Query Corner

Q16.05. TOPS Numbered Diesel Locomotives

A member's collection of pictures of nearly every TOPS numbered locomotive amongst the 6465 numbers allocated in the system is four diesels short of this total, comprising of 03104, 08009, 27120 and 47126. Could any information be given to prove one way or another whether these numbers were ever carried? There are also some other numbers which were allocated on paper but the general consensus it that they were never applied. However there are rumours that some numbers were applied only to be removed and replaced with the old D numbers. 27116 was reported in RO September 1974 as renumbered (from D5409) but recent reports on derbysulzer.com say that it was renumbered straight to 27210. 47127, 47132, 47133, 47139, 47253, 47259, 47261, 47154 and 47161 were some of the Class 47s allocated numbers in the 47/0 range but earmarked for conversion to 47/4. The Ian Allen volume at the time showed both new numbers but many went straight to the 47/4 number. At least one was reputedly seen with the 47/0 number, but all sources seen report only the 47/4 number. Thus observations of, or information on, any of these numbers would be very helpful. . (Geoff Corner:15655)

03104 was renumbered from D2104 in February 1974. Noted numbered 03104 by a member at Berwick-upon-Tweed on 8th August 1974 and at Doncaster Works on 4th May 1975 (RO. July 1975) where it was broken up in February 1976.
08009 was in theory renumbered from D3016 in May 1974. It was withdrawn on 30th November 1975 and was seen as 08009 , at Clapham Junction on 20th April 1976, being towed west on the Windsor lines by 33210. It had spent most of its working life in the yards at Willesden, but was reallocated to Ashford, Kent in April 1974, receiving its TOPS number in May 1974. It was probably on the way from Ashford to scrapping at Swindon in July 1976 when seen.
27115 & 27120
These two locomotives were part of the fleet of twenty locomotives, converted in 1970/71 to work the improved service between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the trains being formed of six Mk2 coaches with a class 27 at each end. Initially, eighteen locomotives were fitted with air brakes and push-pull operation (27101-18) and six further locomotives were fitted additionally with ETH (27119-24). Examination of the ROs for 1973/74 shows that all these locomotives were renumbered by June 1974. By this time, it had been decided to fit six of the earlier locomotives with ETH, the locomotives selected being 27113-17/03. It was also decided to renumber all the ETH fitted locomotives again, 27119-24 becoming 27201-6, and 27113-7/03 becoming 27207-12.
27115 was seen in Glasgow on 6th August 1974, and again as 27209 in Edinburgh on 29th March 1975.
When TOPS renumbering was to be introduced, BR had already brought into use many carriages fitted with air brakes and ETH, and many locomotives had been fitted similarly to work them. The class 47s were thus to be renumbered in three sub-classes: class 47/4 were the modified locomotives, numbered between 47401 and 47528, in the same order as the original numbers, class 47/0 were unmodified locomotives, numbered between 47001 and 47298, again in the same order as the original numbers, and class.
47/3 were locomotives with no train heat equipment, numbered 47301 to 47381. Before renumbering began, 1551 was allocated to become 47529 and no 47/0 number was allocated to this locomotive. Then it was decided to convert a further 26 locomotives to become 47530 to 47555. The only locomotives to receive their class 47/0 numbers prior to conversion were 47125/6/53 and 47260. 47126 (ex 1717) was renumbered in January 1974 (March 1974 RO) and renumbered again to 47555 in September 1974.
(Robert Warburton 12759, Peter Kerridge: 19017, Bill King: 21275)

last updated: 04/10/16