Facebook X YouTube Instagram Pinterest NetGalley
Google Books previews are unavailable because you have chosen to turn off third party cookies for enhanced content. Visit our cookies page to review your cookie settings.

Class 33s (Paperback)

Transport > Trains & Railways

By Mark Pike
Imprint: Key Publishing
Series: Britain's Railways
Pages: 96
Illustrations: Over 220, colour
ISBN: 9781802824797
Published: 25th April 2023



You'll be £15.99 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase Class 33s. What's this?
+£4.99 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £40
(click here for international delivery rates)

Need a currency converter? Check XE.com for live rates

In 1960, the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company built a class of 98 locomotives, later to be designated Class 33s. They were capable of operating at up to 85mph and were equipped with a reliable 1,550hp Sulzer engine. Three sub-classes were subsequently created, classified as the standard Class 33/0, the push-pull Class 33/1 and the narrow-bodied Class 33/2. These locos were eventually used over a large area of operation, and throughout their careers worked both passenger and freight duties. The south of England saw the main bulk of their workings, with allocations split between Hither Green, Stewarts Lane and Eastleigh. During the 1980s, however, they were also diagrammed on passenger services much further afield, with workings including Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol/Cardiff/Swansea, Cardiff to Crewe/Manchester, and local services from Exeter to Barnstaple/Paignton/Plymouth. Following privatisation, freight company English Welsh & Scottish Railway even transferred Class 33s to Aberdeen, albeit not for very long. Many of these useful locos have survived into the 21st century, both as attractions on heritage lines and in service with rail tour companies. With over 220 images, this book is a nostalgic pictorial record of the Class 33 locomotives around the UK.

Anyone looking for a concise illustrated paperback work on the class 33s after the mid 1980s will find this book ideal. In 95 pages, BR Southern Region’s principal diesel workhorse is illustrated hauling a wide range of trains, or working light engine, on the national network and on a number of heritage lines since preservation.

Mark V Pike’s book includes locos in BR’s corporate blue, the attractive ‘Dutch’ livery of grey and yellow, Network South East blue, red and ivory as well as the more recent West Coast Railways’ maroon livery on main line work and in their original lined green on heritage railways. The geographical coverage extends mainly across the locos’ former stamping ground on the Southern Region, but Taunton, Witham and even Aberdeen also feature. Perhaps the saddest views are those of 33034’s prolonged demise and final scrapping on the Swanage Railway after component recovery.

The standard of photography and reproduction is generally good, with many sparkling shots in good lighting conditions and attractive backdrops. A relatively small number are perhaps a little dark around near track level, but generally speaking this is a well-presented book at a very affordable price.

West Somerset Railway Association

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.

More titles by Mark Pike

Other titles in the series...

Other titles in Key Publishing...