Class 20 Locomotive Society: Blog en-us (C) Class 20 Locomotive Society (Class 20 Locomotive Society) Sun, 13 May 2018 20:14:00 GMT Sun, 13 May 2018 20:14:00 GMT Sherlock Holmes and the Class 20 Metropolitan Railtour

We tried our best to keep it secret, but rumours had spread so it wasn't too great a surprise that 20027 was named 'Sherlock Holmes' as part of the Class 20 Metropolitan Railtour on 29th April 2018. But the sell out tour was a very special event and some behind the scenes hard work by TFL/London Transport, The Sherlock Holmes Society and ourselves kept photo's of the name plates under wraps and made the naming ceremony pretty remarkable.

The tour had been delayed for more more than a year as the an extensive refurbishment of the TC stock was carried out at Eastleigh Works, when it was finally announced there was a huge amount of interest in the much anticipated tour meaning an almost instant sell out. The tour left Wembley Park on the Sunday morning turning heads amongst the Jubilee and Metropolitan Line Trains heading up the Met line and uniquely on to Chiltern Lines up Buckingham Railway Centre at Quainton Road and beyond to Clayton Junction. The tour offered the first chance to travel behind a class 33 on TFL Lines, with 33012 doing the honours along with 20142 and 20227.  

The naming ceremony was carried out jointly by Sir Peter Hendy CBE the former commissioner of Transport For London and current chairman of Network Rail and Guy Marriott President of the Sherlock Holmes Society. Sir Peter revealed that he was a lifelong fan of the Sherlock Holmes books as well as Heritage Traction. In 1953 The Sherlock Holmes Society provided the namesplates for Metropolitan Locomotive No8 in 1953 so it was fitting that Guy Marriott played his part in the naming of 20227, the society also provided a limited run brochure to commemorate the naming.

The tour then ran back down to Harrow On The Hill and on to Marylebone Station, before returning to West Ruslip which seems to be London Transports 'Toton' with no less than six other 20's on shed. In a strange coincidence at the other end of the Central Line D8001 was taking part in the diesel gala on the Eppping To Ongar Railway.

All in all a great day and as Sir Peter Hendy said one which Holmes, Watson and even Conan Doyle would be delighted.       

Thanks to all involved from the London Transport Museum, Transport for London, The Sherlock Holmes Society and all our members and volunteers that were involved in making the day such a success as well as our friend Martin Loader for his excellent header photo of the tour passing the site of Waddesdon Manor Station as the tour returned from Quainton Road.  


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20227 class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society sherlock holmes Sun, 13 May 2018 20:13:44 GMT
The Game Is a Foot... They were true, as part of the railtour today 20227 will be officially named 'Sherlock Holmes' reviving the name of the Metropolitan-Vickers Locomotive also numbered 8 which was withdrawn in 1962. The naming proudly reinforces the link 227 has had with London Transport since the initially playing a part on the Steam On The Met trains in the 1990's, previously carrying the name 'Sir John Betjeman' now worn by 20142.

The Loco is seen here at the North Norfolk Railway earlier in the year where the name plates were test fitted, along with the mysterious shed code plates...

]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20227 221b class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society metropolitan sherlock holmes Sun, 29 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT
Twenty Four Hours To Go... With our imminent London Underground/Mainline tour to the Chiltern's, here's a clue to a special event tomorrow. 



]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20227 class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society Sat, 28 Apr 2018 12:30:00 GMT
Countdown to Another Metro Gnome ? Only One week to go to 20227's follow up to the London Underground Railtour 1994's 'MetroGnome'. At the time this now classic tour was the first main line passenger tour hauled by a preserved diesel, running on London Transport lines from Wembley Park visiting Amersham, Watford, Rickmansworth and Uxbridge assisted by Met Line Electric Loco Sarah Siddons.

Since then Class 20's have regularly appeared assisting on 'Steam on The Met' Specials and on stock delivery trains. However the only other 'Metro Gnome' in 20 years has been a club night in Leeds, ironically playing 'Underground' music... 

Hopefully, the Diesel special to Quainton will be as spectacular as the 'MetroGnome' Tour, with the chance to cover both TfL and Network Rail Chiltern Lines, with 20227 working with 20142 and 33012 traveling for the first time on London Underground Lines. Whether it lives up the Club Night in Leeds...

]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20227 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society metrognome Sun, 22 Apr 2018 10:15:00 GMT
D8001 Up and Running Again After a six month break D8001 is back up and running again, the pair of sheared bolts between the power unit and generator have been replaced. Its been a far from easy task, the first challenge was obtaining the spares, then very restricted access made removing the failed bolts very difficult, with the risk that debris could easily get inside the generator. For us in preservation it was not an option to remove the power unit and refit the gene so the work had to be carried out in-situ in the open over Winter

Before the new bolts could be fitted the holes required reaming out, again with limited access this was painfully slow and difficult, whilst carefully doing our best to avoid damage. We celebrated when the last bolt was replaced, but there was still considerable work to fully tighten and fit the split pins to secure the nuts as well as replacing everything that was removed for access.

Hopefully, this issue is now resolved once and for all, in time for operating season and the Epping to Ongar Diesel Gala at the end of the month, though we will continue to monitor the alignment of the nuts in future.

Thanks to Michael and Marco and all at the Epping to Ongar Railway for their help, encouragement and positivity over the last few months. 

]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 8001 class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society epping ongar railway Mon, 02 Apr 2018 16:46:47 GMT
Mainline Railtour Return For 20007 You've waited all Winter for a chance to travel behind a twenty, now two mainline tours are announced within a week. 20007 will make its mainline tour debut working with 20142 on the Purbeck Explorer railtour, working the return from the Swanage Railway diesel Gala hauling a TC set on the 13th May 2018. The train leaves London the previous Thursday hauled by Class 33 D6515, calling at Ealing Broadway, Kensington Olympia, Clapham Junction, Woking, Basingstoke to Swanage, book online for the fare of £39.50, see our events page for links and further details. 

]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 2007 20142 class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society swanage Sun, 04 Feb 2018 19:31:42 GMT
Finally It's Happening - Class 20 Metropolitan Railtour After being postponed a couple of times last year, we are pleased to say it looks like the Class 20 Metropolitan Railtour will take place on the 29th April 2018, with haulage being provided by 20142 and 20227, both in London Transport red livery hauling the newly refurbished London Transport TC coaching set.

The route for the tour organised by The London Transport Museum Heritage is subject to final confirmation will cover Metropolitan and Chiltern lines from Marylebone Station in Central London, up in to Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Full booking details and pricing to follow soon. 

]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20142 20227 class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society london transport Sun, 28 Jan 2018 16:58:40 GMT
Happy Christmas and our Best Wishes for 2018 We wish all our members, friends and associates a Merry Christmas and our best wishes for the New Year, and would thank you all for for your help and support over the past twelve months.

We have had some disappointments and spectacular successes over the past year, 8001 now sixty years old had a busy operating season on the Epping to Ongar Railway following a long period out of service, unfortunately ending the year with fault in need of repair. 20227 was repainted and has had another busy operating season on the North Norfolk Railway, playing its part in their mainline shuttle services. It was an active year for 20205 was active on mainline spot hire, also finding time to operate at the Midland Railway Trust Summer Gala. 

Thanks again, we are working on plans for a number of special events again in 2018, we'll let you know our plans as soon as they are confirmed.  


]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 20205 20227 8001 class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society epping ongar railway midland railway trust north norfolk railway Sun, 24 Dec 2017 16:30:00 GMT
D8001 Latest To celebrate the start of the Santa Specials on the Epping to Ongar Railway today a present for D8001 arrived, the new set of bolts needed to replace the ones that had sheared between the engine and generator. The engine has unfortunately been out of service for the past few months whilst we sourced a set of replacements and tools required for the work, the specially engineered spares have not been easy to obtain, but are critical to get the engine running again for next year.

So whilst the passengers on the line were drinking mulled wine and enjoying travelling with Santa, we were in the cold completing the preparation and planning to start the work replacing the bolts one at a time from next weekend.

The Epping to Ongar 'Visit Santa' Specials are running every weekend up to Christmas hauled by the the visiting LNER N2, with gifts for the children, mulled wine and even a snow machine, if you are coming along spare a thought for us - Mince Pies and hot drinks would be much appreciated. 

]]> (Class 20 Locomotive Society) 8001 class 20 class 20 loco society class 20 locomotive society epping ongar railway Sat, 02 Dec 2017 16:22:51 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