The "Birminghams"

(Class 27 Locos)

1982 saw the reappearance of a type after many years absence in the form of Class 27 locomotives. Referred to in the works as "Birminghams" no doubt due to them being built by The Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Co. at Smethwick.

At this time all the 27s were based in Scotland and normally would go to Glasgow Works for major repairs - the winter of 1981/2 saw numerous locos sidelined with severe frost damage. It was decided to dispatch a number of 27s to Derby for repair out of which 27021, 27042, 27203 were for power unit swaps and also 27014, 27041 and 27104 (yes the trio did cause confusion with the last three digits!) also appeared. 27014 was for an Intermediate overhaul which became quite a drawn out process owing to lack of parts and also general indecision as to whether or not it should really have an overhaul. So for a couple of weeks it would be worked on followed by a period of inactivity before another couple of weeks work and so on. In the end the loco did see the light of day again and entered the history books as the very last British Rail loco to receive a classified repair and emerge vacuum braked only.

Meanwhile 27041 and 27104 were for unclassified fire damage repairs - given the amount of work involved on both locos they had all but a classified light repair. In a bid to solve the parts crisis 27011 was also sent to Derby. This loco had been withdrawn from service with, you've guessed, fire damage. It was stripped almost bare before being scrapped. 27104 was renumbered to 27048 before departure which was achieved by painting over the number '1' and adding the number '8' (!) 27014 and 27041 received full repaints in Derby 'Type 2' style resulting in the loco numbers being applied underneath the drivers' window rather than the usual Glasgow Works position on the body side.

Later in the year 27203 reappeared following an argument with an Electric Unit in the Glasgow area. Repairs were not sanctioned and the loco was eventually broken up on the nearby Etches Park by a scrap dealer as scrapping activity within the works had ceased by this time.

27041 in 8 shop 1 bay nears completion of fire damage repairs on 25th August 1982. Note the standard Glasgow Works position of the loco number.

Almost two months later on 22nd October 1982 27041 is seen in the paint shop.

By 26th November 1982 27041 had finally returned to traffic and is seen on Derby Etches Park. Note the 'Derby' style of numbering under the drivers cab window.

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