1 Network Rail Class 31s for sale by Phil Marsh

Network Rail gives 120 hours to bid for 50 year old diesels

Published: 31st July 2015

Two Class 31 locomotives up for grabs

Network Rail have given just 120 hours notice for those interested to bid for two 50 year old Class 31 diesel locomotives. This included a weekend so only a couple of working days’ notice was given.

The Tender document was published without notice at the end of July and bidders have until 1600hrs on August 4th to make a bid. The document assumes a knowledge of the locomotives as inspections are not allowed for this bidding process.

The devil as ever is in the detail! The conditions of sale state clearly that the items are used materials are accepted by Purchaser on the basis that they have already been used. The locomotives are around 50 years old so some would say that this is an obvious thing to state!

The winning bidder has to accept the locomotives in whatever condition they may be in and Network Rail has warned that the locomotives need repairs before they can be used. The winning bidder also has to collect the diesels as well as accepting that they are fully satisfied himself as to “the quality of the materials and their fitness for the purpose for which he requires them”.

The eventual purchaser also has to warrant that they will ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that the materials “will be safe and without risk to health when properly used”.

And the new owner will have to comply with Section 6(8) of Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to implement the specified steps to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that the materials will be safe and without risks to health when properly so used.

The winner will also indemnify Network Rail against all actions, claims, costs, expenses, losses, damages and other liability arising from the use of the Materials by the Purchaser or any other person, including , without limitation, use at work.

On top of this, Network Rail does not offer any warranties concerning the engines, or their suitability for any purpose. Here are the details of the locomotives:

Locomotive No. 31465

Locomotive No. 31465 has small wheels with flats and tread damage which could mean that the tyres are worn and will need replacing. Wheel flats are usually cut away on a wheel lathe but if the tyres are thin, there is not enough metal available to be cut so new tyres may be needed, an expensive job.

This is the reason given for the sale as its current condition precludes main line use. NR will supply documentation concerning the Ultrasonic Axle records and oil sample reports and last maintenance records can be made available on request. The safety related GSM-R, OTMR equipment and AWS solid state receivers are not included in the sale.

Locomotive No. 31285

This engine has had some additions made to it relating to its inspection train duties. It has cab mounted forward looking camera and infrared lights. These will be removed prior to the sale but the brackets for the lights and aperture for the camera will remain on the cab front.

The tender document is slightly ambiguous as it has similar wording regarding wheel flats and repairs needed as with 31465. But again, copies of Ultrasonic Axle records, Oil sample reports and the last maintenance records can be made available on request. And don’t forget that the GSM-R and OTMR equipment and AWS solid state receivers are not included in the sale

More details

The diesel tanks have been kept full to prevent bacterial growth, the engines still have lube oil to protect against internal corrosion and the coolant is full to protect against seals drying out. Whoever buys them will have to agree with NR what needs to be removed/drained prior to collection.

How much?

How much will they go for? Its anyone’s guess but given that the locomotives are 50 years old and will need expensive repairs and the safety kit refitting before any main line use can be considered, it could be that a bid of a few tens of thousands of pounds might win.

On the other hand, these engines have a huge route availability and can reach bits of the network that most other locomotives are barred from, such as the central Thameslink route via Farringdon, this will increase the value.

How to bid

Contact: nscredundantassets@networkrail.co.uk for the tender document.

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