British Rail Class 37: Wikis


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English Electric Type 3
British Rail Class 37
Class 37 in British Rail large logo livery at Muir of Ord railway station, 1988
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder English Electric at Vulcan Foundry and Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns
Build date 1960–1965
Total production 309
Configuration Co-Co
UIC classification Co'Co'
Gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) Standard gauge
Wheel diameter 3 ft 9 in (1.143 m)
Minimum curve 4 chains (80 m)
Wheelbase 50 ft 8 in (15.44 m)
Length 61 ft 6 in (18.75 m)
Width 8 ft 10½ in (2.71 m)
Height 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Weight 100 long tons (102 t) to 105 long tons (107 t)
except 37/7 and 37/9 class - ballasted to 120 tonnes[1]
Fuel capacity 890 imp gal (4,000 l; 1,070 US gal) increased to 1,690 imp gal (7,700 l; 2,030 US gal) on rebuild[1]
Prime mover Built: English Electric 12CSVT
37/9: Mirrlees Blackstone MB275Tt or Ruston RK270Tt
Generator Original:
Main: English Electric EE822, Aux EE911/5C
Rebuilt locos:
Main: Brush BA1005A alternator, Aux: Brush BA606A [1]
Traction motors English Electric [1]
Transmission electrical (DC traction motors)
Multiple working Blue Star
Top speed 90 mph (140 km/h)
Power output Engine: 1,750 bhp (1,305 kW)
Tractive effort Maximum: 55,500 lbf (247 kN)
Continuous: 35,000 lbf (156 kN) @13.6 mph (22 km/h)[1]
Train heating 37/0: Steam
37/4: Electric Train Heat
Remainder: None
Locomotive brakeforce 50 LTf (498 kN)
Train brakes Vacuum, Dual, or Air
Career British Rail
DB Schenker
West Coast Railway Company
Number D6700–D6999, D6600–D6608; later 37001–37308
Nicknames Tractor, also Syphon, Growler or Slugs[2]
Axle load class Route availability 5
except subclass 37/7 RA 7

The British Rail Class 37 is a diesel-electric locomotive. Also known as the English Electric Type 3, the Class was ordered as part of the British Rail modernisation plan.

The Class 37 became a familiar sight on many parts of the British Rail network, in particular forming the main motive power for Inter-City services in East Anglia and within Scotland. They also performed well on secondary and inter-regional services for many years. The Class 37s are known to railway enthusiasts as "Tractors",[2] a nickname derived from the similarity of the sound of the locomotive.





As part of the large scale dieselisation brought about by the British Rail modernisation plan a need was identified for a number of type 3 locomotives of power output 1,500 hp (1,100 kW) to 1,999 hp (1,491 kW). English Electric had already been successful with orders for type 1 and type 4 diesels, and had produced locomotives of similar power to that which was required for railways in East Africa. A design based on the exported locomotives was put forward and accepted.[3] The design was for a general purpose locomotive and initially found service in British Rail's Eastern Region.[4]


The Class 37 locomotives were built in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the order split between English Electric's Vulcan Foundry at Newton-le-Willows, and Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns of Darlington.[1] 309 locomotives were produced in total, originally numbered in the range D6700-D6999 and D6600-D6608. The bodywork bears a strong family resemblance to other English Electric designs such as the Class 40 and Class 23 'Baby Deltic'.


The class was designed for both passenger and freight work and was as much at home hauling heavy goods trains as it was on passenger services (indeed, in 1966 the Western Region even tried modifying some of its 37s for 100 mph (160 km/h) operation). Many of the original locomotives were fitted with boilers for steam heating. With the withdrawal of many Type 2 and Type 3 locomotives in the 1980s the 37s were selected as the standard Type 3 and many of the fleet were given a heavy overhaul to prolong their life into the 1990s and beyond. Some were fitted with electrical train heating (ETH) equipment in the 1980s to become the 37/4 sub-class, initially for use on the West Highland Line and Far North lines but later seeing use in other parts of the country.


A number of locomotives were rebuilt as Class 37/9 in the late 1980s to evaluate Mirrlees and Ruston engines for possible use on a new Class 38 freight locomotive. These 'Slugs' were heavily ballasted to improve traction and had excellent load-hauling capabilities, but the Class 38 (understood to be a 'modular' locomotive based on the approach that gave rise to the Class 58 and the unbuilt Class 88 electric loco) was never built.

Axle load

Class 37 Cab 37052

The Class 37 has a relatively low axle loading for its size and power. With the withdrawal of most of the smaller types of diesel locomotive, this left them as the only mainline type available in significant numbers for lines with weight restrictions, and for a number of years they handled almost all locomotive-hauled services on the West Highland Line, the lines north of Inverness (Far North Line) and in parts of Wales. The Class 37 has Route Availability 5 and this is one of the main reasons they are still in use on the network.

TOPS renumbering

D6884 would become 37 184 under TOPS renumbering

As with many diesel classes, the TOPS renumbering was implemented in a straightforward manner, with the locomotive numbers remaining in sequence. Thus 6701 became 37001 and D6999 became 37299; while D6600 - D6608 became 37300 - 37308. The remaining locomotive, D6700 became 37119 instead of D6819 which became 37283.[5]

D6983 had been withdrawn in 1965 following a collision with a Class 47, number D1671, in South Wales as the result of a landslip.[6]


In the 1980s the Class 37 locomotives were extensively refurbished - from that point 37/0 refers to the original version. The work took place at BREL in Crewe except for the 37/3 subclass whose bogies were replaced at various depots.[1]

Sub-class Description
37/0 Locomotives which remained unmodified after other sub-classes were created
37/3 Locomotives which were rebogied but not refurbished
37/4 Refurbished, rewired, English Electric generator replaced with Brush alternator, electric train supply (ETS) fitted
37/5 Refurbished, rewired, English Electric generator replaced with Brush alternator
37/6 Locomotives from Class 37/5 further modified with through ETS wiring and RCH jumper cables
37/7 Refurbished, rewired, English Electric generator replaced with GEC G564AZ or Brush alternator,[1] additional weight added
37/9 Refurbished, rewired, English Electric generator replaced with Brush alternator, new engines: Mirrlees MB275Tt or Ruston RK270Tt[1]

Class 37/0

Split headcode D6712 (later 37012) in British Railways green

This designation covered all 309 locomotives as built, but with such a large number of locomotives and with two companies involved in the building, there were several differences within this sub-class alone. The most visible external difference was that the first 119 locos had a "split" headcode box; for these locos the four digit Train reporting number was shown in two square boxes containing two digits and separated by a pair of doors designed to allow the train crew to be exchanged while in motion. Later locomotives had a single centrally placed headcode box, and also had the horns mounted on the roof rather than built into the nose of the locomotive. This difference was the reason for the double change in numbers when implementing the TOPS scheme described earlier.

Class 37/3

These locos were rebogied at various depots with the regeared Cast bogie frame type 'CP7 Bogie' (bogies from the English Electric Deltics, Class 50 and Class 37s are intechangeable), the fuel capacity was doubled (by using the redundant boiler water tanks) but no other changes were made.[7]

Class 37/4

EWS maroon 37/4 at Fort William

With ETH (Electric Train Heating) replacing 'steam heated' coaches, some of this class received ETH Supply when refurbished at Crewe Works during 1985 and 1986. During this refurbishment, the locomotives also received regeared CP7 bogies and the English electric generator was replaced with a Brush BA1005A alternator.[8] Extensive re-wiring, as well as a full repaint into BR Large Logo was undertaken. The modifications allowed the 're-built' locomotives to work passenger trains all year round, with the 31 strong fleet being split between Wales and Scotland, Scotland receiving the first 25 and Wales the next six.

After the extensive refurbishment, the locomotives were allocated the 37/4 sub-class, following the trend of renumbering 'ETH' fitted locomotives xx/4s, (e.g. 47 4xx and 31 4xx).

The next chapter saw the entire sub-class pass to Trans-Rail, which was one of the three regional freight operating companies prior to the privatisation of the entire British rail network.

Over the years, the locomotives have received a large number of liveries: BR Green, Regional Railways, Trainload Grey, EWS maroon, Trans-Rail, BR Large Logo and Intercity, to name a few.

The North Wales Coast Line, The Rhymney Valley Line, Fort William and Oban, South Wales Main Line, and the West Country have all benefitted from the use of the 37/4. They are currently operated by EWS and often find use on Railtours and aluminium traffic. EWS cycle 37/4s in and out of traffic on a regular basis, depending on demand.

Loco hauled operations have taken a big hit within the past couple of years, thanks to the widespread introduction of diesel multiple units, and the replacement of loco hauled trains by multiple units, although the sub-class did hold out on the Cardiff - Rhymney trains for Arriva Trains Wales until recently. 37411 and 37425 were painted especially to mark the end of loco hauled service on the line in April 2005, these repaints being funded by Arriva.

Class 37/5

This class were updated in similar fashion to the 37/4 subclass, except they did not receive Electric Train Heating and some were fitted with Sandite ports.

Class 37/6

Two 37/6 types

Eurostar (UK) Ltd. (at the time European Passenger Services) had twelve locomotives modified (all ex-37/5) as Class 37/6, with the intention that they would haul overnight international trains ("Nightstar") over the non-electrified sections of their routes in Britain. However, these services were never introduced, and, in 1997, Eurostar sold six of its locomotives to DRS, with a further three sold in 2000. The remaining three locomotives were retained by Eurostar for a variety of tasks, including driver training, route learning, and for rescuing failed Class 373 units. Once Eurostar moved its operations to its new depot at Temple Mills, its Class 37 locomotives became redundant and they were sold to DRS in 2007.

Class 37/7

Load-Haul liveried 37/7 type

The Class 37/7 is a sub-class of the Class 37, intended primarily for heavy freight.

Again, as part of the major refurbishment scheme of the Class 37 locomotives in the 1980s, another freight dedicated fleet of 44 Class 37s was created; the Class 37/7 subclass which was identical to the 37/5 subclass except for the addition of a ballast weight to give extra 'pulling power' when hauling heavy freight trains such as the metals trains in South Wales. Again, like the 37/5s, there were two batches completed; from phase 1 and phase 2 Class 37/0 locos. The batch numbered 37701 upwards were from phase 1 build locos and have the flush front ends and the batch numbered from 37899 downwards were rebuilds from phase 2 locos, having the central headcode box (plated over). A further complication was created; locos numbered 37796-37803 had a different type of electrical equipment fitted as part of a trial and differ from the other locos in the subclass internally.

When EWS introduced its 250 Class 66s from 1998, many of the sub-class were put into store. Some have since been involved in construction work in France and Spain building new high-speed lines. 15 were sent to Spain; an additional two were sent to Italy.

EWS has been selling off the sub-class. Four were purchased by West Coast Railway Company for overhaul and main line charters; these are 37706, 37710, 37712 and 37717. 37717 has since been sold for scrap while 37712 returned to traffic before a serious internal fire. 37706 is now the only operational 37/7 in the UK.

Class 37/9

In 1986, four Class 37s, numbers 150/148/249/124, were converted to test the Mirrlees MB275T engine and Brush alternator for the proposed Class 38, and were numbered 37901-4. These were followed in 1987 by 37905/6, converted from 37136/206, and fitted with the alternative pairing of a Ruston RK270T engine and GEC alternator. All six locomotives were fitted with new bogies, and had ballast weights to increase their overall weight to 120 tons. Although intended as a testbed for the Class 38, the two power units fitted were those considered for the Class 60, which was eventually delivered with an enlarged version of the Mirrlees MB275T.

All six Class 37/9s were delivered in Railfreight Grey livery and operated as part of the British Rail Heavy Metals sector, being based in South Wales and hauling trains normally rostered for the much more powerful Class 56 such as the Port Talbot Steelworks - Llanwern Iron Ore tipplers.[9] During the late 1990s, use of the Class 37/9s declined due to availability of the newer and more powerful Class 66s and problems maintaining such a small number of non-standard locos, with all six officially designated as being in storage in 1999.

This was not, however, the end of the sub-class. In July 2000, 37906 was designated as part of the EWS heritage fleet but has since been sold into preservation, joining 37901 and 37905. 37902 was sold to Direct Rail Services in 2003, but was scrapped and cut up in 2005 after a review by DRS. 37904 was cut up at Booths in Rotherham in November 2004 and 37903 was scrapped at Crewe Diesel TMD in April 2005.


British Rail

During the time of British Rail the Class 37s found use on both passenger and freight workings, being one of the mainstays of the BR fleet. While freight use was widespread, passenger work was predominantly in the Eastern Region with use on London - Norwich and Cambridge services, the latter through to the 1980's.

In the early 1980's the remaining steam-heat capable locomotives gravitated to Scotland replacing both Class 27's on the West Highland Line and Class 26's on the Far North and Kyle lines. The other notable use was of nominally freight locomotives to Aberystwyth over the Cambrian line, in this case taking over from Class 25's on the holiday trains.

From 1985 the 37/4 subclass took over on the Scottish lines although the use of original 37/0's continued in the summer when train supply was not required. The Welsh allocation in turn took over from the 37/0's on the Cambrian as well as from Class 33's on Crewe - Cardiff workings.

Over time they were displaced from most passenger work by new build DMUs such as the Sprinter units, though they still found work in the summer and on secondary services from time to time through the 1990's as traffic demand required. This saw use both on the North Wales Coast and, most remarkably, Cardiff - Rhymney local services through to 2006. The final daily work in Scotland was the Fort William sleeper train, this ending in June 2006.

Their freight work similarly reduced, being displaced by higher powered locomotives such as the Class 56 and Class 58 locomotives on coal trains, though they continued on other cargos such as oil tankers for longer.

Post privatisation

A Class 37 in Spain working for rail infrastructure company GIF

In the 1980s many locomotives were refurbished, which has meant the Class 37 fleet is one of the longest surviving classes on British railways. However, the introduction of new Class 66 locomotives has meant many 37s have been withdrawn or scrapped. EWS (English Welsh & Scottish) and Direct Rail Services operated small fleets, with several other examples also operated by spot-hire companies. However, second-hand Class 37s have also proved popular in the export market, with some examples operating in Spain and France (serving the construction of these countries' high-speed railway networks).

Direct Rail Services

Class 37/0 in DRS livery (1/06/2003)

As of January 2009, Direct Rail Services (DRS) operate around twenty-five Class 37s. They haul nuclear trains, and during autumn have also seen use on sandite trains on behalf of Network Rail. DRS locomotives tend to be used in pairs as a precaution in case one fails en route.

DRS also have several more non-operational Class 37s, which are in store, or undergoing overhaul. These locomotives are either at Brush Traction, Carlisle Kingmoor or Crewe Gresty Bridge.

A few of the DRS fleet of Class 37s have yet to return to traffic after being stored due to a lack of OTMR (On-board Train Monitoring Equipment).

English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (now DB Schenker)

EWS usually used Class 37s in pairs, for freight workings. Additionally EWS used the Class 37s on railtours or charter hire to train operating companies. For example, in 2005 Arriva Trains wales used 37/4 haulage on the Rhymney valley line, from a pool of four locomotives, these locomotives being 37405 (EWS livery), 37425 (BR Large Logo), 37411 (BR green livery), 37419 (EW&S livery), This loco replaced 37408 "Loch Rannoch" which was involved in a collision with parked stock at Rhymney sidings, which was suspected to be caused by vandals. 37408 suffered from severe extensive damage and was written off at Toton TMD with its power unit removed and used to revive 37422, its body was later scrapped at European Metals Recycling Kinsgbury.

By Mid 2008, only three Class 37s were still in regular use on the mainline (37401, 417 & 422). 37422 was placed in WNTS tactical store in September leaving only 37401 and 417 in traffic. On 16 December, 37417 failed and was sent to Eastleigh for storage, resulting in 37401 the only Class 37 to remain in traffic into the new DB Schenker era.

The former EWS, DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd. had one operational Class 37/4, 37401 at the time of its creation on 1 January 2009. DB Schenker also has hired locomotives for temporary duties, such as 37423 from Direct Rail Services (DRS) to cover for failed 37417. DB Schenker 37401 (and DRS's 37423) were on snowplough duty at Inverness for the winter months. 37401, DB Schenker's sole operational English Electric type 3, was reported sounding rough, and was later stored although this did not last long as it was soon sent to Toton TMD for repairs along with 37406 "The Saltire Society".

37401, DB Schenker's most reliable Class 37, was repaired and is currently back in mainline service. 37406 was returned to service, failing on its first working. 37670 was also returned operational.

37419 was prepared for a return to traffic and saw itself repainted into DB Schenker livery, However its long time in store didn't help its power unit and it failed with a serious engine fault on its trial run. The locomotive remains stored.

DB Schenker had the Largest route for Railhead Treatment trains for Autumn 2009 and required class 37 haulage due to their route availablility. Much speculation was surrounding the return of several class 37s, However, DB Schenker were eventually given clearance from Network Rail to use class 66s and 67s on the routes instead resulting in the 37 plan being ditched despite several of the machines having their air horns moved onto the nose for clearance issues.

37670, After numerous reliability problems surrounding this loco it was eventually stored towards the end of 2009 un-servicable.

37425 "Pride Of The Valleys" with the the failure of 37670 this meant that once again 37401 was the sole operational class 37 in active service under DB Schenker. To take the load strain off of 37401 , 425 was fitted with OTMR saftey equipment and was returned fully operational. The locomotive remains in BR blue Large logo livery.

West Coast Railway Company

The West Coast Railway Company (WCRC) purchased four locomotives from Ian Riley Engineering in 2004. The two operational locomotives (nos. 37197 and 37261) were used on charter trains, or as standby locomotives for "The Jacobite" steam-hauled excursion services from Fort William to Mallaig during 2005. These two, along with non-operational 37423, have since been sold to DRS. The fourth (no. 37235) was for spares.

In late 2007, WCRC purchased several non-operational Class 37/5 and Class 37/7s from EWS; No.s 37517, 37668, 37676, 37685, 37706, 37712 and 37710. Of the acquired locomotives 37710 will be used as a source of spares, only 37676 and 37712 have returned to mainline. 37676 was named 'Loch Rannoch' at a special event in Carnforth Steamtown. 37712 had returned to mainline but suffered a fire on an empty coaching stock move and was subsequently stored. It is known that major work will need to be done on 37712, however demand exists for chartered Class 37s.


Dilapidated 37079 at Barrow Hill

As of 2009, members of the class are still in mainline service despite some being 50 years old.

Network Rail ERTMS project

Network Rail are currently in the process of restoring four Class 37s as part of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) trial project on the Cambrian Line. The site of the restoration is the Barrow Hill Roundhouse, where ex-HNRC locomotives 37100, 37170, 37178 and 37217 have been taken in. The restored Class 37s for ERTMS use have been re-designated as Class 97/3, numbered 97301, 97302, 97303 and 97304.[10]

The class was chosen because of its original fitment with both air and vacuum braking, a feature which will allow it to pull both modern freight trains as well as steam specials. The main work of the locomotives will be to pull on track machines (such as tampers) through the ERTMS section.

As of October 2008, ex-37100/97301, ex-37178/97303 and ex-37217/97304 are in use on the network, with ex-37170/97302 still in the process of being refurbished. The 97/3s are to be based at the newly constructed Shrewsbury TMD for the duration of the ERTMS testing on the Cambrian Line.

More recently, 97301 fatally hit a car on a level crossing. The locomotive was working outside scheduled times due to the ERTMS testing on the Cambrian Line. The driver of the car was killed and the damage done to the locomotive has not yet been confirmed.

These locos are basically brand new, having been completely striped right down to bare steel, engines re-built, updated cabs and all new signalling systems(ERTMS in this instance) and completely re-wired.


Class 37 locomotives have proved to be very popular, with many examples saved for preservation on heritage railways or by enthusiast groups. Notable examples saved include the first-built locomotive, no. D6700, the last built locomotive 37308, Mirrlees-engined prototype no. 37901, and both Ruston-engined prototypes nos. 37905 and 37906.

Final Name Owner Location Notes or livery
D6700 37119 37350 National Railway Museum North Yorkshire Moors Railway First locomotive of class built.
BR Green
D6703 37003 37003 Class 37 locomotive group.[pre 1] Mid-Norfolk Railway BR Blue

Carried the nameplates First East Anglian Regiment but these were never unveiled (picture Railway Magazine Sept 1963 p667)

D6709 37009 37340 English electric preservation Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre Undergoing restoration. BR Green
D6725 37025 37025 Inverness TMD[pre 2] The Scottish Thirtyseven Group[pre 3] Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway BR Blue Large Logo. Restored in 2005[pre 2]
D6732 37032 37353 Mirage Private[pre 4] / Anglia type three association[pre 5] North Norfolk Railway BR Green. Undergoing restoration.[pre 4][pre 5]
D6737 37037 37321 Gartcosh Devon Diesel Society[pre 6] South Devon Railway[pre 6] BR Green
D6775 37075 37075 Private[pre 7] Churnet Valley Railway[pre 7] BR Blue
D6776 37076 37518 Private[pre 8] Nene Valley Railway[pre 9] Operational[pre 8][pre 9] Railfreight red stripe livery[pre 8]
D6797 37097 37097 Old Fettercairn Caledonian Railway Diesel Group[pre 10] Caledonian Railway[pre 11] In service[pre 11] BR Blue
D6799 37099 37324 Clydesbridge Privately owned - in custodianship of The Growler group[pre 12][pre 13] Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway[pre 13] Rail Blue. In working order 2000.[pre 13]
D6809 37109 37109 Bury Diesel Group[pre 14] East Lancashire Railway BR Blue
D6816 37116 37116 Sister Dora Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway[pre 15] Trans-Rail livery
D6823 37123 37679 Privately owned Northampton & Lamport Railway[pre 16] Currently undergoing long-term restoration. Railfreight 3 Tone Grey: Unspecified Sub-Sector
D6836 37136 37905 Battlefield Line Railway[pre 17] Railfreight livery, Rebuilt with Ruston engine[pre 17]
D6842 37142 37142 Bodmin & Wenford Railway[pre 18]
D6846 37146 37146 Stainmore Railway, Kirkby Stephen[pre 19] Light restoration, to be run in BR Blue livery[pre 19]
D6850 37150 37901 Mirrlees Pioneer Privately owned formerly Llangollen Railway[citation needed] since 2008[citation needed] at East Lancashire Railway[pre 17] Railfreight livery, Rebuilt with Mirrlees engine[pre 17]
D6852 37152 37152 Private[pre 20] Peak Rail[pre 20] InterCity Swallow livery, in working order (Sept. 2006)[pre 20]
D6869 37169 37674 St Blaize Church 1445-1995 Stainmore Railway, Kirkby Stephen[pre 19] Trans-Rail Grey livery. To be restored as D6869 in BR green[pre 19]
D6875 37175 37175 Privately owned Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway Painted in BR Blue in 2009
D6888 37188 37188 Private[pre 21] Peak Rail[pre 21] Undercoat Black
D6890 37190 37314 Dalzell Class Forty Appeal[pre 22] Great Central Railway Large Logo Blue (Eastfield)
D6906 37206 37906 Severn Valley Railway[pre 17] With Ruston RK270T engine. Railfreight livery[pre 17]
D6907 37207 37207 William Cookworthy[pre 23] Plym Valley Railway[pre 23] Under final stages of repairs (2008)[pre 23]
D6915 37215 37215 The Growler group[pre 12] Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway[pre 13] In working order 1998.[pre 13]
D6916 37216 37216 Private Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway[pre 24] Mainline Blue livery
D6919 37219 37219 Shirly Ann Smith[pre 17] Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway[pre 17] Mainline livery
D6927 37227 37227 Battlefield Railway[pre 25] under restoration
D6940 37240 37240 Llangollen Railway[pre 26] Working engine 2004, still under restoration[pre 26]
D6948 37248 37248 Loch Arkaig Privately owned - in custodianship of 'The Growler group'[pre 12] Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway WCRC Maroon livery
D6954 37254 37254 Driver Robin Prince MBE (named July 2009) Privately owned, maintenance funded by the '37254 fund'[pre 27] Spa Valley Railway Civil Engineers
D6955 37255 37255 Privately owned[pre 28] Great Central Railway[pre 28] Civil Engineers.
D6963 37263 37263 Dean Forest Railway[pre 17]
D6964 37264 37264 Tyseley Locomotive Works[pre 29] BR Large logo Blue
D6971 37271 37418 Pectinidae Privately owned East Lancashire Railway EWS
D6975 37275 37275 Barrow Hill Engine Shed[pre 17] BR Blue
D6976 37276 37413 Privately owned Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway Under restoration EWS
D6979 37279 37424 ST4[pre 7] Churnet Valley Railway[pre 7] Out of service. Transrail Grey
D6605 37305 37407 ST4[pre 7] Churnet Valley Railway[pre 7] Out of service. Transrail Grey
D6607 37307 37403 Isle of Mull Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway Under restoration. BR Green
D6608 37308 37274 Eastleigh Works[pre 17] BR Blue
Bolded engine number indicates current number carried by preserved locomotive
Built in 1962, finally withdrawn in 1996, and scrapped in 2004.[11]
Most members of this class were not preserved.


Class 37 loco 37069 (formerly Thornaby TMD) is reported to be haunted. The supposed manifestation is that of a driver who was killed when an object smashed through the window hitting him on the head killing him instantly. This incident is reported to have occurred whilst under the pre-TOPS identity of D6769. Reported incidents include the horn going off unexpectedly, the fire bottles discharging of their own accord and an unexplained feeling of not being alone in the cab. An apparition of the driver has been reported in the driving position.[12] The loco is in current operation under DRS.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h The Railway Centre - Class 37
  2. ^ a b Locomotive, DMU and EMU Nicknames
  3. ^ Class 37 English Electric Type 3 : (Background to original order)
  4. ^ 1,750HP Diesel-Electric Locomotives : New British Railways standard in type 3 power range (Copy of original English Electric technical pamplette giving technical specifications of the original design).
  5. ^ ENGLISH ELECTRIC CLASS 37 Renumbering the type 3s
  6. ^ Morrison, Brian (1981). The Power of the 37s. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. 
  7. ^ Rolling stock : class 37, English Electric/BR
  8. ^ The European Railway Picture Gallery Class 37/4 data sheet
  9. ^ Banks, Alan (December 2007). "Masterclass : BR Class 37/9s". Model Rail (Peterborough: EMAP active Ltd) (111): pp18–24. 
  10. ^ Class 97 Status, retrieved on 2008-09-13
  11. ^ Data from 37group data page
  12. ^ Screeton, Paul (2006) Crossing the Line: trespassing on railway weirdness : Heart of Albion, ISBN 1-8728-8396-6, pp. 26–28

Preserved locomotives

  1. ^ Class 37 Locomotive Group
  2. ^ a b Scottish Railway Preservation Society Diesel Group: 37 025
  3. ^ Scottish 37 Group
  4. ^ a b 37032 (D6732)
  5. ^ a b Class 37 D6732 (37032) Midland and Great Northern joint railway society
  6. ^ a b BR Co-Co D6737 (37 037 Loch Treig)
  7. ^ a b c d e f Churnet Valley Railway locomotives
  8. ^ a b c 37518 (37076, D6776)
  9. ^ a b Nene Valley Railway Rolling Stock
  10. ^ 37097 "Old Fettercairn"
  11. ^ a b Caledonian Railway subsection Stocklist
  12. ^ a b c The Growler Group
  13. ^ a b c d e Gloucester Warwickshire Railway - Locomotives (subsection 'diesel')
  14. ^ East Lancashire Railway diesel loco fleet
  15. ^ Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway (Stock list)
  16. ^ Type 3 CLASS 37 Nº 37679
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Fleet status :UK locomotive database - subsection "31-37"
  18. ^ 37142
  19. ^ a b c d Diesels at Kirby Stephen East, Stainmore Railway company kirbystepheneast
  20. ^ a b c 37152 peakraildiesels
  21. ^ a b 37188 peakraildiesels
  22. ^ 37314 Class Forty Appeal
  23. ^ a b c 37207 "William Cookworthy" also
  25. ^ An Introduction to the Battlefield Line Railway - Loco's - diesel
  26. ^ a b THE 37240 WEBSITE (subsection History)
  27. ^ The 37254 fund : about us
  28. ^ a b Locomotives of the Great Central Railway : 37255
  29. ^ Locomotives based at Tyseley


  • Marsden, Colin J. (1981). Motive power recognition:1 Locomotives. Shepperton: Ian Allen Ltd. ISBN 0 7110 1109 5. 
  • Preedy, Norman E; Ford, H L. BR Diesels in Close-Up. Truro: D Bradford Barton Ltd. 
  • Williams, Alan; Percival, David (1977). British Railways Locomotives and Multiple Units including Preserved Locomotives 1977. Shepperton: Ian Allen Ltd. ISBN 0 7110 0751 9. 

External links

Simple English

English Electric Type 3
British Rail Class 37
File:Muir of Ord railway station in
Class 37 in British Rail large logo livery at Muir of Ord railway station, 1988
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder English Electric at Vulcan Foundry and Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns
Build date 1960–1965
Total production 309
Configuration Co-Co
UIC classification Co'Co'
Gauge ft 8+12 in (1,435 mmstandard gauge
Wheel diameter 3 ft 9 in (1.143 m)
Minimum curve chains (80 m)
Wheelbase 50 ft 8 in (15.44 m)
Length 61 ft 6 in (18.75 m)
Width 8 ft 10½ in (2.71 m)
Height 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Weight 100 long tons (102 t) to 105 long tons (107 t)
except 37/7 and 37/9 class - ballasted to 120 tonnes[1]
Fuel capacity 890 imp gal (4,000 l; 1,070 US gal) increased to 1,690 imp gal (7,700 l; 2,030 US gal) on rebuild[1]
Prime mover Built: English Electric 12CSVT
37/9: Mirrlees Blackstone MB275Tt or Ruston RK270Tt
Generator Original:
Main: English Electric EE822, Aux EE911/5C
Rebuilt locos:
Main: Brush BA1005A alternator, Aux: Brush BA606A [1]
Traction motors English Electric [1]
Transmission electrical (DC traction motors)
Multiple working Blue Star
Top speed 90 mph (140 km/h)
Power output Engine: 1,750 bhp (1,305 kW)
Tractive effort Maximum: 55,500 lbf (247 kN)
Continuous: 35,000 lbf (156 kN) @13.6 mph (22 km/h)[1]
Train heating 37/0: Steam
37/4: Electric Train Heat
Remainder: None
Locomotive brakeforce 50 LTf (498 kN)
Train brakes Vacuum, Dual, or Air
Career British Rail
DB Schenker
West Coast Railway Company
Number D6700–D6999, D6600–D6608; later 37001–37308
Nicknames Tractor, also Syphon, Growler or Slugs[2]
Axle load class Route availability 5
except subclass 37/7 RA 7

The British Rail Class 37 is a diesel-electric locomotive. It is also known as the English Electric Type 3. The Class was ordered as part of the British Rail modernisation plan.

The Class 37 became a familiar sight on many parts of the British Rail network. They were on Inter-City services in East Anglia and within Scotland. They also performed well on secondary and inter-regional services for many years. The Class 37 is known by railway enthusiasts as a "Tractor". This nickname came from the similarity of the sound of the locomotive.



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