A Brief History of Class 15 Locomotives:
During the implementation of Modernisation Plan of British Railways in 1955, a contract was placed to British-Thompson-Houston (BTH) for 10 Pilot Scheme Type A (latterly Type 1) locomotives for light local freight and Empty Coaching Stock duties in East Anglia. Paxman supplied the 16YHXL Diesel engine and Westinghouse supplied the brake equipment, while BTH themselves built the electrical equipment for the locomotives. The actual construction work was contracted to the Yorkshire Engine Company in Attercliffe, Sheffield.
The 10 Pilot Scheme Locomotives were delivered to the British Transport Commission (BTC) in 1957, commencing in October with the hand-over of the first locomotive, D8200, at London Euston station by the Yorkshire Engine Company. The balance of the order up to D8209 was delivered before the end of 1958. Following this an order for a further 34 locomotives was placed with BTH and sub-contracted to the Clayton Equipment Company in Tutbury. These locomotives were delivered between 1959 and 1961, and were allocated the numbers D8210-D8243.
When built the fleet was envisaged to operate in the on the Eastern Region in the Anglia area. However pressure was placed on the BTC by a number of Local Authorities in the London area who were keen to implement the Clean Air Act, and saw the removal of steam engines as a way of improving the quality of the air this saw the them re-allocated to East London to replace steam locomotives on Empty Coaching Stock and freight duties.
The locomotives were delivered painted all over British Railways "Brunswick Green", with the area surrounding the forward and rear viewing windows in a lighter green. Small Yellow warning panels were added "ad hoc" from 1963 onwards, with full yellow ends eventually being applied to all except to D8230 and D8232.
Under the TOPS numbering system the fleet was classified as Class 15, although none of the locomotives ever carried a 15XXX number.
With the decline of London freight duties in the late 1960s the fleet of 44 locomotives found themselves redundant and withdrawals took place from 1969 to 1971, with the last members of the class been withdrawn from traffic on 27th March 1971.
However four of the Class, D8203/33/37 and D8243, escaped scrapping and were taken into the Departmental Division for carriage heating duties. These were moved to BREL Doncaster for removal of non-essential equipment and were also renumbered ADB968000-3.
These duties lasted for around 10 years at a wide range of locations from Swansea to Dundee. However when relocated to East Anglia for the transistion to Electrically heated stock it was discovered that the long period without works attention had taken its toll. Colchester depot undertook some work on the locomotives, but the intended work was covered by newer locomotives.
D8233 and the other two locomotives were regarded as surplus to requirements, D8233 was transferred to Healy Mills depot for storage alongside other redundant locomotives, from here it was purchased for preservation In 1984.
The table below gives an overview of the key dates for all the Class 15 locomotives:
|Number(s)||To Traffic||Withdrawn||Disposal Details||Cut Up By||Days In Traffic|
|D8200||10/11/1957||27/03/1971||03/1972 Crewe Works||BREL||4884|
|D8201||17/02/1958||27/03/1971||02/1972 Crewe Works||BREL||4785|
|D8202||03/02/1958||30/09/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||3891|
|D8203, ADB968003||24/02/1958||20/03/1969||10/1981 Colchester||V Berry||4041|
|D8204||17/04/1958||27/03/1971||04/1972 Crewe Works||BREL||4726|
|D8205||28/04/1958||30/09/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||3807|
|D8206||19/05/1958||30/09/1968||02/1970 Barry||D Woodham||3786|
|D8207||16/06/1958||27/03/1971||04/1972 Crewe Works||BREL||4666|
|D8208||07/07/1958||30/09/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||3737|
|D8209||07/10/1958||27/03/1971||03/1972 Crewe Works||BREL||4553|
|D8210||05/11/1959||27/03/1971||03/1972 Crewe Works||BREL||4159|
|D8211||12/11/1959||27/03/1971||12/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||4152|
|D8212||27/11/1959||30/09/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||3229|
|D8213||09/12/1959||22/12/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||3300|
|D8214||09/12/1959||31/12/1970||12/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||4039|
|D8215||31/12/1959||31/12/1970||11/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||4017|
|D8216||31/12/1959||27/03/1971||01/1972 Crewe Works||BREL||4103|
|D8217||19/01/1960||31/03/1968||01/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||2993|
|D8218||01/02/1960||27/03/1971||11/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||4071|
|D8219||29/02/1960||30/09/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||3135|
|D8220||10/03/1960||27/03/1971||11/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||4033|
|D8221||21/03/1960||27/03/1971||12/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||4022|
|D8222||30/03/1960||27/03/1971||12/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||4013|
|D8223||08/04/1960||22/12/1968||06/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||3179|
|D8224||29/04/1960||27/03/1971||12/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||3983|
|D8225||11/05/1960||27/03/1971||12/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||3971|
|D8226||03/05/1960||27/03/1971||12/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||3979|
|D8227||27/05/1960||30/09/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||3047|
|D8228||14/06/1960||27/03/1971||12/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||3937|
|D8229||29/06/1960||27/03/1971||01/1972 Crewe Works||BREL||3922|
|D8230||07/07/1960||27/03/1971||11/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||3914|
|D8231||18/07/1960||27/03/1971||01/1972 Crewe Works||BREL||3903|
|D8232||23/08/1960||27/03/1971||11/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||3867|
|D8234||21/09/1960||27/03/1971||01/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||3838|
|D8235||30/09/1960||06/10/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||2927|
|D8236||07/10/1960||06/10/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||2920|
|D8237, ADB968002||17/11/1960||20/03/1969||04/1985 Sheffield||Marple & Gillot||3044|
|D8238||21/12/1960||30/09/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||2839|
|D8239||23/01/1961||27/03/1971||01/1972 Crewe Works||BREL||3714|
|D8240||23/01/1961||06/10/1968||04/1969 Kettering||G Cohen||2812|
|D8241||01/02/1961||14/04/1968||08/1968 Great Bridge||J Cashmore||2628|
|D8242||10/02/1961||27/03/1971||11/1971 Crewe Works||BREL||3696|
|D8243, ADB968000||24/02/1961||16/02/1969||02/1991 Leicester||V Berry||2913|