Class 40 mileage. "The under 10 club" and more!

Reading the Class 40 society magazine "Whistler" or on several web forums you will read of some who did vast mileages on 40's day in, day out. This would include impressive service train moves  from Carlisle to Stranraer,  Glasgow to  Aberdeen,  Scarborough - Llandudno,  Newcastle - Kings X and more...

I too chased 40s a bit, in the late 70s in particular and then as and when.  Living in Leighton Buzzard was not a position of strength for a class whose main power base was the North West,  North East and Scotland. Many railtours featuring class 40's were to start from London termini making raking up the mileage a lot easier...

Looking back at my class 40 haulage records recently it amused me to see that 6 of the 76 40's i had were in the "under 10 club" for total mileage !

40047  0810 Birmingham-Edinburgh 1.24miles  September 1st 1977

Spent several hours doing Edinburgh - Haymarket and back as i needed everything. 40047 was on a portion, Haymarket - Waverly being my only ever move behind this machine.

40120  Crewe-Ebbw Vale Railtour  6.5 miles March 11th 1978

Seriously desperate. Was resident in Swansea at the time so that my excuse for a hide in bog

Cheltenham - Gloucester "ng" move on the  F && W "Gwent Valley Invader". My only 40120 leap. 


40069  1M71 0855 York/Sheffield-Llandudno       4.12 miles September 5th 1981

The lunchtime 40 procession along the coast meant a  next station Colwyn Bay - Llandudno Jn 4 mile "bus stop" move on 40069 and that was that for me on 40069. Pathetic!

050981400690855ykllr.jpg 40069 at the junction after a short move from Colwyn on September 5th 1981.

40077  1M59 0908 Scarborough-Llandudno          1.23 miles September 5th 1981

Again a lunchtime procession move but this time from Llandudno Jn to little Deganwy! We hoped the train behind to take us to Llandudno would also be a 40, it was a DMU. So a meagre 1.23 miles behind 40077. To date this was my only leap at Deganwy, although you can do it loco hauled on the "Paupers WAG" in 2016.

40077  1M71 0900 York-Llandudno           4.12 miles  August 21st 1982

Mileage on  40077 increased to a total over 5 a year later! This again was the lunchtime procession although this was the last year of many 40 hauled holiday trains.  Colwyn Bay- Llandudno Jn having to do with so much other power around.

40015 1M16 1930(30/5) Inverness - Euston 2.84 miles May 31st 1982

47534 collapsed attempting to leave Coatbridge and the driver got out and kicked the loco's bogies in disgust! Rescue came from 40015 for a short propel assist to Mossend for a "roarer" forward. Again my only move behind 40015.

40198  1E86 0900 Llandudno-York            7.33 miles 210882

40198 was a rare Eastern very "nb" 40 and it was tempting to stay on to Chester with many other 40 bashers, but there were more coming the other way. So a Llandudno - Colwyn Bay move was my only ever move behind this "monstrous" 40.

21089240198webr.jpg  The rare Eastern 40198 awaits departure time from Llandudno on August 21st 1982

The over 10 club..

Likewise,  there were 6 40's i had reasonably high mileage behind, with railtour favourite 40122 and later 40145, not forgetting 40028, 40050 and 40181.

40050  1740 Edinburgh-Inverness  Perth - Inverness 118.18 miles September 7th 1977

40050  1740 Edinburgh-Inverness Perth - Inverness 118.18 miles September 8th 1977

40050  0815 Inverness-Glasgow  Inverness - Perth 118.18 miles September 10th 1977

40050 was sampled both on Eastern overnights and on Pennines, but 3 "Highland line" runs on a September 77 "freedom"  stay sharp  in the memory.  As the dusk fell on the mountains and pockets of mist rose over the burns and lochs,  40050 or any other 40 in full cry on the Highland main line took some beating, class 40 mileage at its best for me.

40122 was required by many of us in the early 80s after her 2 year absence in store and eventual high profile reinstatement as "the queen of green". Many tours featured 40122, so she probably remains the highest one for many, although 40145 may come closer.

Personal sample 40122 BR tours listed (not comprehensive) below,  most  great fun,  though like many i flagged the final farewell, an overpriced last "pomposity/mealex" that took her to the NRM for retirement.    

40122  0630 Stafford-Carlisle-Railtour  280.25 miles April 7th 1984

The "Knotty Northern Circular" tour took 40122 from Leeds to Leeds via the S n C, Newcastle and York with a fast run Darlington - York.

07048440122hellir.jpg 40122 approaches Hellifield with the "Knotty" tour, 070484


40181} 0725 Kings X-Newcastle Railtour 463.5 miles October 27th 1984



The "Tyne Tees Boggard" took 40122 and 40181 from Toton to Newcastle, Hartlepool and back to the Cross

40122 1Z25 1700 Cardiff-Wick Charter 305.22 miles May 3rd 1985

40122 1Z25 1649 (4/5) Wick/Thurso-Cardiff Charter 366.46 miles May 5th 1985

RESL's "Sutherland Highlander" took 40122 from Derby - Edinburgh and from Springburn to Leicester on return.


05058540122r.jpg 40122 at Sheffield, 050585


40122  0735 Kings X-Perth Railtour 186.51 miles August 9th 1986

40122  2330 (9/8) Perth-Kings X Railtour  135.27 miles August 10th 1986

The "Fair Maid of Perth" tour took 40122 from Leeds to Carstairs via Beattock! and Carstairs - Newcastle on return

40122} 1447 Carlisle-Falkirk Railtour 17.63 miles March 14th 1987



An unusual and very enjoyable SRPS tour that also featured class 27 and 47 traction but was primarily a "kettlex".  40122 as requested by the SRPS piloted  the kettle Carlisle - Annan. This was the last hours of class 25 in BR service and 25057 was stabled at Carlisle.  Many wanted the rat to do the tour!!!

40122  1014 Liverpool St-Norwich Harwich Railtour 194.39 miles May 9th 1987

40122  1910 Norwich-Liverpool St Railtour 115 miles May 9th 1987

The "Anglian Diesel Farewell"  tour was a stomp round D200's old GE haunts that she worked in the late 50's. Liverpool St-Kings Lynn. cross country to Harwich and a final fast run Norwich - Liverpool St, a good tour

09058740122kl.jpg 40122 at Kings Lynn, 090587


40122} 0612 Taunton-Liverpool Railtour   (via Euston, Leeds)   292.3 miles   March 12th 1988

Ethel 3}


 40122 was being repainted and overhauled to museum standards at Stratford in March 88. Unfortunately a dispute here saw her turned out in poor condition mechanically and still in grey undercoat. With an "Ethel" in tow for heat she staggered all day. A steady WCML run from Euston where 47332 assisted Stoke - Stockport but at least the drivers gave it a go with the 40 unassisted over the Pennines that day.


40122  0735 Euston-Holyhead Railtour (ex Crewe) 272.65 miles April 2nd 1988

40122,  now in a new coat of green and running nicely made a farewell storm along the Coast plus a noisy climb to Blaneau on the epic "Tubalar Belle" railtour. As 40122  she was replaced at Crewe, for the "roarer" home,  to be honest it was a bit emotional,  as for most, it was our last ever BR run on the old girl that had out lived most of the other class members by 3 years.

and then it was preservation for some 40's plus  mainline running behind 40145 to enjoy ..............


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