Cooper, Basil K.: Locomotive Profile - Class 33 'Cromptons'
Book Number: 3594
Ian Allan Ltd Runnymede, Surrey, England 1990 96 pages colour and b/w photos - The British Rail Class 33 also known as the BRCW Type 3 or Crompton is a class of Bo-Bo diesel-electric locomotives ordered in 1957 and built for the Southern Region of British Railways between 1960 and 1962. A total of 98 Class 33s were built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company (BRCW) and were known as "Cromptons" after the Crompton Parkinson electrical equipment installed in them. Like their lower-powered BRCW sisters (BR Classes 26 and 27), their bodywork and cab ends were of all steel construction. The original (1957) number sequence was D6500 - D6597. They began service on the South-Eastern Division of the Southern Region but rapidly spread across the whole Region and many were used much further afield - an example being the weekly Cliffe (Kent) to Uddingston (South Lanarkshire) cement train which was worked as far as York (and occasionally throughout) by pairs of the locomotives. They were built with the ability to supply only the then new electric train heating rather than the ubiquitous steam heating which passenger carriages largely used. Early delivery problems and a shortage of steam locomotives resulted in many Class 24 locomotives being borrowed from the Midland Region and pairs, of 33 + 24, became common on Winter passenger services. This resulted in unpopular, complex run-round manoeuvres at termini as Class 24 needed to be coupled inside to provide steam heat. Emergency provisioning of through-piping for steam heat on some examples of class 33 alleviated this somewhat. The Southern Region was unaccustomed to the operational overhead and maintenance associated with the use of class 24 and they rapidly became unpopular. With the advent of modern stock and warmer seasons, they were sent back home with the Midland as pleased to have them back as the Southern was to see them gone.