Early freight wagon testing

Here is a selection of freight testing from the early days - most are likely to be braking tests. These fell into two categories:

bulletVacuum brake admission tests to overcome snatches etc with long vacuum-fitted trains
bulletTests on the efficiency of the air brake following the decision in 1964 to abandon the vacuum brake.

Click on the pictures for a bigger image - All photos are from the author's collection except where otherwise credited.

16 ton mineral wagon tests

Co-bos at Toton

On the evening of 9th September 1960 two Metrovick Co-Bos D5710 and D5716 head a fully fitted train of loaded 16 ton mineral wagons out of the sidings and past past the station at Trowell en route for Brent  - note the instrumentation cables into the loco cabs.

Ian Viles collection

Test train

The train heads off south - note the 4 wheel (or short wheelbase bogie) brake vehicle which may have housed the instrumentation

Ian Viles collection

Iron ore tippler tests


On November 7th 1962 BR Sulzer Type 4 loco D141 departs Finedon Road, Wellingborough with an iron ore tippler test train bound for West Hartlepool

Syston North

The train is pictured on Syston North curve re-joining the Midland main line after travelling via Corby, Manton and Melton Mowbray

Dynamometer car

A close up of the Dynamometer Car No:3

Ferry van brake testing

Over an eight day period between 23 April and 30 April 1968,  3T49, a Westinghouse air braked test train operated between Derby RTC and Peak Forest in order to assess the braking capabilities of continental ferry wagons fitted with the P4 Westinghouse air brake. Some of these trains consisted of up to 100 vehicles with a length of 5,000ft.

This poor quality picture shows 3T49, the Westinghouse air braked test train approaching Cromford station on the line between Derby and Manchester in May 1968. The vehicle behind the locomotive in the ex-ER Dynamometer Car DB995000 later to become Test Car 2 and a large number of vans.


The train was stabled overnight at Peak Forest and was top'n'tailed by class 37 locos - one of which was D6999

It is pictured passing Peak Forest station on a return trip

Courtney  Haydon collection R.C.T.S.


test car 2 A much better picture of the Dynamometer Car at the rear

Courtney  Haydon collection R.C.T.S.

Heading towards Millers Dale

Courtney  Haydon collection R.C.T.S.

...and more vans

Courtney  Haydon collection R.C.T.S.

..and the end

Courtney  Haydon collection R.C.T.S

A colour picture of the test train at Peak Forest on another occasion with a class 47 on the front

Dave Homer

Heading towards Millers Dale

Dave Homer

3T49 with class 37 haulage

Dave Homer


Articulated car carriers - Cartic

Cartics On 18th August 1967 former LMS Dynamometer Car No:3 pictured at the head of a test train consisting of a 4 car 'Cartic' articulated car carrier at an unknown location

Liner train1

Derby Type 2 locomotive D6553 with a liner train test train including Dynamometer car No:1 stands outside the Locomotive Works at Derby on 22nd January 1964

D6553 was sent to Derby for static brake tests on January 9th 1964:and then put to work a test train of air-braked freightliner vehicles. One test run was made to Knighton Jc south of Leicester and back on January 10th, full testing commenced on January 16th between Derby & Knighton Jc. Dynamometer car No1 was included in the train. D6553 returned home on January 28th, but was soon recorded as on loan to the Western Region

For details of these tests look here

Where's this? The train is pictured on the exit road from the C&W Works at Derby on 21st January 1964 where it would probably have been assembled and rigged with test equipment as the RTC was still being built. 

Liner train 2

D1806 Chester Brush Type 4 locomotive D1806 with another liner train test train including Dynamometer car No:3 passing Chester box on 15th May 1967. This test train was undertaking 'high speed braking tests' with three types of disc brakes.
Chester station The train pictured passing Chester station
leaving Chester The train pictured leaving Chester station on the route to Holyhead

MGR testing

Brake testing A test train hauled by D1794 with Dynamometer Car No:2 and a number of MGRs in tow pictured near Brocklesby on 4th June1965 - probably a braking test of some sort



WCML An amazing test train consisting of four AC locos headed by E3100 with a number of Mobile Test Units and Dynamometer Cars is pictured at Great Bridgford on the WCML south of Crewe in May 1963


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