Seventies Stratford Syphon

Sniffing the East London air from inside one of Stratford Motive Power Depot’s maintenance sheds are two typical stalwarts of 1960s and 1970s Great Eastern Division train working; a Syphon and a Ped. In the mid 1970s, a Class 37 Type 3 number 6744 shares cover with a Class 31 Type 2. One of the lights needs attention in the nose of the Type 3, which seems to be recently ex-works, although Stratford did a lot of loco work themselves including complete paint jobs. In contrast the Type 2 has obviously not seen much cosmetic care for some time in line with the majority of its class-mates.

Sniffing the East London air from inside one of Stratford Motive Power Depot’s maintenance sheds are two typical stalwarts of 1960s and 1970s Great Eastern Division train working; a Syphon and a Ped. In the mid 1970s, a Class 37 Type 3 number 6744 shares cover with a Class 31 Type 2. One of the lights needs attention in the nose of the Type 3, which seems to be recently ex-works, although Stratford did a lot of loco work themselves including complete paint jobs. In contrast the Type 2 has obviously not seen much cosmetic care for some time in line with the majority of its class-mates.

This fabulous shot shows Class 37 ‘Syphon’ 6744 (later 37044) in what appears to be a fresh coat of BR Blue paint, next to a BR Green Class 31 inside one of Stratford’s maintenance sheds. Peter’s notes seem to suggest that this photo was taken in the early 1970s; but looking at the excellent Class 37 Locomotive Group website, I am beginning to doubt the dates being this late, so I’m hoping somebody may be able to help me.

According to the C37LG 6744 received it’s first coat of BR Blue some time in August 1969. It was Dual-Brake fitted in September 1969, but I am unsure where this work would have taken place. There looks to be an awful lot of pipes at the front of 6744 in the picture, but not being an expert maybe somebody can help me out. The bodywork, bogies and pipe valves all look to be be freshly painted so it does seem to be ex-works. The loco is still sporting frost grills over the radiator vents, so maybe this helps identify the date too?

The final piece of the puzzle is that the loco is still sporting a March shed code (also showing 31B), so this puts the date before September 1973 when the loco moved to Stratford shed.

So, can anybody help me narrow down the date between August ’69 and September ’73? Also can anybody tell me where the nicknames ‘Syphon’ – for 37s, and ‘Peds’ – for 31s came from? If you can help with either then please contact me using the form below.

 

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