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Warship Class 42


photograph by Ray Soper

An unidentified "Warship" (D8?0) outside Waterloo station during 1966

Following the abolition of steam on the Western Region operated lines to the West Country these locos were frequently seen on services from Waterloo to Exeter and beyond. First introduced in August 1958, these quite attractive diesel hydraulic locos proved to be a very troublesome design which could only be used for passenger work as their light weight made them unsuitable for goods trains. The first three, D800-2, were withdrawn after just ten years in service with the last loco, D832 Onslaught, being withdrawn in 1972.

December 1962 saw the lines west of Salisbury transferred to the Western Region where steam was being phased out much more rapidly than on the Southern. Soon thereafter the Bulleids were replaced on the Waterloo-Exeter trains by the 1960-61 Swindon built diesel hyrdaulics of class 42, the Bo-Bo Warships. 2300hp with a maximum speed of 90mph. By the 1970s greater standardisation was sought for BR as a whole and hydraulic transmissions were short listed for extinction. By 1974 the warships withdrawn and the service was worked by class 33 and then class 50 until they were replaced by class 159 DHMUs in 1992/3.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.
  • D829
    D829 Magpie leads a down West of England express through Woking station in June 1970.
    Photograph by Michael Taylor.
  • D831
    Warship D831 Monarch on the ground in the scrap lines at Swindon in 1974.
    Photograph by Michael Taylor.
  • D821
    One of two Warships that survive, D821 Greyhound, pictured around the turntable at Old Oak Common depot during the EWS/Rail Magazine London 2000 event, is currently based on the Severn Valley Railway and D832 Onslaught on the East Lancashire Railway.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • D832
    The second survivor - D821 Greyhound in BR Green livery at Old Oak Common depot during the EWS/Rail Magazine London 2000 event of 5th/6th August 2000.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.

This page was last updated 4 December 2002

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