Or, class 30 as they became briefly before being re-engined and moved to class 31. Upwards of £70,000 per loco at 1958 prices; and goodness knows how much the installation of new power units cost.

Seen as one of the ‘successes’ of the Modernisation plan, as long as you ignore the costs. 263 locos at (let’s be generous) £100,000 each in the end;  is £26.3 million at 1963 prices. I reckon 9F drivers, firemen and depot staff would have shared that amongst themselves in order to work loose coupled goods trains until the traffic left for the roads.

We used to call them A1As. They were almost everywhere on the Eastern Region and that seemed OK, but when they began being transferred to the WR to replace class 22s it became a step too far. ECS to Kings Cross? Yes. To Paddington? Er, no… not really.


d5507 stratford 1960 copy-1.jpg

This photograph is probably  (C) Norman E Preedy. D5507 on a goods train near Stratford in 1960. This is one of the original batch with a grey roof and off white window surrounds. They looked quite attractive to me in this livery, until all yellow ends disfigured them.


31179 leicester 12.82 copy-1.jpg


31179 is in charge of an up freight train approaching adverse signals just north of Leicester station in December 1982.



31195 wood green 7.75 copy-1.jpg

31195, in almost ex-works condition, passes Wood Green in July 1975. I’m not sure about the identity of the train, but could be a summer special to the east coast.


31407 boston 8.91 copy-1.jpg

Another summer special arrives at Boston in August 1991. A shadow of its former self, the station has had its through lines and semaphores removed. Air conditioned coaches and even first class. Personally, I would prefer a K3 and some Thompson/Gresley stock myself.


31127 25300 HM 7.75 copy.jpg

31127 has 25300, an 08, another 25 and a 47 for company at Healey Mills yard in July 1975. A class 40 lurks amongst the wagons in the background.


D5592 KX 15.6.69 copy.jpg

D5592 at Kings Cross, with a PW train given the presence of a guards van. 15th June 1969.

31117 47251 37188 CF copy-2.jpg


31s at Cardiff?  Should never have been allowed.  31117 rests on Canton depot with a uid 25 (another class that should not have been allowed in Wales), 47251 and 37188 in 1979.