

D5300 - D5346 were built under BRCW Nos 45 - 91.

D5300 - D5309 delivered new to Hornsey (34B) between August & December.

D5303 was tested in the Aberdeen area (dates??) working the 2.15pm Aberdeen - Inverness passenger, the 1.30pm & 6.05pm Aberdeen - Glasgow Buchanan Street passenger, the 1.45pm Aberdeen - London Kings Cross fish and the 12.20am Aberdeen - Heaton goods.


The BRCW Type 2 locomotives were arriving at Doncaster Works about one per week for acceptance trials. After acceptance the normal path was to follow the 7.52am Leeds - Kings Cross down to London.

The new Holmes Goods Shed (Lincoln) opened on January 16th, in celebration an exhibition of locomotives and rolling stock took place for two days, included in the large and varied number of exhibits was D5309.

Maintenance to the Hertford North Loop line commencing at the end of January was intended to facilitate the arrival of the new diesel locomotives and multiple units prior to electrification of the line. During this period the use of the Type 2s was limited to a few services including empty coaching stock moves, goods and newspapers. It was hoped that by the summer of 1959 full service would be resumed using 28 twin diesel multiple units and the Type 2s, with services able to operate at a maximum of 70mph.

During the second week of February D5307 was noted in the diesel shop at Stratford.

Noted on acceptance trials from Doncaster during January - April were D5312 (Jan 20th), D5313 (Jan 27th), D5314 (Feb 6th), D5315 (Feb 17th), D5316 (Feb 24th) D5317 (Mar 3rd), D5318 (Mar 10th) & D5320 (Apr 14th). When delivered to Hornsey from Doncaster the new locomotives would follow the 07.52am Leeds - Kings Cross.

Previous reference to the new diesels being overweight led to the SR/ER authorities banning the BRCW Type 2s from working inter-regional freights to the SR via the Widened Lines and Snow Hill. In light of this consideration was given to moving these Hornsey based Type 2s (D5300 - 5319) to the Scottish Region. The arrival of the NBL Type 2s (D6100 - D6109) would also find them overweight, by 4.5 tons, leading to their being banned over the Widened Lines & Snow Hill.

A late morning Cambridge - Kings Cross service was noted arriving at Kings Cross behind D5305 and V2 60966 on March 18th.

During the 2nd week of April the first of the Scottish Region batch of BRCW Type 2s was noted at Doncaster Works, with trials taking place on the main line on April 14th. D5320/21 were delivered to the Scottish Region during the four weeks ending April 18th. These Type 2s were intended for service improvements on the Edinburgh - Aberdeen line, but were initially working various freights in the Edinburgh area, which included workings between Niddrie & Dundee, Dundee & Waverley, Niddrie & Perth North and Perth South & Haymarket. Although allocated to Haymarket (64B) the BRCW Type 2s called Leith Central (64H) home until the modernisation of Haymarket was completed.

On May 27th D5309 & D5312 were used on track tests north of Balcombe Tunnel Junction on the Brighton line. Twelve test runs were made at speeds between 2mph & 75mph.

Problems with certain new locomotives and railcars saw D5330 - D5335 sent down to Hornsey as a temporary measure to alleviate the problems. By the last week of September they had been returned to the Scottish Region, running light from Hornsey to Doncaster where they remained overnight to be collected by Scottish crews the next day. Return dates for the Hornsey - Doncaster leg was D5330/D5331 - September 24th, D5332/D5333 - September 28th & D5334/D5335 - September 29th. At the same time the Hornsey fleet of BRCW Type 2s returned to Smethwick for modifications, requiring the N2s to fill in on Kings Cross area local services. So noted was D5317 at Smethwick on July 21st.

On June 20th a Kings Cross - Grimsby passenger service was noted near Boston behind D5300.

During July the BRCWs took over the passenger and freight workings on the Dunstable - Hatfield line. On July 29th an excursion from the GN section (Enfield?) arrived at Southend Victoria behind D5330.

During the first week of August D5326 was noted in St Rollox Works whilst on August 14th D5336 was noted en-route from BRCW Smethwick to Doncaster and present in Doncaster Works yard on August 30th were D5337 & D5338.

The Scottish Industries Exhibition at Glasgow (August?) produced an exhibition at Glasgow Central station which included D5329.

Commencing August 31st the BRCW Type 2s started working Edinburgh - Aberdeen passengers services, frequently pairs were used on this service. However it now appeared that the major dieselisation of these services would not occur until March 1960.

During the week ending September 19th D5340 was on acceptance trials from Doncaster, D5341 w/e September 26th, D5342 w/e October 2nd, D5344 w/e October 16th.

Photograph collection of webmaster
D5300 at Kings Cross on September 19th 1959.

On October 28th the 2.25pm Waverley - Newcastle failed at Long Niddry behind A4 60009, D5331 was nearby being used for crew training on the Haddington branch and was summonsed to assist the passenger service.

In Scotland during October (?) the BRCW Type 2s gained a regular working to Inverness on the 8.06am Perth - Inverness freight, returning with the next day's 9.20am Class C freight, then a round trip to Blair Atholl, then back to Leith Central for servicing. A return freight to Wick was also included in the duties of those machines reaching Inverness. These machines were soon to be joined by Hornsey's Type 2's (D5300 - 5319) and the NBL's (D6100 - 6109), following commencement of delivery of thirty Brush Type 2s, beginning with D5563/64 at Wood Green on November 14th. For a brief time some of the newly arrived diesels were stored at Leith depot.

Delivered during 1959:
D5310 - D5319 new to Hornsey (34B) between January & March.
D5320 - D5342 new to Haymarket (64B) between April & September.
D5343 - D5344 new to Inverness (60A) during October, then to Haymarket (64B).
D5345 - D5346 new to Haymarket (64B) during October.

After the delivery of the last BRCW Type 2, BRCW turned their attention to delivery of their Type 3's (D6500 - D6597).

For examples of 1959/1960 Broad Street Workings for Class 26 see appendix at bottom of page.


During the first week of January D5307 was noted at Stratford Works.

On a regular basis an Eastern Region BRCW Type 2 would be sent up to Smethwick on a Saturday, it would spend a week at Smethwick, then return to the ER, its place taken by another Type 2. On January 2nd D5301 was noted returning light engine via Solihull & Leamington to the ER.

On January 18th D5337 & D5338 with 11 coaches, including a recording coach, (350 tons) were tested between Edinburgh & Aberdeen on a three hour schedule. The test was successful leading to eight pairs of locomotives being diagrammed for this service with a further three pairs covering the Glasgow - Aberdeen service.

By the end of February the upgrading of Haymarket depot allowed its fleet of mainline diesels to start using the new diesel servicing facilities, leaving Leith to its fleet of diesel shunters and diesel multiple units.

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 Scottish Region crews would take over. By April 22nd D6100 - D6109 had made the trip. For the BRCW’s transfer Doncaster men worked up to Hornsey with brand new Brush Type 2s, 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, on April 21st D5604/05 up & D5302/03 down, on April 27th D5606/07 up & D5304/05 down, on May 3rd D5608/09 up & D5307/08 down, on May 10th D5610/11 up & D5309 down, on May 17th D5612/13 up & D5306/10 down, May 24th D5614/15 (the last of the thirty Brush Type 2s for Hornsey) up & D5312/13 down.

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 2s from the Highland mainline. The service required eight pairs of BRCW Type 2s, with three pairs also covering two Glasgow - Aberdeen roundtrips. Transfers to accommodate this service saw D5340 & D5341 moved to Kittybrewster (61A) and D5342 & D5354 to Dundee (62B). For the steam enthusiast the loss of the diesels on the Highland mainline saw an influx of steam return, albeit only in the short term.

During the second week of April D5315 was noted in Stratford repair shop.

Towards the end of May Inverness regained most of its fleet of BRCW Type 2s following the arrival of nearly all the BRCW Type 2s 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. The former Lochgorm Workshops had been converted into the diesel servicing shed.

During the second week of June D5300 was noted in St Rollox Workshops.

On June 13th D5314/15 departed Hornsey light engines for the Scottish Region.

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.

Present at St Rollox Works during the first week of September were D5327 & D5345 under repair and 22 NBL Type 2s in the yard, including brand new D6155.

During late September/early October the Inverness based Type 2’s 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.

The last two BRCW Type 2s allocated to Hornsea, D5318 & D5319 were transferred to the Scottish Region (Haymarket 64B) during early October.

During November D5344 was transferred to St Rollox (65B) and was noted on a late morning Buchanan Street - Dundee West on November 17th.


During February D5344 was reallocated back to Inverness (60A), ending its Glasgow Buchanan Street - Dundee West workings, these were now in the hands of the NBL Type 2s.

At the end of May D5327 was noted under test in the Edinburgh area with a brake tender, being used on a Meadows - Newbattle freight. The tests were considered successful.

On June 30th D5347 arrived at Doncaster Works for acceptance trials.

During July the first of the uprated BRCW Type 2s, D5347 & D5348 were delivered initially to Thornton Junction (62A) but then to Eastfield (65A). Following deliveries were allocated directly to Eastfield. The new locomotives were successfully tested on the West Highland line, with D5348 at Stirling for use on the Callander and Oban line.

Also during July Haymarket allocated BRCW Type 2s regularly traversed the Waverley route with the 12.00 noon Edinburgh - Carlisle and the 3.22pm return, examples would occassionally be seen in the following months over this route on a regular basis. The Type 2s on the Edinburgh - Aberdeen services sustained an increased number of failures, related to the train heating equipment and a couple of locomotives catching fire, including D5316 at Cupar on July 30th.

During August D5323 was noted under repair at Inverurie Works, other examples of the class would follow during the following months.

On the Far North lines the use of steam at a variety of sub sheds, e.g. Wick, Helmsdale etc was swept away through use of the Type 2 diesels doing whatever necessary in between their long distance workings, the intention being to make Inverness the only depot in the region. Steam was still present on the Highland mainline freights, possibly only awaiting the imminent delivery of more Type 4's to Haymarket.

The Haymarket BRCW Type 2s were now being used on the Edinburgh - Hawick local workings, frequently in pairs. With the arrival of the English Electric Type 4s at Haymarket the BRCWs were finding themselves displaced on the Aberdeen services, now handling some local services, such as to Stirling.

By November the West Highland line had been dieselised using the Eastfield allocated BRCW Type 2s and two 350hp diesel shunters at Fort William. Heavier passenger trains, to 350 tons and accelerated timings were being considered.

D5347 - D5415 were built under BRCW Nos 190 - 258. After the delivery of the Class 26s, BRCW concentrated on building the Class 33s, it was during July 1961 that both Classes 27 & 33 were being delivered jointly from Smethwick with D6556 & D5347.

D5347 - D5348 delivered new to Thornton (62A) during July.
D5349 - D5369 delivered new to Eastfield (65A) between July & December.

D5363 delivered from Smethwick to Doncaster on November 29th, likewise D5364 on December 6th.

D5353 was sent from Scotland to Smethwick on November 25th/26th for attention.


Following the delivery of the 23 1,250hp BRCW Type 2s to Eastfield, the next nine were delivered to Thornaby between January & March. These locomotives were intended for freight service, so were delivered without train heating boilers.

Photograph collection of webmaster
D5329 at Inverness on March 10th 1962.

Photograph collection of webmaster
D5339 at Inverness on March 10th 1962.

Expanded duties over the Waverley route for the Haymarket BRCW Type 2s occurred over the New Year with the overnight Waverley - Carlisle postal and return, a Portobello - Hawick goods and an early morning Hawick - Waverley passenger. A pair had also been noted on a Dundee West - Carlisle Canal freight, returning with a freight to Niddrie. The early morning newspapers to Hawick and the return passenger to Waverley were also handled by the Type 2s.

By the first week of April the first three 1,250hp BRCW Type 2s (D5379/80/81) were recieved by Cricklewood (14A) for use on the Midland Lines, in particular to oust steam from the remaining steam passenger workings in the London area. By May pairs of the Type 2s were diagrammed for a morning Nottingham - St Pancras passenger, returning at noon to Nottingham. They were also noted on empty coaching stock workings around St Pancras, parcels workings and Moorgate services. Driver training also took the BRCWs to Bedford and the branch to Northampton.

On April 4th came disturbing news with the announcement of the intended liquidation of the North British Locomotive Company due to insolvency. The reliability of the NBL Type 2s was already causing major concerns to the operating authorities, the almost complete destruction by fire of D6127 on March 27th whilst working the 15.15 Buchanan St - Dundee, in company with a sister, at Greenloaning, only emphasized the problems these machines were experiencing.

Further north the Inverness Type 2s were now in full command of the services out of the Highland capital, with a number of them working throughout to Edinburgh. Steam in the Inverness area was now almost non-existent with the coaling plant already out of use, and only the Dingwall pilot, currently ex-WR Pannier Tanks 1646/49 was steam powered. These were also used to heat the TPO, though this function was under review.

Of interest at St Pancras on April 27th were three almost brand new Class 27s. D5379 was in charge of a Tilbury Boat Train whilst D5381 & D5383 were in charge of the 12.00 Nottingham - St Pancras, being diagrammed to this train for driver training purposes. Also on April 27th D5385 was delivered new from Smethwick.

In Scotland the Waverley Route saw a major shift of power from steam to diesel from May 7th. All Edinburgh - Carlisle passenger services were now in the hands of Haymarket’s BRCW Type 2s as were approximately half of the freights, with double heading being quite frequent. The 6.44am Waverley - Carlisle, 1.40pm return and 5.57pm back to Carlisle and the next day’s 9.20am to Waverley were diagrammed for one locomotive. The 2.43pm Edinburgh - Carlisle and 7.44pm return required another machine whilst the 10.20pm Edinburgh - Carlisle postal and 3.50am return was normally doubleheaded. About a dozen freights were also diagrammed for diesels, these moves created a reduction in the steam fleet at Carlisle Canal shed. The freights received and sent out from Carlisle Canal involved destinations of Dundee West, Dundee Tay Bridge, Craiginches, Aberdeen, Perth, Niddrie, Portobello & Millerhill.

Photograph collection of webmaster
D5337 at the Aberfeldy on July 20th 1962. The branch became diesel operated during the summer of 1962.

Photograph collection of webmaster
D5337 at Ballinluig working the Aberfeldy branch on July 20th 1962. The branch became diesel operated during the summer of 1962.

On July 15th a BRCW Type 2 worked a partially fitted 38 wagon test train roundtrip between Brent and Upper Holloway including four test stops along the route. The following month several BRCW Type 2s were noted on Marylebone - Nottingham workings. They were also noted on empty mineral trains to Wellingborough and on transfer traffic from the Cricklewood area to the yard near Bow Junction.

On July 28th the 9.20am Glasgow - Scarborough was worked by A3 60083 with D5313 piloting as far as Newcastle, later returning north with an extra from Scarborough.

By the summer the West Highland had been completely dieselised with a combination of the BRCW Type 2s, the English Electric Type 1s and the NBL Type 2s. Also added to the workings of the BRCW Type 2s were the services over the Ballachulish branch.

Noted at Darlington Works under repair during late August/September/October was D5370.

On August 29th D5377 and a brake tender was tested on the Teeside - Skipton ammonia tanks throughout, in anticipation of the service being dieselised in the near future.

The last of the BRCW Type 2s, D5415, was delivered to Cricklewood at the end of September. With the full allocation achieved of the BRCW Type 2s to Cricklewood, they had now been noted working the Hemel Hempstead branch freight. These LMR Type 2s would be regular visitors to Derby Locomotive Works until their transfer to the Scottish Region.

The derailment of D5345 at Haymarket shed on October 26th saw D5303 used as a substitute on an Edinburgh - Inverness passenger service.

D5370 - D5378 delivered new to Thornaby (51L) between January & March.
D5379 - D5415 delivered new to Cricklewood (14A) between March & September.


The spring saw a number of Cricklewood BRCW Type 2s working over former Great Central metals, including a morning Marylebone - Nottingham passenger, a roundtrip Neasden - Woodford freight and an evening Marylebone - Aylesbury parcels.

On July 20th a Bedford area - Southend excursion was worked by D5400. The use of the Type 2s on selected Marylebone - Nottingham workings ceased with diesel multiple units taking over.

A tradition on the Silloth branch saw Carlisle Canal using Haymarket allocated BRCW diesels for the Sunday services, when Canal closed on June 16th this tradition was continued by Kingmoor.

On August 16th D5320 was noted at Inverness with collision damage, sustained at some point on the line to Wick.

A three day rail / steamer excursion from Colchester to Oban on August 30th - September 1st produced an interesting mix of motive power:
Colchester - Peterborough North: D5514
Peterborough North - York: A4 60026
York - Newcastle: V2 60887
Newcastle - Edinburgh: V2 60868
Edinburgh - Stirling B1s 61404 & 61345
Stirling - Oban - Stirling: D5355 & D5366
Stirling - Edinburgh: B1s 61404 & 61345
Edinburgh - Newcastle: A3 60045
Newcastle - York: V2 60945
York - Peterborough: A3 60048
Peterborough - Colchester - Thornton Fields: D5514
The twelve coach train included three sleeping cars. The steamer portion saw visits to Staffa & Iona.

The increasing number of Type 2s being delivered from Derby Works allowed for a reshuffle of some of Cricklewood's BRCW Type 2s. By the first week of September D5403 had been loaned from Cricklewood to March (31B), it would be transferred back to Cricklewood during October. Later in the month a block of the BRCW Type 2's moved from Cricklewood to Leicester (15C) to assist in the dieselisation of local freight workings. During October D5404 was transferred to Derby (17A), then to Leicester (15A) during November. In October Saltley (21A) borrowed D5390 (and later 5389/94) from Leicester and brand new D7569 for crew training, from November 4th they were utisiled oon the Washwood Heath - Whitemoor freights. By November 30th the diesels had taken over all workings from March. And in conjunction with the recently arrived Type 2's at Leicester they would infiltrate further north on the Midland line towards Chesterfield & Sheffield.

During the first week of November D5319 & D5336 were noted at St Rollox workshops with fire damage.

The testing of BRCW Type 3s on the Fawley - Bromford Bridge oil tanks during December saw the opportunity for examples of the BRCW Type 2s & 3s to be alongside each other in the Saltley/Washwood Heath area.

On December 28th the last Bedford - Hitchin freight took place prior to the closure of this line. D5380 with 15 wagons of bricks and two brakevans made the non-stop journey from Bedford to Hitchin in 45 minutes. The brick wagons were left in the Up yard at Hitchin, D5380 then returned to Bedford with the two brakevans, stopping at several closed stations to allow goodbyes to be made & photographs taken. The second brakevan was for use by members of the The Locomotive Club of Great Britain society.


On January 14th D5387 was noted at Wellingborough with a two coach train for Northampton.

The afternoon Water Orton - Glasgow freight was diagrammed for a Leicester BRCW Type 2, how far the diesel worked is not known, but Type 4 substitutions were common.

D5379 - D5383 were transferred to Bedford (14C) during January and returned to Cricklewood during March. D5376 was noted under repair at Darlington Workshops during January and D5371 during March.

During March a works re-organization was authorised for the ScR, with considerable investment planned for the St Rollox workshops. The other shops in Glasgow at Cowlairs, currently only handling steam repairs, would be closed. Diesel repair would continue at Inverurie, which at this time was still the principal shops for the Inverness based Derby Type 2’s, whilst St Rollox handled the BRCW Type 2s.

On May 15th Leicester based D5387 was noted on a training trip on the Longtown branch with D8122.

On September 6th the Carlisle - Silloth passenger service came to an end. Due to anticipated larger than normal passenger volumes the regular diesel multiple unit was replaced by both steam and diesel hauling passenger coaches. D5310 and stock was used to make two round trips, the 10.30am and 1.10pm Carlisle - Silloth, returning at 11.35am and 6pm from Silloth. The final evening round trip was given to 2-6-0 No.43139, with eight coaches from Carlisle, a further four were added from the Silloth goods yard for the return trip. The raucous final departure was abouth thirty minutes late at 7.58pm, with 43139 creating quite a display with its train of twelve fully loaded coaches.

The establishment of light servicing and fuelling facilities at Burton during December would see an influx of the BRCW Type 2s from Leicester on a variety of local workings.

As the year closed news from Scotland indicated that twenty of the NBL 6100’s would be re-engined with Paxman units, similar to the test bed in D6123. In contrast to the pyrotechnics of the NBLs, the Scottish BRCW Type 2s had gone about their business with the minimal of issues.

The LMR plan to allocate diesels by Division saw the following applied to the LMR BRCW Type 2s:

London Division (M14): D5383/84/85/89/96/98/99, D5400/01/02/03/07/08/09/10/15
Leicester Division (M15): D5386/88/90/91/92/93/94/95/97, D5404/05/06/11/12/13/14
Nottingham Division (M16): none
Midland Lines (ML): D5379/80/81/82/87


With the arrival of the Midland Lines Division allocations (D14, D15, D16) as well as to the Line itself (ML) the Class 27s could be found over much of the southern end of the Midland main line and its branches. On the London Division they were used on local passenger, parcels and freight (including the cross London workings to the Southern & Western Regions) and empty coaching stock workings between St Pancras and Cricklewood. The Class 27s were not trip cock fitted so could not work the Luton - Moorgate services. They worked out of all the depots at the London end: Cambridge Steet, Cricklewood, St Albans and Bedford.

On the Leicester Division the Class 27s were used on local passenger turns (including some multiple unit substitutions), parcels, local trips and out/home freights. Although most of the local passengers were diesel multiple unit worked there were some of the Leicester - Kettering/Wellingborough locals which remained locomotive hauled as well as the Leicester - Peterborough service which did not convert to multiple units until June 1966. Some Class 27s were outstationed at Coalville for local trips and some longer distance out and home freights, e.g. to Wellingborough. All the Leicester Division depots had Class 27 workings except for Melton Mowbray whose one and only trip was diagrammed for Class 25s.

The Nottingham Division contingent were outbased at Burton for local trips and also out and home longer distance workings such as Burton - Banbury. Originally these locomotives were outbased from Leicester. Some Class 27s outbased at Saltley handled similar work to the Leicester ones. The only Nottingham Division depot regularly using Class 27s was Burton although some Derby men were trained on them.

During February D5414 was transferred to Carlisle (12A), being noted several times on the Longtown branch for crew training.

Freights from the LMR to the Glasgow continued to use LMR Type 2s, with them working local services to Wemyss Bay during the Scottish layover, several Midland Lines BRCW Type 2s were noted on these workings.

Heavy snows in early March casused much trouble in certain parts of the country. On March 10th D5311 worked a late morning Millerhill - Carlisle Class 5 freight, returning north the next day as pilot to A3 60100 from Carlisle on a Milford Haven - Thornton block oil train. Elsewhere on March 6th, 10th & 17th D5414 was noted on the Longtown branch for crew training purposes.

As a precursor to the abolition of the Leicester Division D5404/05/06/11/12/13 were transferred to the Midland Lines (ML) during April.

Excursions to Eastbourne during May included D5412 & D5403 from Newcastle on May 4th, two others during the month were handled by Class 25s.

The construction of Longannet Power Station (between Kincardine & Torryburn) during the spring of 1965 would eventually lead to the decision to dedicate a small group of Class 26s to this block train service. Coal would be supplied by Seafield Colliery (between Kinghorn & Kirkcaldy).

During June D5353 was noted at St Rollox Works with collision whilst D5330 was at Inverurie Works.

An eight coach Leicester - New Brighton excursion on June 6th was worked by D5394 to Bidston Dee Junction, where 42086 took over for the short run to New Brighton. On the return D5394 took over at Bidston Dee Junction.

An Eastfield diagram for a BRCW Type 2 included the 22.20 Glasgow Central - Carlisle, the 03.15 Carlisle - Stranraer Harbour postal, a freight to Falkland Junction, then a further freight to Bridgeton.

In the Market Harborough area at East Langton on the evening of August 20th D5383 was involved in a violent collision, leading to the loss of the driver’s life and causing considerable damage to rolling stock and track. For a while Midland passenger services and through services for the south coast were diverted via Nuneaton. By the last week of October D5383 had reached Derby Works for evaluation.

On the evening of October 21st a Royal Train worked between St Pancras (22.30) and Leeds City South (03.40), then stabled on the Kippax branch until 10.10 before departing for Crossgates. Whilst the locomotives that worked the train out of St Pancras remain unknown, it is possible that recently ex-works, two-tone green liveried D5380 & D5382 may have worked the leg to Leeds. Both locomotives were noted at Derby Works on October 3rd but not on October 24th. The return to London for the Royals was to be by air but fog saw the flight cancelled and a Royal Train returned everyone from York to Kings Cross on the evening of October 25th.

BRCW Type 2 allocations as at October 30th:

London Division (M14): D5398/99, D5400/01/02/03/07/08/09/10/15
Leicester Division (M15): D5388/90/91/92/93/94/95/97, D5414
Nottingham Division (M16): none
Midland Lines (ML): D5379/80/81/82/83/84/85/86/87/89/96, D5404/05/06/11/12/13
Thornaby (51L): D5370 -D5378
Inverness (60A): D5320 - D5346
Haymarket (64B): D5300 - D5319
Eastfield (65A): D5347 - D5369

During the 2nd week of December the last steam worked Dundee - Glasgow service was diagrammed for haulage by a BRCW Type 2. For the Eastfield Type 2s these were generally out and back turns, although one turn turn required a lengthy layover at Dundee and an early evening turn to Dundee included an overnight roundtrip Millerhill freight prior to picking up the next day's midmorning Dundee - Glasgow passenger.


During January the first BRCW Type 2 was withdrawn from service, being D5383 at Derby Works after sustaining collision damage at East Langston during August 1965.

In a very short lived inter-regional transfer between Leicester/Nottingham and Thornaby D5248 - 5256 were exchanged for D5370 - 5378. The actual transfer of D5248/49/50 and D5370/71/72 occurred on New Year’s Day with the Class 25’s being sent north from Leicester, the Class 27’s coming down from Thornaby, the crews changing at Masborough! D5378 was noted at Derby Works during February, previously the Thornaby Type 2s had been overhauled at Darlington Works, but this works was now approaching closure.

Dieselisation of more of the Glasgow - Aberdeen services continued using the rebuilt NBL Type 2's, however their continued unreliability saw substitutions by steam and BRCW Type 2s. Sightings of the same BRCW Type 2s over routes to Ayr & Stranraer were becoming more frequent, with D5348 retained at Ayr for three weeks in February/March. In the Dundee area the BRCW Type 2s were becoming more common on area freights.

During February four BRCW Type 2s were transferred to the Nottingham Division (M16).

February 9th & 10th brought chaos and destruction to the Midland lines. The first event involved the 08:07 Harpenden - St Pancras eight car diesel multiple unit which caught fire between Radlett & St Albans. Similar to previous events a drive shaft punctured a fuel tank, over thirty people were injured, many having to jump hurriedly from the blazing vehicle. The next day, a few miles away at Flitwick twelve loaded wagons hauled by D5218 ran into a stationary D5383 immediately north of the station. Most of the train was derailed, necessitating the attendance of D7503 and the Cricklewood crane. The lines were cleared by midnight, hindered additionally by a snowfall. The damaged locomotives were removed to Bedford, prior to heading north to Derby Works.

The Haymarket BRCW Type 2s had been solid performers on a variety of local freight and passenger services over the Waverley route. From the end of January steam was virtually eliminated from the route, though unscheduled incursions would continue to take place, at the same time freight schedules were revised and accelerated, whilst the practice of changing crews at Hawick was eliminated on many workings. For a number of local workings to Hawick diesel multiple units replaced locomotive hauled stock.During the first quarter of 1966 there were nine through freights over the Waverley route, generally in the hands of Haymarket English Electric Type 4s or BRCW Type 2s. The 13.45 Carlisle - Edinburgh was double headed on two occasions during April, D5317 & D5306 (11th) and D5316 & D5307 (13th).

For three months during 1966 certain Stranraer - Ayr freights were double headed with steam/diesel combinations with Black Fives & Standard Fives being assisted by Eastfield BRCW Type 2s. After three months the workings reverted to double headed steam locomotives until steam ended in Ayrshire during October 1966.

D5380 was noted at Derby during late May in a two-tone green livery similar to that of the Derby Type 2s then being outshopped from Derby Works.

D5303 was reported at St Rollox during April as the first of a small batch of Haymarket BRCW Type 2s (D5300 - D5306) to be modified for use on the Cockenzie merry-go-round coal trains. By the end of July D5300 was noted undergoing a similar treatment at St Rollox. Alterations included the removal of the train heating boiler and boiler water tank, the fitting of slow speed control & air brake equipment. The front end gangway doors were also sheeted over.

Singling of the Dumfries - Castle Douglas line saw the use of D5353 on the demolition train during the middle of May.

On the late afternoon of June 27th D5347 & D5339 worked a Royal Train between Glasgow Buchanan Street & Edinburgh. Several days later on July 1st the Royal Train was noted headed south over the Waverley route behind D1974 with D1976 at Hawick as standby.

Steam was still prevalent in south-west Scotland but a sign of the times was noted on July 9th when the 08.15 Newcastle - Stranraer was noted at Ayr with D5352 & Black 5 No.44986, this type of steam/diesel combination would occur frequently until steam was withdrawn from Ayr & Stranraer during October. A week later (July 16th) a number of Edinburgh - Scarborough services were noted behind Haymarket BRCW Type 2s (as far as Newcastle?).

On August 2nd D5347 & Officer's Saloon SC45020 toured the Glasgow area's electrification works, the special started from the cavernous St Enoch station, from which passenger services had been withdrawn the previous month.

D5352 & D5367 were successfully trialled on September 13th over the Ayr - Stranraer route pending the withdrawal of steam anticipated in October. The transition saw 25 diesels replace 45 steam engines with Hurlford depot closed. The Eastfield BRCW Type 2s were part of this transition. For a while a pair of them handled a Stranraer - Euston to Carlisle, then returning on the down train before heading light to Ayr for daytime freight duties.

On October 2nd six Class 24’s (D5050/51/53/55/56) were noted heading north on the ECML on transfer to Haymarket. The completion of these transfers by November allowed the final dieselisation of the Edinburgh - Carstairs services, taking away the few remaining steam diagrams serviced by St Margaret’s shed, whose closure was now imminent, and making the occurrence of steam at Edinburgh Waverley now very rare. Another proposed closure was that of the Waverley route, to be effective January 1967, though public opposition to this proposal was swift and vehement. As well as the locals to Hawick the ex-ER Derby Type 2s were often diagrammed for the return workings to Carlisle, formerly handled by the Clayton’s and the BRCW Type 2s.

D5362 was noted stabled at Crewe North November 20th.


D5306 & D5304 were outshopped from St Rollox during January/February with slow speed control equipment. By April D5305 had been so equipped. D5302 would be the last converted, during July.

D5389 is believed to be the first of the LMR BRCW Type 2s to be painted in blue livery, so noted during January, whilst D5343 was the first Scottish BRCW Type 2 in blue livery during February(?).

Scottish Type 2s did not get the chance to haul many named trains but on April 14th D5055 & D5365 were noted through Ayr with the Up 'Northern Irishman'.

June saw Derby Works clear out more of its withdrawn diesels with Cashmores at Great Bridge being the successful bidder. On 26th moved were Crossley engined D3123/24/26 and collision damaged D5383, the first BRCW Type 2 withdrawn.

D5302 was noted in Glasgow Works during July, the last of the batch D5301 - D5307 to be modified for service on the Cockenzie power station merry-go-round coal trains.

During August & September eighteen LMR BRCW Type 2s moved north to the Nottingham Division. Likewise D5316/17/18/19 were transferred during July from Haymarket to Inverness.

On September 12th the last Perth (?) - Crieff goods train ran, bringing an end to any type of train service at Crieff, the locomotive was D5346 (or D5348?).

The St Andrews branch was visited by an excursion on October 8th, unusual because it was a Sunday and that a locomotive was at each end of the train. The trip was run from Glasgow for the Alcan Golf Tournament using D5369, with D5122 added on the rear for the run over the branch from Leuchers.

With the use of the BRCW Type 2s on workings from Burton, they could now be seen on freights in the Coventry area.

The month of December saw the first inroads into the least succesful of the Modernisation Plan diesels, with at least twenty of the Scottish NBL 61xx series locomotives being officially withdrawn although many had not seen revenue earning service for quite a while. This marked the first step in the reorganisation of the Scottish fleet that would eventually bring all the BRCW Type 2s north of the border.

Allocation of the BRCW Type 2s at year end were

London Division (D14): D5400/01/02/03/04/05/07/08/09/10
Nottingham Division (D16): D5370-79//85/87-95/97/98/99, D5406/11
Midland Lines (ML): D5380/81/82/84/86/96, D5412/13/14/15
Inverness (60A): D5316 - D5346
Haymarket (64B): D5300 - D5315
Eastfield (65A): D5347 - D5369


During January D5316/17/18 were reallocated back to Haymarket.

On March 21st the 01.05 Glasgow - Stranraer parcels was diverted into the carriage sidings at the south end of Girvan station, leading to the train, led by D5347 running through the buffer stops. The locomotive sustained damage to the trailing cab, the Ayr breakdown train took most of the day to clear the wreckage and recover the locomotive. By early April D5347 was noted at Glasgow Works for repair, as was D5339 which had also sustained collision damage.

The BRCW Type 2s were removed from the Moorgate workings effective May 6th when diesel multiple units took over the service.

D5353 was noted at Glasgow Works during May with fire damage.

At the time of steam’s departure from British Railways a new classification system came into use for identifying the diesel & electric fleet. The class number would now be dependent on the horsepower of the locomotive, the BRCW Type 2s falling approximately into the middle of the table becoming Class 26 & 27. Likewise the prefix ‘D’ was no longer to be used, effective October 1968. Additionally a National Traction Plan was published which attempted to correct some of the failings of the 1955 Modernisation Plan. For the diesel & electric fleet this envisaged a rationalisation of the existing 28 types, totaling 2,976 locos, to a total of 2,240 of 15 types, a reduction of 25%. This rationalisation led to continuing re-allocations, including the BRCW Type 2s. A decision was taken to allocate all the BRCW Type 2s, (the Class 26 & 27’s) to the Scottish Region. This was a logical step for maintenance and spares purposes. Consequently the Midland based Class 27’s eventually began their trek north, exchanged for Scottish Region Class 20 & 25s commencing July.

During July the first of the LMR Class 27s were transferred to the Scottish Region, whilst others were transferred to the Nottingham Division. Despite these transfers the Type 2s were still well travelled in the Midlands with D5373 noted on the Gosford Green branch on July 5th with the car train for Linwood, whilst on July 26th D5376 & D5373 deputised for a Class 47 on an afternoon Banbury - Burton freight. Many of the newly transferred Class 27s would replace Class 25s in the south-west of Scotland.

During the second week of August there were no Class 27s in Derby Works. D5408 was noted in the Works sidings during late September.

The Dumfries - Dunragit (Challoch Junction) line had closed to all traffic during June 1965, however the authorities were slow to remove the track. During August 1968 demolition trains were employed to remove fixtures, fittings and track, so noted were D5348 on August 9th, an unidentified Class 27 on August 10th and D5407 on August 12th, this latter locomotive, with its train would be the last through a section west of New Galloway before the tracks were pulled up.

The month of September saw some of the coal output from Bilston Colliery diverted to Longannet power station, using the Class 26s and wagons normally serving Cockenzie power station. The latter was taken off line whilst urgent boiler repairs were effected.

During November 5318 & 5319 were transferred to Haymarket (64B).

Allocation of the BRCW Type 2s at year end were

Nottingham Division (D16): 5370-81/84-93/95/97/98/99, 5400/01/03-06/08-13
Inverness (60A): 5320 - 5346
Haymarket (64B): 5300 - 5319
Eastfield (65A): 5347 - 5369/82/94/96, 5402/07/14/15


During January 5320 was transferred to Haymarket (64B).

The New Year brought bad tidings for the Haymarket allocated Class 26s. One of the principal mainlines they had seen service over for a number of years, the Edinburgh - Carlisle ‘Waverley’ route was closed on January 4th 1969 with BR expecting to save GBP 300,000 per annum after closure. The final week was not without its problems, the steam heating boilers of the various Type 2s continued to be unreliable, especially during this time of unusually bad weather. So affected was 5350 working the 09:20 Carlisle - Edinburgh on January 2nd, attempts to fix it at Stainton Junction failed, so 5340 was obtained from Kingmoor (to work the 13.00 Carlisle - Edinburgh?). On the final day the first station to close, due to having only two trains each weekday was Tynehead. Its last service was the 16:12 Edinburgh - Hawick, headed by 5070 and four coaches complete with a small amount of mail which was met by the local postmistress. Ironically on the last day ‘Grand Tour No. 6’, an excursion hauled by 1974 with a full complement of passengers traversed the Waverley route en route to Newcastle. From here a trip to Benton & Tynemouth used 250, on return to Newcastle 1974 came back on for the run to Edinburgh via the coast route. The last scheduled train, the 1M82 21.55 Edinburgh - St. Pancras, with eight coaches and two sleepers was handled by Class 45, 60. Carlisle was reached over two hours late caused by the boisterous activities of many local people protesting the closure of the route. The Hawick pilot, 8606, was sent ahead light engine to ensure the integrity of the line south of Hawick. A light snow fall had taken place during the day, but the evening saw clearing allowing the sun to set one last time on this run and providing the protesters with a chilly night out.

During March 5403-06/08-13 were transferred from the Nottingham Division to Eastfield (65A). The remainder continued on freight workings in the East Midlands, with Coalville being a favourite layover point at weekends. Pairs of the Class 27s could also be found on the daily roundtrip Burton - Banbury freight.

5321/22/24-29 were transferred from Inverness to Haymarket during April, following the exchange of diagrams between the two depots (?).

On May 24th 5328 and four coaches worked an enthusiasts special from Aberdeen to Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

News reports suggested the Type 4 locomotives and coaching stock would replace diesel multiple units on the Edinburgh - Glasgow service by 1971.

During June & July 5391/92/93/95/97/98/99, 5400/01 were transferred from the Nottingham Division to Eastfield (65A). These transfers were offset by Classes 20 & 25 transferred to the London Midland Region from the Scottish Region. During the second week of June Derby Works contained 5373 for a general repair and 5397 ex-works.

Services between Newcastle and Ayr & Stranraer utilised a variety of Type 2s. The 23.45 SO Newcastle - Stranraer and the next day's 13.50 return were normally in the hands of Class 24/25s whilst the 08.15 SO Newcastle - Stranraer used Class 27s west of Carlisle, sometimes loading to twelve coaches, when the train would be double-headed. On September 6th the 13.50 Stranraer Harbour - Newcastle utilised 5406 & 5412 throughout.

Another of the Scottish Grand Tours (No 9) ran on September 13th also with eight coaches behind 5071 & 5342 from Edinburgh to Inverness. An unscheduled stop was made at Aviemore to fill the water tank on 5071. From Inverness 5120 & 5117 made a round trip to Kyle of Lochalsh, reverting to the outbound power at Inverness for the run home over the Highland mainline.

On September 25th & 26th a March - Norwich Wensum freight was worked by 5374, by this time Class 27s were very rare visitors to East Anglia.

During October & November 5372/74/75/78/79/80/86/87/90 were transferred from the Nottingham Division to Eastfield (65A), Class 20s replaced the Class 27s at Toton. Present at Derby Works at the beginning of October were 5377/81/85/88.

5315 was noted at Glasgow Works during early October with collision damage.

During November 5370/73/89 were transferred from the Nottingham Division to Eastfield (65A). In the first week of November 5381 was under repair at Derby Works. To replace the Class 27s an equivalent number of Class 20s were sent south.

5328 was seriously damaged in a freight train derailment at Inverkeithing, then forwarded to Glasgow Works for evaluation. 5328 would re-enter service during May 1970.

Allocations as of year end:
Nottingham Division (D16): 5371/76/77/81/84/85/88
Inverness (60A): 5330 - 5346
Haymarket (64B): 5300 - 5329
Eastfield (65A): 5347 - 5370/72-75/78/79/80/82/86/87/89-99, 5400-15

Photograph collection of webmaster.
5400 & 7582 at Eastfield on December 20th 1969.

Appendix - examples of 1959/1960 Broad Street Workings for Class 26

Research courtesy Nick Ross

5300 0826 Hertford N - Broad St 281059
5309 1708 Broad St - Welwyn Garden City 020459
5318 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 170659
5313 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 180659
5313 0810 Gordon Hill - Broad St 220659
5307 1022 Hitchin - Broad St 040759 Sat
5316 1705 Broad St - Gordon Hill 150959
5318 1250 Cambridge - Broad St 190959 Sat
5309 1832 Broad St - Cuffley 250959
5309 1832 Broad St - Cuffley 211059
5300 0826 Hertford N - Broad St 281059
5305 1718 Broad St - Hertford North 021259
5311 0826 Hertford North - Broad St 241259
5316 1724 Broad St - Hertford North 140160
5315 1724 Broad St - Hertford North 110260
5312 0746 Cuffley - Broad St 160260
5309 1724 Broad St - Hertford North 160260
5300 1724 Broad St - Hertford North 230260
5304 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 240260
5311 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 260260
5317 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 090360
5302 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 110360
5317 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 160360
5315 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 210360
5317 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 240360
5313 0746 Cuffley - Broad St 250360
5315 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 250360
5301 1724 Broad St - Hertford N 300360
5316 0813 Hertford N - Broad St 310360
5315 1711 Cuffley - Broad St 060560

Part 2: 1970 - 1979
Part 3: 1980 - 1987
Part 4: 1988 - 1995

Page added January 2nd 2015.
Last updated May 22nd 2022.

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