Class 31 – Locomotives that had SHG removed by 5/80

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I am very grateful to Andy Wylie and ‘MisterC’ for the extensive work they have undertaken on this topic. As a result it has become quite clear that there are several distinct era’s in the story. The following text is based on their notes.

The first twenty-one removals (pre 2/69)

Andy notes that when you examine the list of very early cl.31 boiler removals Wath-upon-Dearne (41C) sticks out. All the locomotives seem to have been allocated there for a period between 1965 and 1968. This suggests removal may have been during that period and potentially correlated with the re-engine program in some cases. This is supported by research at Kew by ‘MisterC’ who says “Buried deep in an annex to a financial report is a list of expenditure authorisations in the period 01/10/66 to 31/03/67 and includes, amongst many other items of expenditure, concrete blocks to replace boilers in 21 locomotives at a cost of £ 1,415. The Annex gives expenditure that merely had to be reported, not approved, so there is no explanation. As Andy suggests it probably relates to locomotives employed entirely on freight in the Sheffield Division and working from Wath-upon-Dearne.”

Following this no removals appear to have taken place with the possible exception of D5548-31130, D5550-31132 and D5825-31292 until January 1975. It is un-clear precisely when removals from these three locomotives took place, but probable dates are shown on the list below. Quite possibly two of the locomotives retained SHG after January 1975.

January 1975 – December 1978

These time boundaries have been drawn following analysis by ‘MisterC’ for these reasons.

The removal of the SHG from 31424 in January 1975 looks like a turning point.

From reading between the lines the London Midland Region did not like dual heat locomotives, and isolated the SHG in 31418-423, so I suspect that the SHG removal from 31424 was at their request.

From that point it looks like the Eastern Region policy was for class 31 locomotives going into Doncaster Works with an officially isolated SHG, for either classified repair or some categories of unclassified repair, to have that SHG removed. No official document confirming that has though emerged so far.

In this four year period (1975-78) nearly all locomotives involved have a classified overhaul.

As far as can be established no Western Region locomotives have SHG removed in this period.

January 1979 onwards

From this point Western Region allocated locomotives start to have SHG removed in addition to Eastern Region locomotives.

Snow Plough Brackets and steam lances (The 31115 / 31312 dilemma)

Only a small number of Class 31s were fitted with Snow Plough Brackets. Those so fitted would be expected to retain a SHG in order that when used for snow clearance a steam lance could also be used. It should be noted though that steam lancing was not permitted under OHL.

Of those fitted with Snow Plough Brackets all retained a SHG well into the 1980s. Some intrigue though surrounds 31115. There is photographic evidence suggesting that 31115 lost its SHG during its classified overhaul at Doncaster Works completed on 4th July 1979. It was shown as such by Platform 5 Publications in the fifth edition of the ‘Motive Power Pocket Book’ updated to 10th November 1979. However by the time of the sixth edition, updated to 17th May 1980, it had regained its SHG. Observations of 31115 in either Doncaster Works or Stratford Heavy Repair depot between July 1979 and June 1981 would be appreciated as would photographs taken of it during the period as well as any other relevant information.

Further intrigue surrounds 31312. There is photographic evidence suggesting 31312 lost its SHG during a works overhaul at Doncaster c5/79. It was though shown as having an isolated SHG by Platform 5 Publications in the fifth edition of the ‘Motive Power Pocket Book’ updated to 10th November 1979. However by the time of the sixth edition, updated to 17th May 1980, it had regained its SHG.

Information contained in ‘Trans Pennine’ magazine of the Pennine Railway Society (Issue 31 – April 1980) indicates that both 31115 and 31312 had SHG renewals at Tinsley depot in February / March 1980. It is not clear though whether already fitted SHG were replaced or that SHG was fitted were none was present.

The above suggests 31115 and 31312 had SHG removed in Summer 1979 at Doncaster Works and then had it re-fitted at Tinsley Depot the following Spring. Anyone able to give a further insight?

LocomotiveRemoval period   Removal date   Comments
D5518 (31101)12/76-11/7730/4/77Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 30/4/77)
D5533 (31115) 11/77-5/804/7/79Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 4/7/79) Subsequently re-fitted – see above
D5534 (31116) 12/76-11/7714/7/77Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 14/7/77)
D5538 (31120)by 2/69
D5542 (31124)by 2/69
D5548 (31130)3/73-12/7610/6/76 (tbc)Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 10/6/76)(tbc)
D5550 (31132) 3/73-9/7625/10/74 (tbc)Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 25/10/74) (tbc)
D5552 (31134) 11/77-5/8025/10/78Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 25/10/78)
D5555 (31137) 12/76-11/7723/6/77Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 25/6/77)
D5556 (31138)12/76-11/773/6/77Un-classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 3/6/77)
D5557 (31139)11/77-5/80*24/2/78Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 24/2/78)
D5558 (31140-31421)11/77-5/802/80Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5559 (31141) 03/73-12/766/10/75Un-classified repair (fire damage) Doncaster Works (ex works 6/10/75)
D5561 (31143)12/76-11/779/2/77Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 9/2/77)
D5562 (31144)12/76-11/7716/11/75Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 16/11/75)
D5563 (31145)11/77-5/8010/79Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5565 (31147)11/77-5/80*5/5/79Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 5/5/79)
D5567 (31149) 3/73-12/7626/9/75Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 26/9/75)
D5570 (31152)11/77-5/80*16/3//78Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 16/3/78)
D5571 (31153)11/77-5/80*17/2/79Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 17/2/79)
D5572 (31154)11/77-5/80*4/79Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5573 (31155) 3/73-12/7611/3/75Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 11/3/75)
D5575 (31157-31424)3/73-12/7626/1/75Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 26/1/75)
D5577 (31159)11/77-5/80*6/79Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5583 (31165)by 2/69
D5584 (31166)11/77-5/80*7/8/79Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 7/8/79)
D5585 (31167) 12/76-11/7711/11/77Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 11/11/77)
D5590 (31171)11/77-5/8028/10/79Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 28/10/79)
D5591 (31172-31420)11/77-5/801/79Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5599 (31178)11/77-5/80*16/2/80Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 16/2/80)
D5621 (31197-31423)11/77-5/802/79Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5625 (31201)11/77-5/80*3/5/80Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 3/5/80)
D5653 (31227)11/77-5/803/11/79Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 3/11/79)
D5673 (31245) 12/76-11/7730/3/76Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 30/3/76)
D5696 (31266)11/77-5/8027/1/79Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 27/1/79)
D5697 (31419)11/77-5/802/79Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5804 (31274)by 2/69
D5805 (31275)by 2/69
D5806 (31276)by 2/69
D5807 (31277)by 2/69
D5808 (31278)by 2/69
D5810 (31280)by 2/69
D5811 (31281)by 2/69
D5813 (31282)by 2/69
D5815 (31283)by 2/69
D5816 (31284)by 2/69
D5817 (31285)12/76-11/7722/2/77Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 22/2/77)
D5819 (31287)by 2/69
D5820 (31288)by 2/69
D5821 (31289)by 2/69
D5822 (31290)by 2/69
D5825 (31292)3/73-12/7622/4/76 (tbc)Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 22/4/76) (tbc)
D5829 (31296)by 2/69
D5830 (31297)12/76-11/7727/1/77Un-classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 27/1/77)
D5831 (31298)12/76-11/774/11/77Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 4/11/77)
D5832 (31299)11/77-5/8020/11/78Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 20/11/78)
D5833 (31300)11/77-5/8011/12/78Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 1/12/78)
D5834 (31301)by 2/69
D5835 (31302)11/77-5/8021/4/79Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 21/4/79)
D5836 (31303)by 2/69
D5839 (31306)by 2/69
D5840 (31307)11/77-5/80*5/79Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5841 (31308)11/77-5/807/12/78Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 7/12/78)
D5845 (31311)11/77-5/8028/11/78Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 28/11/78)
D5846 (31312) 11/77-5/8026/5/79Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 26/5/79) Subsequently re-fitted – see above
D5849 (31315)11/77-5/8020/9/78Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 20/9/78)
D5859 (31324)11/77-5/80*30/7/79Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 30/7/79)

* – wrongly shown in Sixth Edition (May 1980) of Motive Power Pocket Book.

Removals after May 1980

Below are the locomotives that it is believed had SHG removed between June 1980 and December 1982.

LocomotiveRemoval period   Removal date   Comments
D5536 (31118)6/80-12/826/82Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5537 (31119)6/80-12/828/4/81Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 8/4/81)
D5539 (31121)6/80-12/824/82Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5541 (31123)6/80-12/823/82Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5588 (31170)6/80-12/822/82Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5589 (31401)6/80-12/828/80Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5627 (31203)6/80-12/828/6/80Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 8/6/80)
D5636 (31212)6/80-12/829/82Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5647 (31221)6/80-12/8212/6/81Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 12/6/81)
D5660 (31233)6/80-12/8213/2/81Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 13/2/81)
D5665 (31238) 6/80-12/8221/11/80Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 21/11/80)
D5688 (31260)6/80-12/8211/82Classified repair Doncaster Works
D5801 (31271) 6/80-12/8230/1/81Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 30/1/81)
D5848 (31314)6/80-12/8219/11/81Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works19/11/81)
D5854 (31320)6/80-12/8230/10/81Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 30/10/81)
D5857 (31322)6/80-12/8220/10/81Classified repair Doncaster Works (ex works 20/10/81)

Last updated: 25th January 2019