If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Hypothetical question about EM1/2 Woodhead electrics

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by Cartman, Jan 1, 2023.

  1. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Messages:
    2,290
    Likes Received:
    1,672
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Van driver
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The Woodhead route was electrified at 1500v dc, and the Manchester metrolink and Tyne and Wear metro have the same voltage ohle.

    In theory, would it be possible to run an EM1 (26020) or one of the preserved EM2s on a section of either of these systems? Not the street running sections obviously, but one of the ex BR parts, like Manchester to Bury or the MSJA to Altrincham?
     
  2. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    25,727
    Likes Received:
    24,334
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I think you might find issues with loading gauge in Manchester, as the platforms were changed. As light rail schemes, weight limits might also be a blocker. Current draw might also be a question, depending on the supply to the railway.

    It might be more practical between Pelaw and Sunderland, which is main line loading gauge and axle weight, but I’m not sure I’d get out of bed for that short stretch of semi urban crawl.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Bluenosejohn likes this.
  3. Romsey

    Romsey Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,631
    Likes Received:
    1,649
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired SPM
    Location:
    Close to Spike Island
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Axle load would definitely need to be considered for any movement on a pure light railway as would gauge clearances. Current consumption would be less of a problem as long as they didn't do much more that potter in series and low power.
    As none of the electrical equipment has been energised for at least 30 years on the EM2's and longer for 26020, it would need considerable checking and testing before any serious power was applied.
    Get it wrong and there could be an electrical fire and possibly a former Woodhead electric loco....

    Having just read the book on the Woodhead line by Alan Whitehouse and S.R. Batty I would love to see them in action and regret not spending more time photographing the route. I didn't realise how sophisticated the regenerative braking was on the EM1 and EM2 locos, nor how they completely revolutionised traffic over the line. A few years earlier and 1500dc would have spread over much of the network. A few years later and the line would have probably been rebuilt as 25kV ac.

    Cheers, Neil
     
    Richard Roper and Cartman like this.
  4. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,449
    Likes Received:
    11,798
    Occupation:
    Nosy aren’t you?
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Bit random but you mentioned how revolutionary they were, didn’t they Woodhead electrics have a phone system that used the overhead equipment? Or am I imagining that one?
     
  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    9,218
    Likes Received:
    7,275
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I certainly did at least one trip on the Manchester/Glossop/Hadfield EMU's
     
    Cartman likes this.
  6. Romsey

    Romsey Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,631
    Likes Received:
    1,649
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired SPM
    Location:
    Close to Spike Island
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    That was on the locos fitted with multiple unit operation and train air brakes for the mgr services in the 1970's. Presumably a carrier frequency over the traction current cables and overhead. Think they were about as clear as the Loudafone equipment on SR emu's.
    Before that traditional whistle codes were used for the bankers assisting between Wath and Dunford Bridge and intermediate points. #

    Cheers, Neil
     
  7. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Messages:
    2,290
    Likes Received:
    1,672
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Van driver
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I did three on them, in 83 and 84, while I was doing some Manchester area route bashing. Incidentally, my summer 83 trip was the only time I ever saw any EM1s, a row of about 6 or 7 parked up in Ashburys yard awaiting disposal. Another thing I've heard us that 76015 was kept in working order after withdrawal at Reddish depot who used it as a depot shunter, probably unofficially, until the depot closed in 83.
     
  8. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,337
    Likes Received:
    2,143
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Carriage & Wagon
    Location:
    Sheringham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Given Class 37's have run ballast trains on the Bury section of Metrolink in recent years, then I'd say this was actually at the less ludicrous end of the WIBN spectrum!

    Sent from my moto g(8) power using Tapatalk
     
  9. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Messages:
    2,290
    Likes Received:
    1,672
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Van driver
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    And
    And a J94 did as well
     
    GOEdwards and MellishR like this.
  10. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    8,260
    Likes Received:
    5,273
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Freelance photo - journalist
    Location:
    Southport
    Whilst the OHLE system was the same I would think that the power draw of the EM1 / EM2 would be greater than the Metrolink allows hence - whilst fanciful - I suspect their power output would need to be drastically uprated before EM1 / EM2 traction could be hosted.
    I have taken images of both Class 03 and Class 37 at work on the network and recall that Class 60 have visited the ELR on Metrolink Civil Engineering duties but cannot recall if they actually operated on the lines emanating from Bury.
     
    Cartman likes this.
  11. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Messages:
    2,290
    Likes Received:
    1,672
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Van driver
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The 37s and J94 did run on the line from Bury as far as Besses I think
     
    GOEdwards likes this.
  12. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    257
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    8F
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    60's certainly operated on the Metrolink south from Bury. One at least got well further than Besses (albeit with the overhead power off) but came back with some severe scratch marks on the roof.
    From memory MSC loco 32 Gothenburg (running as Thomas) went to Queens Road from the ELR by rail for an open day, and there are rumours that it made Manchester Victoria with the then Metrolink MD (and later ELR GM) driving.
     
    alexl102, GOEdwards and Cartman like this.
  13. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,449
    Likes Received:
    11,798
    Occupation:
    Nosy aren’t you?
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    One of Mr Needles 03 shunters made it as far a Manchester Victoria a few years ago interesting piece on it in Traction Mag with the comment about how much paperwork would have been needed if it ran on the other side of the station…
     
    Cartman likes this.
  14. majorsmallpiece

    majorsmallpiece New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    57
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Metrolink is a 750V DC system. As to running on any of the Tyne & Wear system not a chance as the substations and their circuit breakers are designed and operated in such a way to suit the traction and auxiliary system characteristics of the metro cars and not a heavy locomotive with considerable amounts of auxiliary equipment; also you have to install tpws, judicial data recorders, gsmr, on the locomotive.
     
  15. alexl102

    alexl102 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2019
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    314
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen video footage of 32 at Victoria but I have no idea how I’d find it!
     
  16. Phill S

    Phill S New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    109
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    As stated, isn't Metrolink 750 DC? Assuming they run on basic rheostatic control, that might not be a huge issue if you don't want to go fast. EATM run their 550 DC trams on 110V DC for shunting in and out the depot. Auxillary equipment might need tweaking/swapping out though.

    Of course, this allows even greater wibble. Remember the scheme to run Metrolink over the East Lancashire railway? Well, imagine it double tracked, wires everywhere, power supply beefy enough to take EM1s and 2s, the Class 71 and any third rail stock someone can nail a pantograph on the roof of...froth, gibber, etc.
     
  17. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,229
    Likes Received:
    1,488
    Well, if that's the sort of wibble you like, can I describe a parallel universe in which the GCRN in 1990 decided to push north through the former Ruddington station instead of taking the "easy option" of going south (with the awkward reversal but using existing track and with the promise of some revenue-earning freight; yes I can see why they did that) (quite apart from which the route north was never offered to them at the time). Had they been able to do so, then by the time someone thought about running a tram to Clifton they would have established rights over the trackbed. At that time they could have agreed to give the trams running rights so long as they were dual-voltage trams with the GCRN section electrified at 1500V d.c... then we could have had EM1/EM2 locos swapping with steam at Ruddington and operating up to the Trent.
    Maybe in this parallel universe they may have stepped in and saved the class 506 EMU as well. :-(
     
    weltrol, Mrcow and GOEdwards like this.
  18. olly5764

    olly5764 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,887
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Normally in a brake van somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think your best bet would be to hope for the Dutch railways to allow their preserved one to stretch her legs over there again
     
  19. Mrcow

    Mrcow Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    543
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    With all your wrong side of Pennines centric thinking you're ignoring the fact that the Woodhead electrified route to Tinsley yard is electrified at 750vdc through Darnall here in Sheffield. Disapointingly they changed to lightweight overhead instead of keeping the proper 1500vdc stuff like they did around Manchester.
     
    pmh_74 likes this.
  20. Mrcow

    Mrcow Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    543
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page