51818 Chinley 20 October 1983

This is the only picture I have of a Class 110 'Calder Valley' DMU in BR service. 51818 leads a two car set plus an unidentified Class 101 unit on the 13:45 Manchester Piccadilly to Hull service on 30 October 1983. The ensemble is making a smoky ascent of the gradient near Chinley station. Rolls Royce may make top quality cars and aircraft engines, but certainly in the 1960s their record in railway applications was very poor. Although the 180hp Rolls Royce engines fitted to this class gave a much higher power to weight ratio than other contemporary units, their reliability was very poor. This wasn't helped by the bizarre arrangement of having the cylinder heads facing inwards, making maintenance much more difficult.