31435 (31179, D5600)


D5600 was built by Brush Traction in Loughborough and released for service on 24th March 1960 and allocated to Hornsey Shed (34B). Originally built with a Mirlees 12 cylinder power unit and known as a Class 30 under TOPS (Total Operations Processing System), however the Mirlees power units were unsuccessful and in 1964 a programme of works commenced to re-engine the fleet with English Electric 12SVT engines. D5600 was renumbered to 31179 on 1st January 1973.


As mentioned above D5600 was initially allocated to Hornsey (34B) where it spent all of a month, it then moved around various depots throughout its mainline career which included; Finsbury Park (34G) from 30th April 1960 for just under a year, then March(31B) on 14th January 1961 until 23rd April 1966 when it moved to Immingham (40B) for a short while, then back to Finsbury Park (34G) on 6th August 1966 - during which time it was re-classified from class 30 to class 31. It then moved to York North (55B) on 9th September 1971, then on 6th October 1973 back to March Depot(MR) where it was renumbered 31179 on 31st December 1973. Depot allocations between 1973 and 1995 are currently unknown.

31179 (D5600) would have been used on a variety of passenger and goods trains during its career but in 1980 the class 31s were to be used as a stop gap to replace the aging first generation DMU's (Diesel Multiple Units), during the classes last general heavy overhaul 44 of the class were to have ETH fitted (Electric Train Heat) at Doncaster works. 31179 was one of the 44 class 31s fitted with ETH, the 44 class 31s were allocated a sub class of 31/4, 31179 was renumbered 31435 on 21st February 1984. Following ETH being fitted 31435 would of gone on to work cross country passenger trains of typically 4 to 6 coaches between liverpool, Hull, Cleethorpes, and also between Birmingham, Norwhich/ Harwhich. It was also not uncommon to find a class 31 hauling passenger trains over the Settle to Carlisle line. Eventually the modern day 'Sprinter' took over which effectively rendered the class 31s surplus to requirements and by this time life expired, significant withdrawals took place in the 1990s but a limited number still operate today on the mainline, and many in preservation.

31435 was allocated to the WNZX pool (EWS - Condemned Main Line Locos for Withdrawal - All Classes) on 1st November 1995, it would of then most likely of been stored (location unknown) until 31st December 1999 when it was sold to a private individual. 31435 moved from its final storage location on the mainline to the East Lancashire Railway where it was repainted from 'Dutch Civil Engineers - Grey and Yellow' into 'All over BR Green' and its original number of D5600 was applied. Later down the line in 2005 the yellow warning panel was added to each end. In September 2007 D5600 attended the Northern Rail Newton Heath Depot open day where it was named 'Newton Heath TMD'.

Following the Newton Heath open day D5600 came to the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway to join the owners other locos, it has run at several galas, and although there are no ETH coaches at Embsay it has still proved a useful alternative when 31119 has been out of service for maintenance or repairs. During its time at Embsay D5600 has had full yellow ends applied, this is a temporary measure mainly due to the worn paintwork, it is planned to give D5600 a full repaint soon... details to follow.

D. Ferguson


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