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Picture of the week: Diesel locomotive, 1957

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To celebrate the launch of our new railway photos section with over 3500 Creative Commons-licensed images from our collection, our staff are choosing some one of their favourite photos for this blog. Here’s Peter Thorpe, Search Engine Visitor Assistant:

This is a Brush Type 2 diesel, later to become known as the Class 31 and one of the many classes of diesel loco that were introduced as part of the British Railways Modernisation Plan of 1955. I like the image because it is the first Class 31, D5500, which now lives just below the Search Engine balcony in the Great Hall carrying its later number of 31018 – so everyone researching in Search Engine sees this engine.


Written by Mark Green

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  1. Brian Dominic

    Errr………… If it’s the picture of a man leaning out of a cab with a bonnet in the foreground (which is what I can see) that’s not a Class 31 – it’s some sort of shunter! Besides, Class 31’s were Diesel electric…………..

    1. Mark Green, NRM Web Producer

      Hi Brian – quite right, that was the wrong photo! Should be the right one now.

  2. Greg. Tingey

    They were originally called “Brush type 2”
    The photo is obvioulsy just outside LIverpool Street station, and it is probably a Cambridge express, or possibly an East Suffolk line train.
    At that time, the Norwich expresses were hauled by either “Britannia pacifics, or, later, “EE 4” (D200-series / class 40) locomotives.
    The leading coach appears to be a Gresley brake 3rd

  3. Greg. Tingey

    is my take on a Brush “2” ….Stratford MPD, 1963. Note the loco cleaners at work, the short-lived type “1” behind, as well as the EE”3″ & another Brush in the row.
    Now, this site is underneath the NW-end of the “Westfield” shopping centre, but I preferred it the way it was …..

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