Gloucester from 1967

Organisational Changes 

A change in train reporting numbers occurred as a result of the merging of the Eastern and North Eastern Regions in April 1967. The ‘N’ previously used for trains terminating in the North Eastern Region was replaced by ‘E’. As an example the 10.30am Bristol to Newcastle train became 1E30, previously being 1N70.

In May 1973, BR introduced a new series of depot codes using two letters replacing the old BR regional number-system with suffix in use since 1948 that had been based on LMS practice. This would result in the final abolition of the BR Regions, an inheritance from the pre-nationalisation time of the ‘Big Four’, and its replacement with an organisation based on territories. Thus, Gloucester Horton Road (85B) became GL, although by this time GL’s allocation consisted of only a handful of diesel shunters.

New Gloucester shedcode

In addition, a new numbering scheme was introduced for diesel and electric locomotives. The old numbering system had consisted of a four-figure number with a letter prefix denoting whether the locomotive was diesel (D) or electric (E). The table below summarises the principles of the reclassification:


Pre-1973 numbering range Power classification New class numbering range 
Between D1 and D1999 Type 4 Class 40 to 53
Between D2000 and D4999 Shunters Class 01 to 10

Between D5000 and D6499,

and D7500 and D7999

Type 2 Class 22 to 31
Between D6500 and D7499 Type 3 Class 33 to 37
Between D8000 and D8999 Type 1 Classes 17 and 20
D9000 onwards Type 5 Class 55
D9500 onwards Type 1 Class 14
Between E3000 and E3399 AC Electric Class 81 to 86
Between E5000 and E6199 DC Electric Class 71 to 74
Between 26000 and 27005 DC Electric Class 75 and 76

LM Electric locomotives were renumbered from the start of 1973, my first observations being on a visit to Crewe works. By late 1973 diesel locomotives were being renumbered: on one journey to the north-east I saw several renumbered English Electric ‘Type 3’ locos at Darlington. The newest class to be renumbered were the EE ‘Type 4’ introduced in 1968 and allocated to the WCML.  Nos. 400 to 449 became Nos. 50001 to 50050. However, WR hydraulic classes due for early withdrawal retained their pre-1973 numbering after these changes, particularly the ‘Hymeks’ (Class 35) and ‘Westerns’ (Class 52).

From 1970 onwards, I accompanied Roger and Jeff on many shed trips, including to Glasgow and Edinburgh, the North-east, Lancashire and Yorkshire, details of which are recorded elsewhere. I returned home in October 1974 and started working as a transport planner with Gloucestershire County Council Surveyors Department, and renewed acquaintances with Jeff, who also worked in the County Council in the Personnel Department.