Warships in Colour (IR412)
Product No.: IR412
Title: Warships in Colour
Author(s): Jennison, John
Publisher: Irwell Press
Binding: Laminated Pictorial Boards
Dust Jacket: None
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Year: 2011
Features: 64 Pages with Colour Photos.
The Warships were amongst the most controversial of the early BR diesel classes; the WR management had to fight tooth and nail to get them built in the first place and they were continually attacked by the diesel-electric proponents until they were taken out of service prematurely in the early 1970s under the guise of standardisation.
They carried the standard BR green livery with a grey horizontal lining band, enhanced from 1962 by the addition of small yellow warning panels on the nose-end. Almost half were repainted during1965/6 in the maroon which had been adopted for their Western contemporaries, before the majority were given BR's Corporate blue livery which it has to be said did nothing to improve their appearance, even though it was not dissimilar to the colour originally recommended but subsequently rejected in 1959.
The Warships became Class 42/43 under TOPS but new numbers were not applied because they were pencilled in for early withdrawal under the National Traction Plan. There were only a few noticeable changes over the fourteen years the locomotives were in service. Those built without train indicator panels had them added, the multiple working equipment was taken off and restored, and there were minor changes on the nose-ends of some locomotives.
The Warships were originally employed primarily on the Western Region Paddington-Bristol and West of England services, venturing onto the North-West line up to Crewe between 1962 and 1964. They took over the former SR Waterloo-Exeter trains in 1964 where they held sway until October 1971. In 1967 the North British built locomotives were tried on the Paddington-Birmingham passenger services but after numerous failures they were quickly removed from this work, although they did take over the Worcester/Hereford services which they worked until 1971. The class was ousted from much of their principal WR express work in the mid-1960s, but they did stage a brief comeback in 1968 when pairs of Warships were employed on the accelerated services to the West of England.
Over their last few years they were to be found increasingly on freight and secondary workings before the final survivors succumbed in late-1972. Two D800s escaped the cutters torch and although neither has been on the mainline they have both appeared