Locomotive Class

Class 31

Class 31 Class: Class 31
Type: Diesel-Electric
Designer: Brush Traction
Weight: 104 tons
Purpose: Passenger & Freight

Information: Originally classified as Type 2 and later re-classified under the TOPS system as Class 30 locomotives, but subsequently rebuilt as Class 31; the locomotives were introduced in 1957. Variants of the class were still operational in 2009; although since that time remaining members are fast disappearing from the railway landscape.

Details: Classified by British Railways as Type 2 diesel electric locomotives; In 1955 British Railways placed an order for 20-units with Brush Traction in Loughborough for evaluation of a mixed traffic design as part of the British Railways diesel Pilot Scheme. The prototype, numbered D5500 was released from production in September 1957. Equipped with a Mirlees V-12 diesel engine, the A1A-A1A wheel arrangement had only four powered axles. Electric transmission systems were mounted over the center axle of each bogie. The original design was built around a top speed of 80-MPH; this proved too restrictive and as such the existing units were re-geared for 90-MPH operation. The locomotives were sturdily built, but very heavy for their size. Primarily designed for workings in the Eastern Counties; the locomotives eventually found work over all the Regions and on all types of workings.
After 15-units were completed the decision was made to scrap the Pilot Scheme and the lengthy evaluation process while moving forward with full production, as the revised Modernization Plan called for elimination of steam traction by 1968. Ultimately a total of 263 units were produced, the last emerging ex-works in October 1962.
By that time the Mirlees engines were already proving troublesome. A decision was made to replace the engines with English Electric 12-cylinder units. Engine replacement took place at BR works in Doncaster over a five year period and was completed by 1969. As such the locomotive was reclassified under the yet to be implemented TOPS code from Class 30 to Class 31.
The Pilot Scheme locomotives differed from later units in not carry head-code boxes. With few exceptions, this visible distinguishing feature remained with the early production units through their history and these locomotives were often referred to, rather unkindly as ďskin-headsĒ.
A wide variety of colour schemes have been applied to Class 31ís. Originally they were turned out ex-works in an attractive two tone green with numbers at one end only. Subsequently yellow warning panels and off-white window surrounds were added, along with numbers being applied to both cab ends. Several experimental liveries were applied in early years to various members of the class; D5578 released in electric blue and D5579 in bronze-gold. By 1966, locomotives were being re-painted in the Corporate Blue with full yellow ends. By the late 80ís British Railways Sectorization Plan saw a wide variety of colour schemes applied, including Railfreight grey, Regional Railways blue and white, Executive grey, etc. By the 1990ís an even wider array of colour schemes were applied as remaining units were deployed amongst the newly appointed Private Operator companies.
Withdrawals began in 1975 when renumbered 31150 met with an accident. The doyen of the class D5500 (re-numbered 31018) was donated to the National Railway Museum in York in 1976 at the same time the original batch was decommissioned. By the early 1990ís newer motive power and further lines being equipped with DMU/EMU services displaced even more units. Whilst the remaining units lasted into the 2000ís at least 20-units survived in main-line operation through 2009 with some hope for preservation.

John Faulkner

Class 31 Releases (21)

MODEL NO. LIVERY
Brush Type 2 Diesel Electric Locomotive D5572 B.R. Blue
Brush Type 2 Diesel-Electric Locomotive
Released: 1962
5578 B.R. Electric Blue
Class 31 Brush (Type 2) Locomotive D5572 B.R. Green
Class 31 Brush (Type 2) Locomotive
Released: 1966
D5578 B.R. Electric Blue
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Released: 2004 2005
D5512 B.R. Green
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Released: 2004 2005 2006 2007
31110 B.R. Maintenance
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Released: 2006 2007
D5640 B.R. Green
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Released: 2008
31165 B.R. Blue
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Released: 2008 2009
31296 B.R. Railfreight 2-Tone Grey
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Released: 2011r
31256 B.R. Blue
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (DCC Locomotive with Sound)
Released: 2009 2011
31302 B.R. Railfreight 2-Tone Grey
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (Weathered)
Released: 2004 2005 2007
31270 B.R. Blue
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (Weathered)
Released: 2006 2007
31111 B.R. Blue
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (Weathered)
Released: 2007
31174 B.R. Blue
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive - Minotaur
Released: 2006 2007
31452 Fragonset Black
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive - Railfreight
Released: 2008 2009 2010
31105 B.R. Railfreight Grey
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive - Railfreight (DCC Locomotive with Sound)
Released: 2010 2011
31247 B.R. Railfreight Grey
Class 31 Diesel Locomotive
Released: 2010
D5511 B.R. Green
Class 31 Diesel Locomotive (Weathered)
Released: 2010 2011
31268 B.R. Blue
Class 31 Diesel Locomotive - North Yorksire Moors Railway
Released: 2010 2011
31439 B.R. Regional Railways
Class 31 Electric Locomotive
Released: 2011
31233 NR Yellow

Class 31 Images (21)

Brush Type 2 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Brush Type 2 Diesel Electric Locomotive D5572

Brush Type 2 Diesel-Electric Locomotive
Brush Type 2 Diesel-Electric Locomotive 5578

Class 31 Brush (Type 2) Locomotive
Class 31 Brush (Type 2) Locomotive D5572

Class 31 Brush (Type 2) Locomotive
Class 31 Brush (Type 2) Locomotive D5578

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive D5512

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive 31110

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive D5640

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive 31165

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive 31296

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive 31256

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (DCC Locomotive with Sound)
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (DCC Locomotive with Sound) 31302

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (Weathered)
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (Weathered) 31270

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (Weathered)
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (Weathered) 31111

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (Weathered)
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive (Weathered) 31174

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive - Minotaur
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive - Minotaur 31452

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive - Railfreight
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive - Railfreight 31105

Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive - Railfreight (DCC Locomotive with Sound)
Class 31 Diesel Electric Locomotive - Railfreight (DCC Locomotive with Sound) 31247

Class 31 Diesel Locomotive
Class 31 Diesel Locomotive D5511

Class 31 Diesel Locomotive (Weathered)
Class 31 Diesel Locomotive (Weathered) 31268

Class 31 Diesel Locomotive - North Yorksire Moors Railway
Class 31 Diesel Locomotive - North Yorksire Moors Railway 31439

Class 31 Electric Locomotive
Class 31 Electric Locomotive 31233


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Database

11,326 yearly Items over 57 Years.
4,068 individual Items.
3,708 Models.
360 catalogued Train Sets.
156 Train Packs.
820 Steam Locomotives.
497 Diesel Locomotives.
1,082 Passenger Coaches.
1,153 Freight Wagons.


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