Class 20 Locomotive Society: Blog en-us (C) Class 20 Locomotive Society (Class 20 Locomotive Society) Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:35:00 GMT Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:35:00 GMT D8001 and the Epping To Ongar Autumn Gala  

A rather depressing way to end the season, after a successful summer running at the Epping to Ongar Railway, we have had to withdraw D8001 from operating at this weekends diesel gala. During a recent inspection it was noted a couple of bolts connecting the power unit to generator had sheared, hence the loco is out of service for the time being. We are sourcing a set of replacements, but limited space with the power unit in position means it will be time consuming and difficult task to remove the exiting bolts.

On a more positive note 20227 continues to work at the North Norfolk Railway with one last Cromer trip to run this year along with preserved trains operating on the line through to end of October, so there will still be opportunities to travel behind one of locomotives in the next few months.

]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20227 8001 class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society epping ongar railway north norfolk railway Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:34:46 GMT
MRT Indietracks 2017

Welcome to this years 'Indietracks' festival at the Midland Railway Trust, Butterley, I can't think of another place where 3000 people can picnic with their friends and family on the grass next to 20189 and 20059 and spend the afternoon watching a superb variety of bands. 

Now in its eleventh year over three nights the festival combines more than fifty live bands , the heritage of the railway, a mini beer festival with a really friendly safe atmosphere.  The bands which this year included The Wedding Present, Cate lLe Bon, The Wave Pictures, Martha and friends of the society Milky Wimpshake, played over four stages, including on the train and in the diesel shed.  

The festival bar was kept busy selling over 5000 pints of local real ales over the weekend along with numerous craft ciders, at times with twelve volunteers serving. As well as Twenties spotlit and on prominent display by the stage, you could even colour in 20189 on the kids colouring page of the programme.

Yet again it was an amazing memorable weekend, with a brilliant atmosphere, despite some rain there were no problems - I hope you can make it next year. Thanks to the organisers and volunteers from the trust and Indietracks, the artists, DJ's, caterers and kids entertainers. Just who was the man in the Family Cat T shirt, who seemed to be everywhere ??? 


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society indietracks midland railway trust Wed, 02 Aug 2017 17:51:56 GMT
London Transport Weekend, Epping To Ongar Railway

What do you need for a London Transport Themed Gala, well the Epping to Ongar Railway had it all Red Buses, a Central Line Trackbed, Metroplitan Loco No1, a Pannier tank and to show recognition to the past twenty years or so of Steam on the Met specials a class 20. D8001 was kept busy over the weekend working with the steamers and assisting with some of the banking on the lines steep gradients particularly on the section to Epping. All in all an excellent gala, well done Marco and all at the line. 

]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 8001 class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society epping ongar railway Wed, 19 Jul 2017 19:52:28 GMT
First Test Runs for 20007

This week 20007 emerged form the workshop at the Midland Railway following an extensive restoration for its first test runs. There are no plans for passenger trains at the moment, it would be great operate it with the air brake stock at Butterley at the moment, but the test has shown up inevitable problems with the brakes and DSD following its lack of use.

There's still a lot to do to tidy the loco up and make it reliable, but an enormous amount of progress has been made this year since earlier this year, thanks to Lee and Michael's hard work.



]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20007 class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society midland railway trust Thu, 13 Jul 2017 20:31:04 GMT
Happy Sixtieth Birthday D8001 Thursday 4th July 1957 was quite a special day in Milan Fiat unveiled their Nuova Chinquecento - the classic Fiat 500, Meanwhile in Newton Le Willows, Merseyside Pilot Scheme Locomotive D8001 emerged from the Vulcan Foundry to run its test train from Edge Hill to Penrith. The little Fiat went on to be a design classic, the second Type Two Pilot Scheme diesel went on to play its part in the modernisation of Britain's railways.

D8001 started life in in all-over British rail green livery with grey roof and red buffer beams, like the other 20 pilot scheme Twenties she had oval buffers. She had a left hand side ladder near the nose to give access to the roof and as the initial six loco was delivered with reduced cab end handrails. The styling of the class with a single cab and a long bonnet was clearly based on their steam predecessors and required a second man when running nose first, but their reliability and combination of light axle load with power in multiple made them an instant success.

the loco was initially based at Devons Road, Bow in the first dedicated BR diesel depot, working local freight around East and North London. In September 1958 after just over a year she was transferred to Crewe South where she stayed for two years returning to Willesden in London in October 1960. During here spell here she was predominantly used on trip freight trains around the capital. Local passenger turns were far from rare, Euston station pilot duties and use on empty coaching stock turns were routine work. In the photo above D8001 is seen on a parcels at Euston on 21st October 1961, thanks to Mel Thorley/Michael Messing for the photo. 

In October 1969 , 8001 was moved to Toton and then reallocated to Sheffield Tinsley in October 1970,  predominantly working in pairs on coal trains. Twelve months later she was moved north of the border to Edinburgh Haymarket, probably working alongside future friend 20227. her time in Scotland was limited, returning to Toton in March 1973 where she became 20001 in March 1974.

 In July 1975 20001 was placed in into store in service-able condition at Westhouses for  few months, before being returned to service at Toton in October, where she remained until being reallocated to Tinsley again in November 1978. In early 1980 the loco received her last general classified overhaul at Glasgow works being returned to traffic in March. Mid 1984 saw dual brakes and slow speed control equipment being fitted and a return to Toton in September, followed by a couple of months being allocated to Bescot, Birmingham.

During 1985 when Toton began 'permanent pairing' Class 20's, 001 was ran with fellow pilot schemer 20016. But on 20th April 1988 she was taken out of service and transferred to the departmental sector as a training locomotive at Toton. There were plans to renumber her as ADB968029, but this never happened.

The loco was repainted and borrowed by the Midland railway centre for their June 1989 diesel gala where she ran with fellow Vulcan Foundry loco Deltic 55015. We tried to purchase her whilst at Butterley that Summer, but the loco was returned to the training centre at Toton once more. She was kept under cover and well cared for in the test house, being joined by 20032 for a short while until she was reinstated to traffic. 20227 took the place at the training centre - thus creating a paring no one could foresee as permanent !

After many months of to trying the Class 20 Locomotive finally purchased 20001 in November 1991, to join already preserved 20227 at Butterley.

In 1992 we were approached by RFS to assist in providing locomotives to assist with the construction of the Channel Tunnel, whilst external hire was never something we had planned as we set out as a preservation society, the potential income and guarantees of return in good condition were something we could not turn down. The loco is seen below at South Mimms on its was to the Tunnel project.

Whilst in preservation the locomotives home base has been the Midland Railway, Butterley, staying relatively close to its home depot of Toton. But even in preservation 20001 has traveled extensively visiting the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway, North Norfolk at Sheringham, Barrow Hill, the Mid-Hants Railway, Worksworth, the Nene valley and finally the Epping to Ongar where she is running today.

After 26 years in preservation we are proud to be the owners of such a historic locomotive, which has shown its self to be reliable and flexible. Whilst built using proper British engineering skill I doubt many at Vulcan Foundry in 1957 would have expected the locomotive to be still operating today or to have crossed the Channel under its own power !

So raise your glasses tonight as a Sixtieth Birthday Tribute to Great British engineering and D8001. 


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 4th July 1957 Sixtieth Birthday class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Sat, 08 Jul 2017 13:10:51 GMT
Midland Railway Trust Diesel Gala

Over the weekend of the 17th & 18th June 20205 took part in the Midland Railway Trust diesel gala along with the resident loco's and visiting class 56's 56081 and 56081. To complete the 1990's feel at the event Butterley's traditional mark 1 coaches were supplemented by a visiting rake of Mark 2 Intercity coaches. An intensive timetable was run with rare track in use including the Swanwick Colliery Branch, all contributing to a busy weekend of heritage diesel traction. 

Thanks to Steve Moores for the Photos and for Lee and Michael's hard work to help the weekend a success.


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20205 Midland Railway Trust class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Mon, 03 Jul 2017 20:30:51 GMT
Tomorrows Move to Ruislip

Whilst there may no planned twenty hauled trains at the Midland Railway in July, it's still a good place to view our loco's with 20189 on site for exams and maintenance work and restoration work ongoing to 20007.

20205 and 142 will leave Butterley tomorrow morning on their way to London Transport at Ruislip for a hire contract, see the following link for details of the movement and good luck if you go out to view them at their limiting speed of 60.273mph !!!

Thanks to Lee for the photo of an impressive line up at the Midland Railway Trust.


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20142 Midland Railway Trust North Norfolk Railway class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Tue, 27 Jun 2017 20:12:56 GMT
Twenties At The North Norfolk Diesel Gala

Our 20227 made its return to the North Norfolk Railway for the Summer Season to work at last weekends Diesel Gal with 20142 both in London Transport Livery. Also taking part in the popular weekend were visiting locomotives D8, 45133 and D182 in addition to the resident multiple units and shunters.   The loco's were used for two days crew training prior to the Gala and will be in use on the line two days this week covering DMU turns.

This weekend 20227 will work with 20142 on the first stage of returning D8 to Peak Rail, running to the sidings at North Walsham, from where 142 and D8 will continue on their journey to the Midlands over the weekend.

20227 will return to the NNR to be regularly used over the season including twelve mainline trains to Cromer as it was last Summer.  





]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20142 20227 North Norfolk Railway class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Thu, 15 Jun 2017 20:12:36 GMT
Plans for the Summer

Over the next few months we have plenty planned for our locomotives the operating days are summarised as follows -

D8001 is to remain at the Epping to Ongar Railway in regular operation on passenger trains, including special events including the London Transport Weekend on the 15th & 16th July and the Autumn Diesel Gala on the 23rd and 24th September.

20227 will work the Summer Season at the North Norfolk Railway including the mainline feeder trains as last year. The move to the railway is planned for early June travelling from Butterley with 20142, 189 the three twenties with D8 in tow for their gala from the 9th to 11th June.  20142, 189 and D8 will then return to Butterley, in time for their diesel gala.

Therefore 20205 and potentially due back from Norfolk 20189, will be available for the Midland railway Diesel Gala over weekend of the 17th and 18th June. 

 20142 and 189 will be based on London Underground at Ruislip from late June for ten weeks of contract work, its planned for 20142 in LT Red to return to the Epping to Ongar for their London Transport Gala mid July to work with 001.

20189 will remain at the Midland Railway, Butterley hopefully to work when 20007 returns to operation later this year.  

It should be a very busy Summer with some really interesting opportunities planned, should you require any further information do not hesiate to contact us. Thanks to Steve Moores for the photo's of 227 operating over this weekend.


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20007 20142 20189 20205 20227 Midland Railway Trust North Norfolk Railway class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society epping ongar railway Mon, 29 May 2017 20:44:37 GMT
Bank Holiday Running at Butterley If you are looking for a good day out this Bank Holiday weekend, you will get a warm welcome at the Midland Railway, Butterley with the added bonus of 20227 running on Sunday 28th May and 20142 will be on passenger trains on Monday 29th, giving you a chance to travel behind the loco's in their London Transport Red liveries. Also 20189 and 20205 have both returned to the railway this week.

As an added bonus, it is Butterley Brick week, a festival of Lego. Where over 30 amazing models of people and places will be on display at the railway centre, including a 8 metre long Lego model of the Flying Scotsman and coaches. It will be be great day out for the family, for a small charge there is a Lego workshop where children can build an exclusive locomotive model to take home. 

See the link below for further details -


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20142 20227 Midland Railway Trust class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Sat, 27 May 2017 07:12:51 GMT
Three To The Sea - Thirty Years On It's hard to believe that our sell out 'Three to The Sea' Railtour was Thirty years ago today. The tour ran from Sheffield to Brighton, hauled by 20030, 064 and 118 and 09005 for the final push from Preston Park to Brighton. The enthusiasm of the staff at Tinsley resulted in three immaculate loco's as a tribute to 30 years of Class 20's, two specially repainted green and all named after the rivers local to Sheffield, so it was River Rother, River Sheaf and River Don, all three performed faultlessly on the day.   

I'll never forget passing through the centre road at Leamington Spa on the return trip with 3000bhp hauling the train at a timed 87 miles per hour, the mighty Mel Thorley celebrating his 40th Birthday wearing a white boiler suit throughout the day and stopping for a pint the night before the tour at a now closed pub called the 'Cossack' near Sheffield Station, we didn't stay long - its not that the pub was Gay, but the regulars were...

Follow the links below for the for a scanned copy of the original article from our '20-20 Vision' magazine -

Three To The Sea Part 1

Three To The Sea Part 2

Three To The Sea Part 3

Apologies, for the article being spread over three documents, I had problems with my PDF writer... I hope its worth the effort to read, at least we knew what we were writing about, unlike the the 'Brighton Evening Argus' who went to the wrong person for their quote, see below. 

]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) Three To The Sea class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Tue, 02 May 2017 07:00:00 GMT
Loadbank Testing 20227 20227 was loadbank tested last Friday to smooth out the all or nothing power application which had been getting progressively worse and unpredictable. The loco was connected to our load-bank and set up to bypass the slow speed control, the load regulator reset with non slow speed circuit boards and the governor switches reset.

The wiring has been left so slow speed can be reinstated in future if required, but as the loco now runs perfectly with smooth progressive power delivery it will be unlikely we will be fiddling with it anytime soon. 

Thanks to Lee and Tim for their hard work resolving this issue once and for all


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20227 Midland Railway Trust class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Sun, 30 Apr 2017 19:26:19 GMT
The Ups and Downs Of The Epping to Ongar Spring Diesel Gala Finally, D8001 has worked its first gala at the Epping to Ongar Railway last weekend, but the weekend was not without its ups and downs. Anyone who visits the line will be surprised and pleased that the only place thats level on the line is the yard and platform at North Weald, the climb away from the stop at Epping Forest provides an incredible hill start. For me the highlight of the weekend was the train early on Saturday evening with D8001 leading, hauling three packed coaches with the visiting class 33 and 37 at the rear banking. A memorable sight and sound, the photo below hopefully gives a good indication of how hard the loco was working. 

Having only worked a couple of test trains at Butterley since last running at the Nene Valley Gala some four years ago, there were some inevitable teething troubles, which gave an opportunity for 03170 to work one of our turns, whilst the voltage regulator which was causing problems was adjusted and corrected.

The railway operated an intensive service to get the most out of the locomotives over the weekend, including D8001 running until 9.30pm on Saturday night. All in all it was an excellent well run gala, we cant wait to see what they have got lined up for the September Gala, there are rumours there may be a visiting 50, watch this space.  


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 8001 class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society epping ongar railway Tue, 25 Apr 2017 20:46:09 GMT
The End Of the Line According to Wikipedia, Project Ongar was the code name for 'the end of the line' for post war Royal Navy Torpedo development, according to the engineers working on it. The project ran from 1950 until the early 60's, when changes in propulsion from internal combustion to electric made the technology that was being developed redundant, the only thing that lived on was the guidance system.

Nothing liked the ten or more years 'Project Ongar' ran, It's been a three year saga getting one of our loco's to the Epping to Ongar Railway, but finally today D8001 has arrived at the railway after leaving Butterley last Thursday, we are pleased to confirm the loco will be there for the forthcoming diesel gala weekend and remain in regular operation on the railway until next Spring.

See below for link to the working timetable for this weekends gala -




]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society epping ongar railway Tue, 18 Apr 2017 20:08:17 GMT
First Trains In New London Transport Livery On Sunday 20227 debuted in its new London Transport red livery at the Midland railway Trust, Butterley, having been recently finished by Boden's in Birmingham. The lined red is similar to the livery carried by 20142 as shown in the photo below, with a few subtle differences, 227 wears London Transport roundels rather than Metropolitan Crests and the number LT 8. The repaint was planned for the forthcoming LT Mainline Chiltern Line tour, now loosely scheduled for September.

There is still some work to do to paint the bogies, battery boxes etc, essential as the Norfolk sea air last year seems to have encouraged a little surface rust, in addition to the black bogies and undeframe the brake pipework will be highlighted highlighted in white, 

The last week has been spent preparing the loco for operation and being the school Easter holidays the two loco's in London Transport Livery have generated a lot of interest at Butterley. Including one family demanding to see their locomotives to photograph them, when asked what they meant by their loco's the father said he worked for London Underground and had made the journey to Butterley to see them - the loco's were later moved so he could take his pictures, but reminded that they were in fact owned by the CTLS and Michael Owen not London Transport.

Despite rain being forecast the weather held off and it was a busy day at the Midland Railway Centre, with 20227 and recently repainted GWR tank 5619 drawing the crowds and operating throughout the day. 

Thanks to the Midland Railway to allowing 227 to operate and to Lee for his hard work preparing the the engine. Steve and Lester for Bacon Cobs and and helping on the day. April is looking to be a very busy month with the D8001 at the Epping Ongar Diesel Gala next weekend.

Finally my favourite quote of the was from a female photographer I met on the bridge just down the line from Swanwick, she asked if she had missed the steamer going back to Butterley, when i said yes the reply was 'That's good I'm here to see the Twenty'  


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20227 Midland Railway Trust class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:53:30 GMT
D8001 Ready To Go...South

After a very long day last Thursday all the faults on D8001 were finally resolved, the wiring to the firebell in the cab, a blown fuse on a traction motor blower, compressor and AWS fault all completed. After some fuel pumps tweaks the slightly smokey engine was sorted, all rounded off with an A exam and some final a final set of checks ready for transport to the Epping to Ongar Railway this week.

Thanks to Lee and Chris for their dedication and hard work working through the list of annoying faults.



]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 8001 Midland Railway Trust class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society epping ongar railway Mon, 10 Apr 2017 19:12:43 GMT
Quite A Busy weekend...and First Glimpse of 227's Repaint

The repaint of 20227 to London Transport red has just been completed at Boden's, Birmingham and transport has been arranged to return the loco the Midland Railway, Butterley this week for scheduled exams and minor work before returning to North Norfolk Railway for the operating season.  The London Transport and mainline tour to the Chiltern's for 227 and 189 being postponed until later in the year. 

Meanwhile last weekend 20205 and 189 were operating on the Bluebell Railway at their diesel special event, with 50049, 73107, 73119 and resident 09018. The successful gala suffered a number of loco planned cancelling and was marred for us by some traction motor problems on 20205.

We continue to burn the midnight oil - well working until the early evenings, getting D8001 ready for its season at the Epping to Ongar Railway, following last weekends test train running, we continue to work through a number of minor wiring faults, the cab painting and re-pannelling is now pretty much complete a horn valve was replaced, the window screen wipers adjusted and set working again. The loco is due to depart to North Weald next week.  

Finally, thanks to Rob, Chris, Lester, Lee, Steve, Michael and Paul for their efforts over the last couple of months getting the loco's getting the loco's ready for the coming years running.

]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20205 20227 8001 Midland Railway Trust class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Tue, 04 Apr 2017 20:52:22 GMT
D8001 Back in Operation - Finally It's been a long time, but we are pleased to say D8001 is finally back in operation for the first time since September 2013, working a test train at the Midland Railway Centre, Butterley on Sunday 26th March, ready for the coming season. We were planning a Mini Gala with so many of the Class at the railway at once with the possibility of 8001 and 20007 running as a pair of Pilot Scheme loco's, but unfortunately it was not to be.

D8001 ran the test train with 20189, with the multiple wiring working fully, we found out both fuel gauges needed to replaced after she ran out of diesel on the second train, but after re-fueling and bleeding started again. The test run revealed a couple of other wiring faults, horn valve sticking and a couple of defective gauges to replace in the coming weeks, ready for the forthcoming season.

Over the past few months we have had to resolve a very long list of faults as a result 60 years of rust and not running for so long. The jobs ranged from resolving a wiring fault to the control desk to the loco start switch, only to have to remove the desk to replace a rusted brake pipe, then replace a a rusted section of air pipe to the horn switch (see photo below). To get to the pipe as it bent around the sub frame we needed to to remove the coupling hook - and on and on. The rusty pipework was a result of the floor under the desk being filled with spray foam, presumably to stop a draft, but creating a perfect moisture trap.  

The floor has now been rust proofed and sealed and where water was leaking in under the secondmans window was masticed and silcon applied around the whole cab/bonnet gap on both sides to hopefully seal it waterproof it once and for all. 


The cab paneling and floor has been replaced where looking worse for wear, the control desks have been prepared and re-painted and the whole cab repainted in green and cream. We have rebuilt the floor and trim, renewing panels where required.

We found neither speedometer worked, probably due to the conduit being completely full of water, where a running board drain drain discharged above it. The wiring was replaced and one speedo replaced to get them working again.

Numerous interesting wiring faults have been worked through and wiring replaced to get the loco to start properly and the exhausters working correctly.

Thanks to Chris, Lester, Lee, Will, Steve, Dom, Trevor and anyone I've missed for their hard work on 001 over the Winter which is finally starting to pay off. 



]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 8001 Midland Railway Trust class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:37:02 GMT
Own a Piece Of 20227  


Here's your change to get your own piece of 20227, we are selling a coffee table skillfully made from the cylinder liner and piston from cylinder B4 which was replaced during the loco's last D Exam. The table was loving engineered and created by our Lee Baines, it is one of a very limited production run and the only one with a cut away piston complete with gudgeon pin and con rod, so is a representation of how it was when removed.

The table is both a work of art and a piece of English Electric history, a genuine one off exclusive which and has taken in excess of 40 hours work to create. Its being offered for £800 and is offered with a chance of a cab ride in one of our locomotives, if you would like further details or are interested do not hesitate to contact us.       



]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20227 class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society Mon, 13 Feb 2017 22:08:30 GMT
The End Of The Line - That's The Central Line !!!

Following last years successful visit of 20142 to the Epping to Ongar Railway, we are pleased to announce that D8001 has been invited to visit the railway for the 2017 Season. Details are yet to be finalised, but it is planned for D8001 to arrive in time for the Spring Diesel gala on the 22nd and 23rd April and remain to take part in other events through to next year.

In the meantime we've been working through some issues including replacing some rusting air pipework under the drivers desk, replacing cab panelling, painting the cab desks and fitting new aluminium strips throughout the cab, ready for a repaint next month. Thanks to Lester, Trev, Will and Steve for their hard work despite sub-zero temperatures and snow flurries. We will be trying to organise some proving trains at Butterley in the next couple of months, watch this space. 


A visit to the EOR for D8001 has been discussed for the last few years, so it will be excellent for it to finally happen and will bring the pilot scheme loco within 15 miles of Devons road Depot where it was first based 60 years ago.



]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 8001 class 20 class 20 Locomotive Society class 20 loco society epping ongar railway Mon, 30 Jan 2017 20:33:47 GMT