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.

The Metropolitan-Vickers Type 2 Co-Bo Diesel-Electric Locomotives (Hardback)

From Design to Destruction

Colour Books Photographic Books Transport > Trains & Railways

By Anthony Sayer
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios: Diesel and Electric
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 160 colour & black and white
ISBN: 9781526742810
Published: 3rd August 2020
Last Released: 14th November 2022



You'll be £40.00 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase The Metropolitan-Vickers Type 2 Co-Bo Diesel-Electric Locomotives. 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

This book provides an in-depth history of the Metropolitan-Vickers diesel-electric Type 2 locomotives, more frequently known collectively as the “Co-Bo’s” due to their unusual wheel arrangement. Twenty locomotives were constructed during the late-1950s for use on the London Midland Region of British Railways.

The fleet was fraught with difficulties from the start, most notably due to problems with their Crossley engines, this necessitating the need for extensive rehabilitation work during the early-1960s. Matters barely improved and the option to completely re-engine the locomotives with English Electric units was debated at length, but a downturn in traffic levels ultimately resulted in their demise by the end of 1968 prior to any further major rebuilding work being carried out.

Significant quantities of new archive and personal sighting information, supported by over 180 photographs and diagrams, have been brought together to allow dramatic new insights into this enigmatic class of locomotives, including the whole debate surrounding potential re-engining, their works histories, the extended periods in storage, together with in-depth reviews of the various detail differences and liveries.

As featured in


... this is a really excellent book. It covers, in tremendous detail, a niche in railway history that could have remained unremarked for a long time. If nothing else it answers the reviewer’s long-held query about the asymmetric power bogies! Highly recommended.


Backtrack, April 2021

Analysis and documentation in its purest form.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

Following on from the excellent book by the same author on the North British Class 21/29 locomotives, this book takes a look at the equally troublesome Class 28s, typically called the Co-Bos. The book follows the same format as the previous book, with in depth research into the class from concept, development to service introduction and troubles in service. There is a complete list of the allocations and livery details as well as withdrawal and scrappage details for each member of the rather short lived unsuccessful class. Another fascinating read about a class I didn’t previously know a great deal about.

Diesel and Electric Modellers United, Issue 95

The book is well researched, well written and wonderfully illustrated with copious quality archive photographs, including a good selection from the Cumbrian region. Most are in black & white, with a few in colour as well. All in all, if you have more than a passing interest in these locomotives and their time in Cumbria, then this book is to be highly recommended.

Cumbrian Railways Association, Volume 13 No.10, May 2021

The author has provided a plethora of technical details, dates and locations about all the members of this enigmatic and sadly problematic class of diesels, that many enthusiasts probably wish they had seen more of. This is the reference book that tells us everything we need to know.
Production quality of the book is, as always with Pen & Sword, excellent.

Featured in "The Circular", Bradford Railway Circle

Clearly, this is a labour of love that aims to be the last word on the subject - although it comes at a price.

The Railway Observer

A highly recommended work, especially for those with an interest in the early years of BR diesel traction.

West Somerset Railway Association

The text is deeply researched and rich in detail – all backed up with an impressive collection of mostly black & white images showing the locos at all stages of their careers... This book should prove to be a useful reference source for years to come, making it well worth the price.

Rail Express, February 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 sixth book in the “Locomotive Portfolio” series, following on from the North British Type 2 (Classes 21 & 29), the Metropolitan-Vickers Type 2 (Class 28), the Clayton Type 1 (Class 17), the BTH/NBL Type 1 (Classes 15 & 16) and BR Swindon Type 1 (Class 14: Their Life on British Railways) books published between 2019 and 2021. 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.

More titles by Anthony Sayer

Customers who bought this title also bought...

Other titles in the series...

Other titles in Pen & Sword Transport...