Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tommys Rot

Photo by Graham Wignall
Here is another, more poignant, picture scanned from the pages of an old Rail Enthusiast magazine. 
This photo was taken in April 1982, showing three dead Class 76 EM1 electric locomotives, awaiting their fate after the closure of the Woodhead Line in July of the previous year.
The photograph was taken by Graham Wignall and the caption that accompannied it was as follows:
"The final hours of 76003, 76037 and 76040 in Frank Berry's Leicester scrapyard - alomgside the former Great Central main line - on Wednesday, April 20."
These locos were originally numberd: E26003, E26037 and E26040, respectively, and were three of a fleet that numbered 58 in total. These were all withdrawn in July 1981.
The prototype of the class, E26000 (formerly LNER Nº 6701), was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and built at Doncaster Works in 1941. However, because of the Second World War, electrification of the Woodhead Route was delayed. So, in 1947, the loco was loaned to Dutch Railways to assist in the post-war shortage of motive power 
She remained with Dutch Railways until 1952 when the Woodhead Line was complete. 
It was during this time that it acquired the name 'Tommy' after the nickname that had been given to British soldiers.
It kept this name for rest of its working life and also carried a nameplate that included an explanation of the name's origin, as follows
"So named by drivers of the Netherlands State Railway to whom this locomotive was loaned 1947-1952."
It has, in fact, the distinction of being the first non-steam locomotive to be named.

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