Shortest-lived rolling stock

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Cowley

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

Here you go @bramling. There’s a fair bit of description and some fairly terrifying photos in the opening post:

 
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Gloster

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Anyone able to post a brief account of what happened in the 1965 Bridgend collision, please? I can't find much written about it.
On 17 December 1965 D1671 was working an Up ECS, probably Fishguard-Cardiff, when it hit a small landslip near Bridgend and derailed. A double headed Down Cardiff-Margam train of coal hoppers hit it and leading loco D6983 was wrecked. The two traincrew on the 47 died, but the two on the 37 survived, possibly because the nose absorbed the impact.
 

bramling

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Here you go @bramling. There’s a fair bit of description and some fairly terrifying photos in the opening post:


Many thanks. Certainly looks pretty chilling.
 

507020

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May I foresee class 230 and 769 :D:D
No you may not, but you may be right.
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.
390033 only lasted 5 years until it crashed at Greyrigg.
 

The Prisoner

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Wilts Wanderer

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GWR ‘King’ class 4-6-0 no. 6007 ‘King William III’ was built at Swindon in March 1928, as part of the 30-strong fleet of locos completed by the end of 1930. It was written off in a severe accident at Shrivenham in January 1936 and therefore the GWR constructed a replacement locomotive in March of the same year, which assumed the same name and number as the original but was an entirely separate locomotive.
 

MarlowDonkey

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There was a design of GWR Autocoach attributed to Hawksworth constructed in the early 1950s almost parallel to the early DMUs. Apart from the many preserved on heritage lines, they didn't last that long before being replaced by 121 Bubble Cars.

In its early days British Railways constructed passenger carriages to Big Four designs. I think very few lasted long enough to be repainted in Blue or Blue and Grey.
 

Strathclyder

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Here you go @bramling. There’s a fair bit of description and some fairly terrifying photos in the opening post:

Looking at that image of both locos post-collision, it was small wonder both were written off. Brutal is putting it mildly. Here it is two months before the accident.


Agreed. Always a bit creepy to see photos of 165115 and 365526, especially as I'd certainly travelled in the latter numerous times.
Yeah, pictures of 43011, 43019, 43173 & 66521 always unnerve me slightly. Pictures of 314203 pre-July 1991 have a similar effect on me, as although that unit eventually ended up re-entering service with a ex-507 driving trailer, seeing the footage of the shattered remains of it's original driving trailer being moved about chilled me to the bone the first time I saw it.
 

Aictos

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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 have to disagree on your point about the sad disappearance of the Class 332s as it was well known and reported that the bodywork under the solebar was in a terrible state and it would cost far too much to bring them to a decent standard eg repairs to the bodywork but also fitting TPWS etc so the best place for them was the scrapyard once Heathrow Airport didn't need them.

You are right about the Class 365s as it would have been nice to use them on Oxford to Milton Keynes and Cambridge as operated by East West rail but as electrification was descoped and there are newer EMUs available, that's a moot point now considering how each refurb has made the interiors worse each time since the end of WAGN and I'm using WAGN as the gold standard here, I can't say I personally miss the Class 365s and maybe it's their time to go on a one way trip to Booths.
 

Snow1964

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D6502 was Involved in the Itchingfield Junction collision, when 4 years old, was only class 33 withdrawn for about 20 years

Talking of the Southern, although built by BR, the Leader loco, and the 8 windowless Tavern cars should be mentioned. I think they got a subsequent live as restaurant cars.
 

AM9

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This thread has drifted away from the original question of which fleets didn't last long to references of individual vehicles that were scrapped after collision damage. On that basis, the class 66 that slipped off a dock crane whilst being unloaded would be a contender.
 

yorksrob

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Not a fleet as such, but some of the Bullied design SUB trailers that were inserted into the wooden bodied SUB's in the 30's (I think) can only have listed teen years or so in service.

Some were incorporated into EPB's of course and would have lasted nearer fifty, but not all I believe.
 

reddragon

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Not a fleet as such, but some of the Bullied design SUB trailers that were inserted into the wooden bodied SUB's in the 30's (I think) can only have listed teen years or so in service.

Some were incorporated into EPB's of course and would have lasted nearer fifty, but not all I believe.
I once did a lot of research on this. Whilst I easily found the destination of most of those trailers, the 4301-55 batch mostly vanished. At the same time a batch of Bulleid class 416s were built at a time of only BR standard builds. I assumed that these bodies were switched or coaches converted to the class 416 units.

## Remember ## locos are not rolling stock so off topic.
 

Taunton

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9499 was even shorter lived: 4 years 2 months (July 1955-Sept 1959).
Evening Star itself was of the same order. new in March 1960 I saw it dumped at Pontypool Road, rods off and looking unkempt, in what must have been spring 1964. Took a while to be "officially" withdrawn for preservation, but looked unlikely to have run again.

There have been various near-new locos lost in accidents. The head-on collision near Port Talbot between D1671 and D6983 in 1965 wrote off both locos only a few months old. The Great Eastern main line was unlucky twice with steam locomotives, which are particularly hard to damage beyond repair, especially new ones. A brand-new B12 was wrecked at Colchester in 1913, and in 1950 a similar misfortune just a few miles along the line befell a B1. The well-known Soham explosion WD 2-8-0 loco was also virtually new.
 

norbitonflyer

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This thread has drifted away from the original question of which fleets didn't last long to references of individual vehicles that were scrapped after collision damage. On that basis, the class 66 that slipped off a dock crane whilst being unloaded would be a contender.
Are you referring to 70012? I don't recall a class 66.

Disregarding one-off prototypes like "Lion" and DP2, loco classes that lasted ten years or less:
10 years - Class 16 (1958-1968) ten members
10 years - Class 21 (1958-1968) (58 members - twenty examples were converted to Class 29, see below)
10 years - Class 28 (1958-1968) twenty members (D5705 survived longer in departmental use, and was subsequently preserved)
9 years - D3/1 (D2900, (no TOPS classification) - (1958-1967) fourteen members
9 years - Class 17 (1962-1971) 117 members (D8521 was in "Departmental" use until 1978, D8568 is preserved)
9 years - Class 41 (D600 Warship) 1958-1967, five members
9 years - Class 74 (1968-1977) ten members, converted from Class 71, introduced in 1958
8 years - Class 29 (1963 (prototype)/1965 (the rest)-1971). Twenty members, converted from Class 21
6 years - D2/12 (D2510 class, no TOPS classification) (1961-1967), (D2511 preserved)ten members
6 years - Class 48 (1965-1971) five members, subsequently converted to Class 47 specification
5 years - Class 14 (1964-1969) 56 members

Others of interest
Class 22 (Baby Warships) 1959-1972, a similar lifespan to their diesel electric cousins (Classes 21/29) but as none of them received new engines they were not reclassified.
Class 23 (Baby Deltics) escape this list because two of them lasted until 1971, when they were twelve years old. However, during their short lives they were laid up for almost two years before being rebuilt.
Class 30. Introduced between 1957 and 1962, they had all been converted to Class 31 specification by 1969. I don't know if any individual examples lasted ten years in original condition.

The North British Locomotive Compony seems to be over-represented in this list, as they were responsible for six of the classes listed (D3/1, 16, 21, 22, 29, and 41). Paxman engines appear in five classes (Classes 14, 16, 29, 74, and all but two members of class 17)

Data from "Diesel & Electric Loco register" 2018 edition, published by Platform 5
 

gg1

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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
That was pretty standard for 50s and 60s diesel classes, of the 40 or so classes built in that period, probably 75-85% of classes had seen the first (non-accident related) withdrawal of a loco prior to it's 20th birthday.
 

norbitonflyer

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There have been various near-new locos lost in accidents.
Stanier Pacific 46202 was officially a 1952 rebuild from the experimental "Turbomotive" of 1935 but was essentially a new member of the "Princess Royal" Class. The other twelve members of the class had all been named after royal princesses. One of those princesses, Princess Elizabeth, had become the Queen earlier in 1952, but two years earlier she had conveniently arranged for a suitable name for the new (rebuilt) locomotive by giving birth to Princess Anne. Unfortunately the locomotive was destroyed in the Harrow disaster less than two months after re-entering service.
 

Mat17

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Class 101 vehicle E50173, delivered new in January 1957, written off October 1957.

So nine/ten months?
 

brad465

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The HS4000 Kestrel Diesel, complete in 1967, was only here for 4 years before being shipped to the USSR. It was scrapped in the 90s, but not sure how many years it actually operated for before then.
 

Taunton

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I once did a lot of research on this. Whilst I easily found the destination of most of those trailers, the 4301-55 batch mostly vanished. At the same time a batch of Bulleid class 416s were built at a time of only BR standard builds. I assumed that these bodies were switched or coaches converted to the class 416 units.
I believe that some of the early additional Bulleid trailers, although steel bodysides, still had timber and canvas roofs, which were disposed of early on. The batch of Southern-style 2-car 416s, built mid-1950s at the same time as the BR standard units, were new bodies built on the frames of some of the earlier electric cars which were being withdrawn at the same time, which themselves had been built in the 1930s from older pre-grouping wooden bodies being placed on new frames. The bodies were built to the older Bulleid style because the frames were a different length to the BR standard, so the jigs for the older style bodies were used.

Disregarding accidents, the diesel Co-Bos had very little active life, for although being "on the books" for about 10 years, most of that time was spent in store with various mechanical issues; there was at least one campaign rebuilding of them, but that had little effect.
 

DelW

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Stanier Pacific 46202 was officially a 1952 rebuild from the experimental "Turbomotive" of 1935 but was essentially a new member of the "Princess Royal" Class. The other twelve members of the class had all been named after royal princesses. One of those princesses, Princess Elizabeth, had become the Queen earlier in 1952, but two years earlier she had conveniently arranged for a suitable name for the new (rebuilt) locomotive by giving birth to Princess Anne. Unfortunately the locomotive was destroyed in the Harrow disaster less than two months after re-entering service.
46202 was arguably a class on its own, having significant differences from the other Princess Royals. In "The LMS Pacifics", J W P Rowledge describes the loco as "... a hybrid which had features of both the 'Lizzie' and 'Big Lizzie' classes - in effect a 6ft 6in version of the Coronation Class." It was in my view a better looking loco than its nominal sisters too, particularly in the position of the outside cylinders.

The Harrow accident was exactly eight weeks after the loco entered service. The damage was extensive, but in photos at least doesn't look significantly worse than that suffered by 46242 in the same accident, which was repaired.
 

geoffk

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Wouldn't class 92 get a look in here (even though many/most have been exported and are still in service?)
 

delt1c

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What about the original railbuses, very short lives. Then there were the Cravens units with Hydraulic transmission.
 
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