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Class 31s (Paperback)

Transport > Trains & Railways

By Mark Pike
Imprint: Key Publishing
Series: Britain's Railways
Pages: 96
Illustrations: Over 200
ISBN: 9781802826715
Published: 27th June 2023

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Perhaps overshadowed by more ‘exotic’ locos, the Class 31s nonetheless played a significant part in British Railways’ Modernisation Plan. Intended for use on more lightly loaded and shorter-distance trains on routes away from the main lines, the 263 original Brush Type 2 locomotives were new between 1957 and 1962 and entered service on the Eastern Region. They could soon be found all across the country. Not long into their careers, they were renumbered into Class 31 under the TOPS system and, over time, four subclasses were developed. The most numerous was the steam heat boiler-fitted 31/1, examples of which were further modified with electric train heating (ETH) to produce the 31/4. Towards the end of the class’s collective lifespan came two more developments, the 31/5 and 31/6. The fact that so many still survive after decades of sterling service is testament to their usefulness and versatility, and they are especially appreciated on the various heritage lines up and down the country. This volume includes more than 200 images showing these workhorses in action, mostly in the south of England.

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About Mark Pike

Mark Pike has a lifelong interest in UK railways that started at the age of about six when his father used to take him to watch trains at Poole station in Dorset, just after steam had been abolished in the late 1960s. He later joined the railway at the age of 19 as a permanent way trackman at Bournemouth and was later an electric track maintenance worker at Dorchester for over 20 years. Now semi-retired, he is still an avid railway photographer, with various images appearing regularly in mainstream railway magazines and books.

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