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Dovetail Games - TSW
During the 1950s, British Railways embarked on an ambitious modernization plan that aimed to replace steam locomotives with new diesel-powered traction. In line with this plan, Brush Traction developed the Type 2 locomotives. These locomotives were specifically designed to fulfill the role of providing 1000-1499 horsepower, making them suitable for operating lower-priority passenger and freight trains.
Initially introduced in the Eastern Region, the Type 2 locomotives quickly found utility across the country as the fleet expanded in size. With the implementation of the Total Operations Processing System (TOPS), the locomotives were officially classified as the BR Class 31. This classification system provided a standardized way of identifying and managing locomotives within the British Railways network.
The BR Class 31 locomotives played a significant role in the transition from steam to diesel power during this period. They served various regions and were commonly used for less demanding rail services.
Throughout their production period, multiple subclasses of the Class 31 locomotives were developed to incorporate technological advancements. However, the standard configuration was the 31/1 variant. These locomotives featured steam heating boilers, headcode displays on each cab, and the ability to work in conjunction with other diesel locomotives. The 31/1s were primarily deployed for secondary passenger services and lighter freight traffic. In freight operations, it was common to pair them up to mitigate their lower power rating, which made them susceptible to wheel slippage.
The fleet of Class 31 locomotives comprised a total of 263 units, which were allocated to 12 different depots across England. One notable depot was Thornaby Depot, where the 31s were tasked with handling trains along the Tees Valley Line.
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