The Peel Godred Branch Line - Engines

Loey was anything but happy about being sent to Sodor - ‘a back water railway’ as he called it. But he delighted in being stronger than his two shed mates, and wasted no time in showing everyone who was boss. By means of a little luck and a lot of scheming, Loey saw his way through to the 1970’s in working order before his end finally came as part of the PG Regeneration Scheme.

Important Information

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: Peel Godred Railway, Sodor


MANUFACTURER: North Eastern Railway, Darlington
 

LOCO TYPE: NER Electric 2-Co-2 (EE1)
 

RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS Novel #2 - The Peel Godred Railway
 

DATE OF ENTRY: 1923
 

CURRENT STATUS: Scrapped, 1975

LIVERY: Light red and black lining of an unspecified French company 


CREATOR: Ian

About the Characters

The NER had built a prototype locomotive in 1922 (Number 13) for trialling in the North East of England, and so confident was the NER’s CME Sir Vincent Raven of the success of the class he arranged for a second to be built almost immediately. His initial plan was to ship the locomotive to France for trials, where the railway network was to be rebuilt following the Great War - it was even painted in a pale red base livery as Sir Vincent didn’t think the French would like the NER’s Apple Green! 


The French Government however had their own plans for locomotives and showed no interest in the engine - it was therefore stored in a shed at Darlington for 6 months, unnumbered and jokingly known as ‘Sir Vincent’s Folly’. As the original locomotive was barely being used either, it was finally agreed to sell the second one off to the Peel Godred line, for much less than it cost to build. It was far bigger than was needed for the Peel Godred line, but the fledging line had little option but to buy whatever it could get, especially as the NER was assisting in the construction of the new route.



On arriving on Sodor the engine was named, numbered, and put to work. Loey, as he became known, was disgusted with his new surroundings and complained bitterly that he had been built for ‘better things’ - indeed, he was far too strong and great an engine for the relatively small PG line to which he had been sent. He soon stopped complaining when he realised he was now top dog on the electric line and wasted no time in lording it over his two shed mates, causing great tension in the process.



Over the years the state of both the railway and locomotives declined, and as Loey became more temperamental there were plans for him to be withdrawn. Following a severe accident the railway’s number 2, ‘Polly’, was withdrawn instead and Loey kept on. But Loey was hiding a dark secret, as he had been instrumental in the accident that befell his former colleague.



Following the Peel Godred dam disaster in 1974, and subsequent closure of the line, Loey was used in the decommissioning of the ‘old’ style railway, but in his haunted state of mind his attempts to save himself by sabotaging the decommissioning trains led to a serious accident and his end.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

Number 13 was a prototype locomotive built for testing plans to electrify the main line from York to Newcastle. Although powerful and useful the plan was dropped following the ‘grouping’ of 1923.

From this date the locomotive was stored at various locations, finally being scrapped in 1950 and never having been able to fulfil its potential.

Dubbyn Moar - known as Maude - is without doubt the most depressing and miserable engine ever to grace Sodor. Wherever there is a down side to be seen, Maude will always be the first to spot it… and make sure everyone knows about it. 


But she can be feisty too, and once in a blue moon will stick up for herself, catching everyone by surprise!

Important Information

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: Peel Godred Railway, Sodor


MANUFACTURER: British Thomas-Houston
 

LOCO TYPE: ‘Improved’ NER Electric 0-4+4-0 (Bo-Bo) Shunter (see text)
 

RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS Novel #2 - The Peel Godred Railway

DATE OF ENTRY: 1923


STATUS: Withdrawn 1974; Cosmetically Restored 1975; Returned to Service 2005
 

LIVERY: NWR Blue, Red Lining
 

CREATOR: Ian

About the Character

Maude was constructed in 1923 by British Thomas-Houston as a special order for the Peel Godred line on Sodor, based on the NER Bo-Bo locomotives of 1905. Despite being the smallest of the three original electric engines, being a special order also made her the most expensive. Having seen earlier members of the class in action in the North East, the management thought one of their own would be ideal- as it turned out, this was completely wrong.


In many ways identical to the NER Bo-Bo’s, some differences between the two end products (such as a lack of any third rail power equipment and working on 1500V DC not 600V DC like her older sisters) saw the Sodor locomotive known as its own class- the ‘Sodor Electric Type 1’. When in 1945 the original locomotives, until then known as ‘0-4+4-0 Bo-Bo Locomotives’, were given the classification ‘ES1’ the Sudrian Locomotive was nicknamed the ‘SE1’ by the Peel Godred staff.

Having arrived painted in undercoat, she was given NWR blue and red and the words ‘PG Power Company’ on her sides. 
It was soon found that Maude was unable to haul the heavy freight services on the line and she was eventually entrusted with the regular passenger trips instead, a duty she took seriously and performed well.  Often overlooked by her shed mates, and largely due to loneliness, she became a most pessimistic, stubborn and depressing engine. She was soon won round by King Orry and was finally forming a bond with Polly when that engine was withdrawn after a severe accident. Maude became ever more reclusive and temperamental after this upset.


Her own time as a working engine came to an end when, while resting in the works yards, she was caught up in the dam disaster and severely damaged. She was removed from the railway and presumed cut up.

During the clear up operation of the dam breach, the Alumina company were working with the newly formed Sodor Environment and Rural Affairs Agency (SERAA) in making the area around the Aluminium Works and reservoirs into less of an eyesore, to encourage tourism and learning opportunities for younger visitors. A country park and information centre was set up around the reservoirs and dam, with the now out of service but cosmetically restored Maude taking pride of place in the museum- a new lease of life she detested with a passion.

Here she stayed for many years until being returned to service in 2005, following a bequest from the railway’s former manager Mr Walter Roach. Converted to run using the AC power, Maude has returned as a heritage electric to haul passenger services during the peak months to assist Shen Ven. But despite her second chance in life she’s no more cheerful than she was before!

Real Life Locomotive Basis

Maude was a one off locomotive built for Sodor, but is virtually the same as the NER Bo-Bo ES1 locomotives built at the start of the 20th century for use on the Newcastle Quayside branch. Given the rugged terrain of the PG line, it was thought such a locomotive would be ideal, but was soon found to be too small for the required work.

One survives and is part of the National Collection, currently based at Shildon.

Polly’s years on the Peel Godred railway were spent competing with Loey, the stronger and faster electric engine. By the time she calmed down and began to be a friendlier, more useful engine, a disaster struck that saw her withdrawn from service for good... but she left her mark on those she left behind.

Important Information

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: Shildon-Newport branch, North Eastern Railway
MANUFACTURER: North Eastern Railway, Darlington
LOCO TYPE: NER Electric Bo-Bo (EF1)
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS Novel #2 - The Peel Godred Railway
DATE OF ENTRY: 1923
CURRENT STATUS: Scrapped, 1966
LIVERY: NER Apple Green
CREATOR: Ian

About the Characters

Polly had worked on the Other Railway prior to coming to Sodor- having been built late in 1914, she was put to work with her sisters on the NER’s 18 mile long Shildon-Newport route. The class worked hard and well.
When news came of a new electric railway opening on Sodor, the NER agreed to sell one of its EF1 locomotives- they secretly hoped that in time they could sell the lot to Sodor and get new traction for themselves, but this plan never materialised.  The locomotive sent had never been named but was number 13 of the fleet (unusually this locomotive is often overlooked in history books detailing the class).

On reaching Sodor she was given a name and number- Poll-ny-Chrink, after a local reservoir, and put to service with Loey and Maude. Having worked trains before she soon set about her duties ably, but before long Loey’s strength and power outshone her own and a bitter rivalry developed.
Polly had the potential to be a really useful engine but her feud with Loey scuppered that. An attempt to derail Loey backfired and landed her in disgrace.


In the mid-1960’s, when Loey was due to be withdrawn, she suffered a brake failure while being pushed down hill by trucks, came off the line and was cut up on site. The terrible tragedy would haunt the railway and its surviving engines for many years to come.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

The NER’s EF1 type were built to work in the same region as the slightly earlier ES1, but were bigger and stronger and capable of hauling heavy trains on the 18 mile route to Shildon. 10 were built, but there was never really enough work for them all. During the Depression of the 1930’s the line was reverted back to steam traction. One was tried as a banking engine, another as a shunting locomotive at Newcastle docks, but in the end the fleet were withdrawn in 1950 without ever finding a suitable role in life. None of the class survives.

Despite his grand name King Orry is a down to earth engine who knows he was lucky to be built- but he won’t suffer fools gladly! Having arrived on Sodor as an extra engine, he did more to help long-suffering manager Mr. Roach than simply haul trains.

Important Information

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: Peel Godred Railway 
 

MANUFACTURER: Metropoliton Vickers, Gorton Works, Manchester


LOCO TYPE: LNER Electric Bo-Bo EM2 (Class 77)
 

RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS Novel #2 - The Peel Godred Railway

DATE OF ENTRY: 1953

CURRENT STATUS: Dispatched to Woodhead 1975; Withdrawn 1981; Returned to Service 2010 


CURRENT LIVERY: Original BR Black
 

CREATOR: Ian

About the Characters

In 1952/3 a new class of electric locomotive was being constructed for the Woodhead route between Manchester and Sheffield. 27 engines were planned, but with the benefits of AC traction over DC traction becoming apparent, the order was cut and only 7 entered service. However, an 8th was part was through construction when the order was cancelled, and this was subsequently finished and dispatched to Sodor to operate on the Peel Godred line. 



Named King Orry after the King of Sudrian folklore, Orry proved a godsend to the railway. Within a short time of his arrival he had finally ended the unfriendliness between Polly and Maude, and put Loey in his place. He made friends with the other Sodor residents and worked hard. 



When the line closed in 1974, he even helped with what work he could despite knowing he’d not be able to help on the new railway. As a thank you for his efforts, he was sent by the NWR to the Woodhead route to work freight services and the occasional enthusiast’s tours - passenger services having been withdrawn in the late 1960’s. For this duty, he was given NWR Blue and Red lining - the only time he would carry Sodor’s official livery. 




When this line closed for good in 1981 King Orry was returned to Sodor, despite offers from abroad to purchase him. The Aluminium Works, in their continued efforts to make the area around the site a visitor centre, housed him in the Visitor Centre museum for many years alongside Maude. 




Two attempts to restore him to service never got off the ground - finally, a restoration fund was launched in 2005 and he made a triumphant return to traffic in 2011. Converted to AC power using many parts from scrapped class 87 locomotives, he is able to assist with the day to day running of the line and has shown he is more than able to keep Kirk and Maude in order!

Real Life Locomotive Basis

The EM2’s (later class 77’s) were built to work express services on the Woodhead route. As in the above text the original order of 27 was later cut to 7 - the 8th locomotive which moved to Sodor never actually existed.
In 1969 they were withdrawn and shipped abroad having been sold to work in the Netherlands where they remained in service until 1986. Remarkably for such a small class three survive- 2 have been repatriated back to the UK and 1 remains in the Netherlands.

Abbey

Abbey

Cool and sensible with a dry sense of humour, Abbey is the matriarch of the Peel Godred line. Ensuring that everything is peaceful and happy, Abbey is quite content with her quiet lifestyle.

Important Information


RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: British Railways 
 

LOCO TYPE: AL6/ BR Class 86
 

MANUFACTURER: British Railways, Doncaster Works
 

RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #127 - The Electric Engines
 

DATE OF ENTRY: 1976
 

WHEEL ARRANGEMENT: Bo-Bo
RA: 6
BR 

NUMBER: 86050 

CURRENT STATUS: Operational
 

CURRENT LIVERY: Electric Blue
 

CREATOR: Chris Signore

About the Character

Abbey and Dane both arrived on Sodor in the late 1970’s as part of the first stage modernisation plan of the Peel Godred line. Until such time the line had relied on elderly and far less powerful electric traction, but the arrival of the two class 86 locomotives revolutionised the route. Almost overnight train lengths were doubled as the two engines strolled away with almost any train they were given, unfazed by the steep climbs and winding bends the line presented them with. Just as happy with passenger or goods work, the two engines found they preferred there life on Sodor to that of the Other Railway, once they had managed to befriend the engines on the Main Line.

Built at Doncaster Works by BR, 86050 entered service late in 1965, hauling express services from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Preston. Many of the class were modified in 1971 onwards with improved suspension and new wheels to reduce track damage, and these became the 86/1 and 86/2 types. Abbey however wasn’t so treated, the result being her increased and almost limited use on freight services from this time onwards. In 1976, two locomotives were purchased from BR for use on Sodor’s Peel Godred line; due to the fact that she was in need of repairs anyway and was limited to 80mph as an 86/0, Abbey was sold relatively cheaply. During a spell in Crovan’s Gate Works, her original BR Rail Blue livery was replaced with ‘Electric Blue’ and she finally received modifications to her wheel sets. Entering traffic alongside Dane, the pair revolutionised the line with their speed and power.

In 2003, following the Norton Bridge rail crash, some spares from the written off locomotives 86631& 86611 were purchased cheap in readiness for Abbey’s forthcoming, if overdue, overhaul. This overhaul was continually postponed as work continued on restoring E2 Maude. In 2009, Abbey suffered a terrible accident after a Driver’s error, and for a time her future looked bleak. It was thanks to line Manager Mr Groves and her friend Dane that money was found for her repairs, and she returned to service in 2010.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

The class 86 electrics, of which 100 were built, were the development of several years of experimentation with electric traction for the newly electrified West Coast Mainline; they incorporated all the best elements of the class 81 through to 85 that went before them. Several of the locomotives underwent modifications over the years; some were fitted with additional bogie springs and new wheels, some fitted to work with DVT’s, others had their ETH (Electric Train Heating) isolated due to increased freight work. By the early 1990’s the class saw much of their passenger duties handed on to newer traction, although some TOC’s did employ them post-privatisation. Most of those still in service today are part of the Freightliner organisation, with many more in storage. Four were exported in 2009/2010 and now work in Hungary.

Killdane

Dane

Dane is a sensible sort of engine who takes a no nonsense approach to his work. Once seen as a ‘new-generation’ express engine, Dane is sensible enough to realise that hauling freight on Sodor gives him a much better life than he would otherwise have had. On occasions he can be pompous or even foolish, but really he’s a most well-meaning engine.

Important Information

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: British Railways, WCML
MANUFACTURER: English Electric, Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows
LOCO TYPE: AL6/ BR Class 86 (86/2)
WHEEL ARRANGEMENT: Bo-Bo
RA: 6
BR NUMBER: 86262
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #127 - The Electric Engines
DATE OF ENTRY: 1976
CURRENT STATUS: Operational
LIVERY: NWR Blue with red lining, FYE
CREATOR: Chris Signore

About the Character


Abbey and Dane both arrived on Sodor in the late 1970’s as part of the first stage modernisation plan of the Peel Godred line. Until such time the line had relied on elderly and far less powerful electric traction, but the arrival of the two class 86 locomotives revolutionised the line. Almost overnight train lengths were doubled as the two engines strolled away with almost any train they were given, unfazed by the steep climbs and winding bends the line presented them with. Just as happy with passenger or goods work, the two engines found they preferred there life on Sodor to that of the Other Railway. 


Dane was part of the batch constructed by English Electric at the Vulcan Foundry, and after testing was dispatched to Birmingham for working express services on the newly electrified WCML. He was one of the first to be modified in 1969 with ‘Flexicoil’ springs, and further improvements in 1971 enabled him to run at higher speeds for passenger work. Although unconfirmed, it is thought Dane was one of the first locomotives to run between Preston and Glasgow following the electrification of this route in 1974. 




In 1976, two locomotives were purchased from BR for use on Sodor’s Peel Godred line. Three days before the deal was confirmed, Dane was withdrawn from traffic following a minor collision with a freight train near Warrington, and was subsequently sold ‘as seen’- despite not being the engine BR had agreed to sell! He spent several months being repaired and overhauled in Crovan’s Gate before entering traffic alongside Abbey.

 


Despite his increased use for freight work on the line, more so since the late-1980’s, Dane was generally happy with his life on Sodor, fully aware that his future would have been far less certain had he remained on the Other Railway. However, after a spell visiting the mainland in 2009/2010 as part of a fund raising drive for Abbey's repairs (during which he donned a temporary multi-colour livery) Dane found himself yearning to return to has true home and has been quite homesick ever since.


Real Life Locomotive Basis

The class 86 electrics, of which 100 were built, were the development of several years of experimentation with electric traction for the newly electrified West Coast Mainline; they incorporated all the best elements of the class 81 through to 85 that went before them. Several of the locomotives underwent modifications over the years; some were fitted with additional bogie springs and new wheels, some fitted to work with DVT’s, others had their ETH (Electric Train Heating) isolated due to increased freight work.
By the early 1990’s the class saw much of their passenger duties handed on to newer traction, although some TOC’s did employ them post-privatisation. Most of those still in service today are part of the Freightliner organisation, with many more in storage. Four were exported in 2009/2010 and now work in Hungary.

Shen Ven

Shen is a quiet, peaceful character who likes nothing better than doing a good job. Being a passenger-only unit, sometimes the other engines think he has limited usefulness, but the passengers like him and Shen makes it his aim for every journey to be better than the last.

Important Information


RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: British Railways, WCML 


MANUFACTURER: Pressed Steel Co Ltd, Scotland
LOCO 

TYPE: BR Class 303 EMU
 

FORMATION: DTSO+MBSO+BDTSO 
BR 

NUMBER: Unknown 
 

RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS Novel #2 - The Peel Godred Railway
 

DATE OF ENTRY: 1987
 

CURRENT STATUS: Operational
 

LIVERY: Light Blue, White and Yellow Band, White Roof
 

CREATOR: Ian

About the Character

Shen Ven is a 3 vehicle Electric Multiple Unit for work on the Peel Godred line, named after a mountain which the railway runs under. The two end vehicles are a pair of Driving Trailers Standard Open’s; the middle is a Motor Brake Standard Open which houses the electrical equipment.


In 1987, the Peel Godred line decided it could no longer rely on its two class 86 locomotives for both freight and passenger duties and the decision was made to seek a dedicated passenger vehicle. At around this time news came that some of the class 303 EMU’s formally working in Strathclyde were being sent to new duties in the Manchester area, and it was from Manchester that one was secured for trials.


The age and rundown condition of the unit raised concern with both management and passengers. Only the Fat Controller remained confident and after a full refurbishment to ‘as built’ condition, including repainting in original livery which earned the fleet the nickname ‘The Blue Trains’ and replacement of original ‘wrap-around’ windows on the Driving cabs, Shen Ven was welcomed warmly. This was shrewd move, as the unit soon attracted a modest fan following.

Following the full withdrawal of the 303 fleet on the Mainland in 2002, another entire unit was purchased and broken down for spares.
Now an important member of the Peel Godred fleet, Shen handles commuter trains and maintains the midday passenger services while the larger engines handle goods traffic to and from the Aluminium Works. Occasionally Shen is required on the Peel Godred to Wellsworth and Cronk through trains, which involves the unit being dragged ‘dead’ by engines of the NWR fleet; a duty he certainly doesn’t enjoy!

The British Rail class 303 EMUs were built in Renfrewshire, Scotland, by Pressed Steel Company Ltd. The first entered service in 1959 and replaced a multitude of steam locomotives and coaches. Painted in a striking blue livery, they earned the nickname ‘Blue Trains’. All with withdrawn by the end of 2002 but parts from two separate units were saved, giving one full ‘hybrid’ unit in preservation at the Bo’ness and Kinniel Railway.

Kirk

Kirk, while having a tendency to be hot headed and boastful, strives to do his best whatever work he is given. Having never hauled freight until his arrival on Sodor, he can be suspicious of trucks and is far happy hauling coaches - not that he often gets the chance

Important Information

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: British Railways, WCML 


MANUFACTURER: BREL, Crewe Works 
LOCO TYPE: BR Class 87


WHEEL ARRANGEMENT: Bo-Bo 
RA: 6

BR NUMBER: 87*** 
 

RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #127 - The Electric Engines

DATE OF ENTRY: 2004
 

CURRENT STATUS: Operational
 

LIVERY: Experimental Purple with FYE and yellow lining 

CREATOR: Chris Signore


About the Character

Constructed in 1973, Kirk (who didn’t receive his name until arrival on Sodor) was one of 36 locomotives used for London-Scotland expresses on the WCML. Both strong and fast, the class proved a success and despite being superseded by the Class 90’s of the late 1980’s still saw extensive use on passenger services. It was only following the introduction of the class 390 ‘Pendolinos’ in 2002 that the class was finally withdrawn; although problems with the 390’s saw the 87’s linger in service for a time. 




Many of the class were gradually exported for a new life hauling trains in Bulgaria; one of the few exceptions was Kirk. With an increase in traffic on the Peel Godred line, and the subsequent failure to purchase a third class 86, the Fat Controller decided to purchase one of the now redundant class 87’s. This came as a surprise to Kirk, as he had no idea such a line existed on the famous Island of Sodor. His desire to make himself and line famous led to some conflict with the other engines, and he soon learned that fame comes at a price. With some friendly advice from Abbey and Dane he settled down and is now generally a useful, if temperamental, engine.




Often a little too quick to take exception to the teasing of others and with a suspicion of both steam and diesel engines, Kirk struggled to make friends following his arrival. Kirk is also prone to bouts of jealousy, taking a disliking to the amount of attention received by Maude on her return to service. Following the return to traffic of King Orry using parts from lost class 87 electrics, Kirk took an instant disliking to him until the two engines became firm friends.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

With the electrification of the WCML north of Preston, BR required extra electric locomotives for its express passenger services. The Class 87’s were built in 1973-5 following trials with three modified class 86’s. They had increased power owing to the steep climbs over the line to Scotland, and were fitted for multiple working although this was modified in the 1980’s to allow use with a larger variety of classes and DVT’s. Following privatisation all but one entered service for Virgin Trains, but these were superseded by the arrival of the Class 390 Pendolinos in 2002 and subsequently all withdrawn by the end of 2005. The majority of the fleet was exported for work in Bulgaria, although many have since been cut up. Three have been preserved in the UK.