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The Clayton Type 1 Bo-Bo Diesel-Electric Locomotives - British Railways Class 17 (Hardback)

Development, Design and Demise

Transport Photographic Books Colour Books Trains and Railways

By Anthony Sayer
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios Diesel and Electric
Pages: 376
ISBN: 9781526762009
Published: 28th May 2021


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The ‘Claytons’ were originally conceived as the British Railways “standard” Type 1 diesel-electric locomotive, superseding other Type 1 classes delivered as part of the ‘Pilot Scheme’ fleet. The early classes suffered from poor driver visibility, and the plan from 1962 was for subsequent trip-freight and local yard shunting locomotives to be centre-cab machines with low bonnets to dramatically improve visibility.

To this extent the Claytons were highly successful and popular with operating crews. However, the largely untested high-speed, flat Paxman engines proved to be highly problematical, resulting in deliveries being curtailed after 117 locomotives. Further requirements for Type 1 locomotives after 1965 were met by reverting to one of the original ‘Pilot’ designs! Deteriorating traffic levels ultimately led to the Claytons being withdrawn from BR service by December 1971.

Considerable amounts of archive material have been unearthed to enable the issues surrounding the rise and fall of the ‘Standard Type 1’ locomotives to be fully explored. Further sources provide insights into the effort and money expended on the Claytons in a desperate attempt to improve their reliability. Individual locomotive record cards, together with personal sighting information, allow histories of each class member to be developed including allocations, works visits, liveries and disposal details.

Supported by over 280 photographs and diagrams, dramatic new insights into this troubled class have been assembled for both historians and modellers alike.

A good book about a lesser-known class which calls into question the way British Rail commissioned early diesels. Recommended for diesel enthusiasts.

Roger Backhouse, York Model Engineers - Newsletter, July 2021

About Anthony Sayer

ANTHONY SAYER is a life-long railway enthusiast with an interest in the history of the early British diesel and electric locomotive classes. This is the author’s fourth book in the “Locomotive Portfolio (Diesel & Electric)” series, following on from the North British Type 2 Bo-Bo diesel-electric (Classes 21 & 29), the Metropolitan-Vickers Type 2 Co-Bo diesel-electric (Class 28) and the Clayton Type 1 Bo-Bo diesel-electric (Class 17) books published in 2019 to 2020. Anthony lives in the north-east of England and has now retired after 37 years in the steel industry with responsibilities in both transport planning and supply-chain logistics.

Perfect Partner

The North British Type 2 Bo-Bo Diesel-Electric Classes 21 & 29 Design, Development and Demise (Hardback)

This book provides an in-depth history of the North British diesel-electric Type 2 locomotives which were constructed by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow during the late-1950s / early-1960s for use on the Eastern and Scottish Regions of British Railways. "Despite efforts to improve their poor performance in traffic, by both engine refurbishment or complete replacement, these locomotives were all withdrawn from service by the end of 1971. "Using significant quantities of previously unpublished material, dramatic new insights are revealed about both the original Class 21s and the…

By Anthony Sayer

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