Shortest-lived rolling stock

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bramling

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With the rather sad disappearance of fleets such as classes 332 and 365, I’ve been wondering which fleets over the years have had the shortest operational lives, either in full or in part.

I’m not so much considering prototype fleets like the class 210 or APT, though feel free to mention these too.

Off the top of my head two contenders are of course class 332 and 365, and a generation ago the class 312s weren’t much longer. Then there’s the LU 1983 stock which only managed 10-15 years.

Also be interested in thoughts as to why such fleets had short lives.
 
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Peter Sarf

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Some of the modernisation plan Diesel Locomotive fleets must have managed no more then 5 years ?.

Very Sadly the Diesel Hydraulics (35, 42, 43 & 52) generally managed about fifteen years.

But the NBL built Bo-Bo and B-B (D6200 & D6300 iirc) must have been much worse.

How long did the Class 17 Claytons last ?.
 

ANDREW_D_WEBB

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Nightstar stock. Some didn’t even get off the production line.
One 325 unit didn’t do that long
Two Sprinter carriages got written off after a couple of years.
66521 was fairly new when involved in the Great Heck crash.
Arguably some of the class 92s.
 
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Gloster

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One of the shortest lived classes was the GWR 2602 Class, the ‘Krugers’. Two were built in 1899, a 4-6-0 and a 2-6-0, and eight more 2-6-0 followed by 1903. All seem to have gone by 1906.
 

Peter Sarf

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Nightstar stock. Some didn’t even get off the production line.
One 325 unit didn’t do that long
Two Sprinter carriages got written off after a couple of years.
66522 was fairly new when involved in the Great Heck crash.
Arguably some of the class 92s.
Of course. The nightstar stock would be hard to beat. Never used in service and abandoned before all were even delivered. Doing fine in Canada though iirc.
 

Bevan Price

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Many BR Standard Steam Locos, and the later batches of GWR Pannier Tanks (16xx, 94xx classes). Some lasted for only 4-5 years.
Some of the less successful 1st generation dmus (e.g. Classes 112, 113, 4 wheel railbuses).
Some BR Standard Non-corridor loco-hauled stock. Apart from sets retained for Kings Cross suburban services, almost all non-corridor hauled stock had gone by 1966/67.
 

ANDREW_D_WEBB

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Class 14 Teddy Bears were generally redundant by the time they were delivered as local trip freights declined.

The earliest Class 50 withdrawals were only about 20 years old, similar time scale to the 332s
 

Strathclyder

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66521 was fairly new when involved in the Great Heck crash.
Had racked up a mere 2 months and 19 days (79 days) in service, if class66data.net is to be believed.

Sticking with Great Heck, the DVT leading the GNER IC225 that was destroyed in the collision (82221) can't have been more than 11-12 years old at the time of the disaster. In a simliar vein (but cheating slightly), the DBSO that was wrecked at Polmont (9706) had been in service for about 5 years (1979-1984) post-conversion.
 

bramling

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May I foresee class 230 and 769 :D:D

Could be a winner. The 484 will probably last though.

Class 460

An interesting one. Certainly potentially a winner in terms of units - I make it 12 years. Though of course if one considers them as a common fleet with the 458s then it's more debateable.

So from a units point of view it seems we have 332, 365 and 460 being under 25 years. I think the 312 fleet managed just over 25 years. Any other units fleets where most or all of the fleet hasn't made 25 years?
 

43096

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Had racked up a mere 2 months and 19 days (79 days) in service, if class66data.net is to be believed.

Sticking with Great Heck, the DVT leading the GNER IC225 that was destroyed in the collision (82221) can't have been more than 11-12 years old at the time of the disaster. In a simliar vein (but cheating slightly), the DBSO that was wrecked at Polmont (9706) had been in service for about 5 years (1979-1984) post-conversion.
If you want to go even shorter (but not in the UK), Amtrak P40 819 was just 20 days old when it was written off in the Big Bayou Canot disaster. More details here: https://www.meridianspeedway.net/not-just-another-p40.html
 

Gloster

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Many BR Standard Steam Locos, and the later batches of GWR Pannier Tanks (16xx, 94xx classes). Some lasted for only 4-5 years.
Some of the less successful 1st generation dmus (e.g. Classes 112, 113, 4 wheel railbuses).
Some BR Standard Non-corridor loco-hauled stock. Apart from sets retained for Kings Cross suburban services, almost all non-corridor hauled stock had gone by 1966/67.
It looks like the shortest lived BR steam loco was pannier tank 8447: four years and eleven months.
 

HamworthyGoods

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So from a units point of view it seems we have 332, 365 and 460 being under 25 years. I think the 312 fleet managed just over 25 years. Any other units fleets where most or all of the fleet hasn't made 25 years?

Surely class 141s DMUs must take that mantle? GB service 1984 to 1997, 13 years!
 

bramling

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Surely class 141s DMUs must take that mantle? GB service 1984 to 1997, 13 years!

Forgot those! Could be a winner. The LU 83 stock could just pip them to the post though - I make it 14 years for the fleet as a whole, but the later batch 2 units were something like 1986-1998, with some as low as 10 years.

There's also the DLR P86 / P89 stocks, though they did get a second life so might not qualify. Not sure of the exact dates, but the P89 stock managed only about 5-6 years.

So looking at some of these fleets we have

P86/89 - non standard, small fleet, changed requirements
141 - small fleet, unreliable, poor design
460 - small fleet, changed requirements
332 - small fleet, changed requirements
83 stock - changed requirements, unreliable
APT - prototype

This does make the 365 a bit of an outlier - not really a small fleet, not unreliable, not a poor design, just wrong place at wrong time.
 
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Strathclyder

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So from a units point of view it seems we have 332, 365 and 460 being under 25 years. I think the 312 fleet managed just over 25 years. Any other units fleets where most or all of the fleet hasn't made 25 years?
Class 311s may just slide in under the bar here at 23 years (1967-1990), barring the 2 sandite units which lasted into the early 2000s. Nothing inherently wrong with them as they were based on the older & far more numerous 303s (91 303s v. 19 311s); merely a victim of their own relatively small class size in the end more than anything else.
 

DannyMich2018

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Class 60s-100 locos built, last ones entered service in 1993, first ones stored in 2004. Much of fleet is stored now with most stored locos out of use for well over a decade so most stored 60s been out of use longer than they were in service.
Clasd 58s-50 locos built. Last ones entered service in 1987. First withdrawals in 1999. All gone by 2002. Some were of course used abroad after this but all long since out of use now.
 

JonathanH

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Class 311s may just slide in under the bar here at 23 years (1967-1990), barring the 2 sandite units which lasted into the early 2000s. Nothing inherently wrong with them as they were based on the older & far more numerous 303s (91 303s v. 19 311s); merely a victim of their own relatively small class size in the end more than anything else.
That, and the fact that they missed out on any refurbishment and it was just easier to purchase the 320s than spend any money on them and the unrefurbished 303s.
 

Strathclyder

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That, and the fact that they missed out on any refurbishment and it was just easier to purchase the 320s than spend any money on them and the unrefurbished 303s.
That too (half-asleep here, so ofc I forgot to mention it lol). The 320s also saw off the last of the unrefurbished 303s (048 being the exception), but that's a tangent for another thread.
 

The Prisoner

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Baby Deltics built 1959 withdrawn 1968-71

Class 35 Hymeks built 1961-1964 withdrawn 1971-75 - D7083 built 1963 and one of the first to be withdrawn in 1971, so eight years

Class 42 Warships built 1958-1961 withdrawn 1968-1972 - D801 Vanguard and D802 Formidable didn't make 10 years old, D830 Majestic only last eight (1961-1969)

Class 43 Warships built 1960-1962 withdrawn 1969-1971 - D840 Resistance & D848 Sultan lasted just eight years (1961-1969), but the "winner" is D863 Warrior which didn't even make seven years

Class 52 Westerns built 1961-1964 withdrawn 1973-1977, so a better average life than their Diesel Hydraulic companions on the Western Region, the shortest lives I can find are 10 years (various built 1963, withdrawn 1973), but there are some withdrawal dates missing on the latter built locos, so there might be one with a shorter life span.

All five classes lasted around 10 years on average

Class 47s - D1734 was withdrawn and cut up after only eight months having been largely destroyed by hitting a signal box near Shrewsbury in 1965
D1671 "THOR" faired little better and lasted around nine months bring involved in a bad accident near Bridgend in 1965
D1908 lasted four years after being involved in a collision at Monmore Green (1965-69)

Class 37s - D6983 lasted around a year and was written off in the same accident as D1671 in 1965 (the 37 hit the 47 after it had crashed)

Pic of the Bridgend crash aftermath here (warning - it's a mess) http://www.class47.co.uk/c47_zoom_v2.php?img=0868050000210

Probably others with very short operational spans, but the Westerns and Baby Deltics really only managed a decade or so, whilst losing a 37 and 47 within a year of being built is not something I was aware of until I delved.....
 

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One Type 74 EMU (set 05) for Norwegian State Railways (NSB) was never taken over by them as it was wrecked in a derailment in February 2012.
 

bramling

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Baby Deltics built 1959 withdrawn 1968-71

Class 35 Hymeks built 1961-1964 withdrawn 1971-75 - D7083 built 1963 and one of the first to be withdrawn in 1971, so eight years

Class 42 Warships built 1958-1961 withdrawn 1968-1972 - D801 Vanguard and D802 Formidable didn't make 10 years old, D830 Majestic only last eight (1961-1969)

Class 43 Warships built 1960-1962 withdrawn 1969-1971 - D840 Resistance & D848 Sultan lasted just eight years (1961-1969), but the "winner" is D863 Warrior which didn't even make seven years

Class 52 Westerns built 1961-1964 withdrawn 1973-1977, so a better average life than their Diesel Hydraulic companions on the Western Region, the shortest lives I can find are 10 years (various built 1963, withdrawn 1973), but there are some withdrawal dates missing on the latter built locos, so there might be one with a shorter life span.

All five classes lasted around 10 years on average

Class 47s - D1734 was withdrawn and cut up after only eight months having been largely destroyed by hitting a signal box near Shrewsbury in 1965
D1671 "THOR" faired little better and lasted around nine months bring involved in a bad accident near Bridgend in 1965
D1908 lasted four years after being involved in a collision at Monmore Green (1965-69)

Class 37s - D6983 lasted around a year and was written off in the same accident as D1671 in 1965 (the 37 hit the 47 after it had crashed)

Pic of the Bridgend crash aftermath here (warning - it's a mess) http://www.class47.co.uk/c47_zoom_v2.php?img=0868050000210

Probably others with very short operational spans, but the Westerns and Baby Deltics really only managed a decade or so, whilst losing a 37 and 47 within a year of being built is not something I was aware of until I delved.....

Anyone able to post a brief account of what happened in the 1965 Bridgend collision, please? I can't find much written about it.
 

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