LMS Pioneer Diesel No.10,000

LMS Pioneer Diesel No.10,000

© Phil Copleston


London, Midland & Scottish Railway pioneer diesel-electric locomotive No. 10,000 was built at the LMS’s Derby Works (Lot number 198) in 1947 in association with English Electric and the Vulcan Foundry. This was the first main-line diesel locomotive to enter service in Britain.


Conceived under the aegis of LMS Chief Mechanical Engineer, Henry George Ivatt, No. 10,000 had its maiden run in November 1947, and after several weeks of proving trials the loco entered service on the Midland route in February 1948, just two months after the nationalisation of British railways. An almost identical sister locomotive numbered 10,001 appeared in July 1948. Thereafter the pair were known by the sobriquet “LMS Twins”. The BR class designation was D16/1.


From design inception to completion took some 9 months, including a well-frame design to fit the restricted British loading gauge, and utilising available post-war austerity materials. The streamlined art-deco twin cab design and original black and chromatic silver livery was typical of many diesel locomotives of that era. For its first few years in service number 10,000 had large cast chrome “L M S” letters attached to the body side, but these were removed by the early 1950s. Its twin, No. 10,001 was outshopped without LMS lettering. Both locos carried a plainer unlettered black livery by the early 1950s and adorned with BR’s own ‘cycling lion’ emblem, but by 1956 both were repainted in BR mid-green and carried the subsequent ‘ferret and dartboard’ crest, as illustrated here.


The Co-Co bogies (3-axle trucks) followed good American practice, into which the design team at Derby integrated British engineering, creating a unique system of smooth riding which has been largely copied on most subsequent British diesel locomotive types and is still in use today. All wheels were driven and were of 3ft 6in (1067mm) diameter, total wheelbase was 51ft 6in (15.7m), and overall length 61ft 2in (18.64m).


The diesel engine fitted was an English Electric 16SVT Mark 1 which provided generating power for three EE 519/3B traction motors on each bogie. Power output was 1,600 hp (1,200 kW) which produced a tractive effort of 41,400 pounds (184.2 kN). As first built, No. 10,000 weighed 127.65 tons (129.70 metric tonnes or 142.97 short tons).


In service, the “LMS Twins” operated over a number of routes to the north of England out of London St Pancras or Euston stations either singly or coupled together as a pair, but their low power outputs meant they were less than inspiring when used on heavily loaded or express services. In March 1953 both were transferred to the Southern Region of British Railways to allow direct comparison to be made between them and the Southern Region’s own recently introduced three mainline diesel locomotives, and they remained on that region until spring 1955.


On return to the London Midland Region, the LMS-designed locos continued in service until No. 10,000 was withdrawn in December 1963 and scrapped in January 1968, while No. 10,001 soldiered on until withdrawn in March 1966 and scrapped in February 1968. It is such a pity that at least one of these pioneering diesel locomotives was not saved for the nation. However, dear reader, read on…


Recreation of LMS No. 10,000? Of course! Remarkably, there is a serious proposal to build a near-replica of this pioneer diesel loco by the Ivatt Diesel Recreation Society. To which end funds are being raised, design work is being prepared based on original drawings, and a number of genuine components from the original locomotive sourced. An authentic English Electric 16SVT diesel prime mover has also been located and secured for this project which has the same type of Brown Boveri Turbochargers to ensure that the recreation sounds just like the original. Read more about this exciting project here http://www.lms10000.org/


Further reading: The best written and comprehensive source on these pioneering British diesel locos is undoubtedly “LMS Locomotive Profiles No.9 – Main Line Diesel Electrics Nos. 10000 and 10001” by David Hunt (Wild Swan Publications, 2005, ISBN 1 905184 04 2).


Videos: You can watch a rather delightfully optimistic English Electric promotional newsreel film (1948) of LMS diesel No. 10,000 here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LiahaE1IAE A longer and more usefully technical British Transport Films documentary (1948) here gives another slant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9rSzitGZZg


Photo: This photo was taken in 1956 while under British Railways ownership and is from an enhanced digital image in Phil Copleston’s  collection.


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