The British Rail Dieselisation Programme: The Type 4s and 5s Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

The British Rail Dieselisation Programme: The Type 4s and 5s

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End of the Line for Steam on British Railways | The Shunters
The Type 1s | The Type 2s | The Type 3s | The Type 4s and 5s
A Deltic Diesel Locomotive

In the late 1960s, when British Railways adopted TOPS – Total Operations Processing System, a computerised system to handle all their traffic – all existing locomotives were grouped into 'Types' according to their specified traction effort or pulling power, expressed in horsepower (hp). Within each type, the locomotives were then sub-divided into classes, each class representing a particular design.

Classes 40-48, 50, 52 and 55 were all Type 4 locomotives in the power range 2,000 to 2,999hp. Locomotives producing 3,000hp or more would subsequently be classified as Type 5.

The Type 4s were the flagship locomotives at the start of of the BR dieselisation programme. Originally destined for the top rank express trains, many were soon displaced by Type 5s, electric locomotives and High Speed Trains. Their power was also put to use on secondary services and freight trains.

The Type 5 Deltics took over from the LNER Pacifics on the East Coast Main Line. They were the most powerful diesel locomotives for many decades, and the only Type 5s until the late 1970s, when the Romanian-built Class 56 bulk freight locomotives were introduced. Aside from the powercars of the High Speed Trains, all post-dieselisation main line locomotives have been Type 5s.

Class 40

The first of the Type 4s was an English Electric design built at the Vulcan Foundry at Newton-le-Willows between 1958 and 1962. The 200-strong class were real heavyweights at over 130 tons, however their English Electric 16SVT engine was not especially powerful with only 2,000 bhp on tap. They looked very similar to their smaller siblings, the Class 37, but with two main differences. The first was that due to their bulk, they had to have a fourth, unpowered axle on each bogie1, the other was that the locomotives sides were less curved at the bottom. They featured a large snout, but like the Class 37s these snouts had a variety of fittings on the end depending on when they were built. They were 69ft (21m) long with a 61ft (18.6m) wheelbase and had a lot in common with prototypes from the LMS2 and Southern Railway.

Introduced as the pride of the new modern fleet, with a working top speed of 90mph, they were not universally welcomed. First trialed on the Great Eastern mainline to Norwich, they proved to be adequate, but no better than the Britannia steam locomotives already on the line. The East Coast Main Line then declined to take the rest of them. It ran Gresley- and Peppercorn-designed express steam locomotives that were more powerful than the British Rail Britannias and were easily capable of high speed, running faster than the limits placed on the Class 40. Another reason why they were rejected by the East Coast was that with four axles on each bogie, they couldn't handle the tight curves of the goods yards. The East Coast waited for a locomotive that was both lighter and more powerful.

The West Coast however, decided to take them on. Their locomotives tended to come from pre-war designs and it had not seen as much investment. On top of this, the gradients and curves of the West Coast line meant that continued high speed running, where steam locomotives held the edge, was not as common, whereas good acceleration, which the Class 40 possessed, was.

As well as passenger services, they had the power to pull heavy freight. They were also seen working excursions across the country, becoming pretty popular with enthusiasts and acquiring the nicknames 'Buckets' and 'Whistlers'3.

Their time as top-dogs was limited though as more powerful Type 4s arrived and the West Coast was electrified. Advances in technology and standardisation also affected the large locomotives. They were not fitted with electric train-heating and so were not compatible with more modern coaches. Many of the class also lacked airbrakes which limited their use with both modern passenger and freight stock. This led to them finding work on secondary services.

Some of the class were named, mainly the ones operating expresses into Liverpool which took the names of shipping lines that had Liverpool as their home port. These were withdrawn from the locomotives as they were moved to other services.

D326, later numbered 40126 was the locomotive that hauled the travelling Post Office from Glasgow to Euston on Wednesday 7 August 1963. At 3am it was stopped at Ledburn in Buckinghamshire and the train was robbed, a crime subsequently labelled the Great Train Robbery. It wasn't the first time the locomotive had made the news. In December 1962 driver error saw it ram a passenger train killing 18 passengers. In 1965 the brakes failed coming into Birmingham New Street. Luckily the train was diverted into the back of a freight train, so only the guard was injured.

Compared with the more modern Type 4s and the Type 5s that were being introduced at the end of the 1970s, the Class 40s were heavy and underpowered. Their overlong bogies struggled over tight curves and were causing cracks to appear in their frames. They were taken out of service during the 1980s, however quite a few remain in preservation and have even worked mainline excursions.

Class 41

Technically, the five-strong class of North British Locomotive 'Warships' were never classified as Class 41. They entered service in 1958 and were withdrawn in 1967, before the TOPS classification system was implemented; the designation of Class 41 was retrospective. It is also shared with the powercar for the prototype High Speed Train. They were numbered D600 to D604.

These Warships were a trial batch for the Western Region who were using hydraulic traction, and were built to compare aspects of their NBL design with British Rail's own Warships. Like the Class 42s, they got the name Warship as they all carried the names of famous Royal Navy fighting ships. Unlike the two production Warship classes, the Class 41s did not use stressed skin construction. At 120 tons, they were a bit lighter than the Class 40s, but 40 tons heavier than production Warships. The locomotives had short, flat-fronted snouts with rounded tops. Because of their weight, they were not allowed to run as Bo-Bos, and with NBL unable to built a hydraulic bogie with three powered axles, its locomotives became A1A-A1As. Oddly, they had spoked wheels.

They ran with two 1,000bhp NBL-MAN engines, which gave them increased reliability, if not simplicity. The bonus of having two engines was demonstrated on one of their first runs, when one engine failed and it was able to run for 100 miles on one engine. Although designed for 90mph, they were easily capable of 100mph.

They took over from steam locomotives on the London to Penzance service, but were increasingly edged towards the far west of the region as they were displaced by the production versions and the newer Western class. Eventually as a small, non-standard class they were withdrawn at the end of 1967. Most were scrapped pretty soon afterwards but D601 hung around in the scrap yard until 1980, but it was too decayed to be worth preserving, so none of the class have survived.

Class 42

One of the reasons that the Western Region trialled hydraulics was that their main line had steep gradients in the far west. Using lighter locomotives would mean fuel savings in not having to shift heavy locos up the hills. By using lightweight construction techniques such as stressed steel construction, the Class 42 Warships weighed less than 80 tons, 60 tons lighter than a Class 40. They were based on the German V200 locomotives and followed their counterparts in having a small curved snout on a body with plenty of curves.

They featured two engines, made by Maybach, each having their own hydraulic gearbox made by Mekydro. At the time there didn't exist a hydraulic transmission that could handle a single 2,000hp engine, so by using two engines they could get a similarly powered locomotive, with the added complexity countered by increased reliability of being able to function even if one engine failed. They produced in total around 2,200hp.

The locomotives were a product of the former Great Western Railway's Swindon works between 1958 and 1961, a time when the works was also producing the last batches of steam locomotives. They saw service in a range of different liveries including dark brown, tan and green before the Western Region finally towed the line and painted a few of them blue.

It was planned to introduce the Warships on the London Paddington to Birmingham Snow Hill line, however since the West Coast line was closed for electrification, Snow Hill line would become the main line between the cities. This meant that the trains would be heavier than the Warships could handle4, so the Birmingham trains remained under steam power.

They were introduced on lines to Penzance and were soon recorded topping 100mph, despite being 90mph locomotives. It was this fast running that was to be the ruin of the class. One of the reasons the German V200s were so successful is that they were never stressed, they ran at reasonably high speed with a good length train. The British didn't see the point of ordering a 2,200 horsepower locomotive and not using all their capabilities. They were often required to average over 70mph on their runs.

High speed running on the worn British Rail system wasn't healthy either for the locomotives or for the system. Unlike the diesel-electrics, the hydraulics had a fairly solid and stiff link between the bogies and the body in order to provide drive. These suffered as the wheels hit worn points. As well as lurching violently, the risk of derailment was increased. On top of this, the Warships had very small, one metre diameter wheels, this meant that the pressure on the contact areas was huge. This not only increased wear on the wheels but if they had carried on with the high speed running, they would have caused cracks in the rails themselves.

By implementing a more regular timetable, without the crack, named expresses, the Western Region reduced the speeds required of the Warships.

As more powerful locomotives were introduced to the Great Western Main Line, the Warships were transferred over to services including the Birmingham lines and the South West Main Line out of Waterloo, where the Western Region, having gained control over their old rival's line, removed the expresses and put in slower services.

Because they were based on a scaled down V200, there was not enough room inside the body to add new equipment, so the Warships could not work with newer air-braked coaches and they couldn't be fitted with electric train-heating. The more powerful Class 47s, Class 50s and Class 52s replaced them on most of their top line duties. They were totally phased out between 1968 and 1972 after it was declared that all the Western Region hydraulics were non-standard. In total 38 were made and only two survived into preservation.

Class 43

The 33 Class 43s were similar to the Class 42 Warships, but manufactured by the North British Locomotive Company. They also had twin engines linked to twin gearboxes, however the engines were a MAN design and the transmission was from Voith. Both were made, along with the locomotive, by NBL, which contrasts with the Class 42s in which the mechanical parts were shipped over from Germany.

They operated in the Western Region but had a reputation for poor reliability. The exhausts suffered from fractures, and errors were made in converting from metric measurements in the designs to imperial measurements in the build. Like their Swindon cousins, they were replaced on the top trains by newer, more powerful locomotives. They were phased out slightly before the Class 42s and none survived into preservation.

The locomotives didn't run long enough to actually acquire a TOPS class, so the Class 43 designation was applied after they were withdrawn. It was also used for the power cars of the High Speed Trains.

Class 44

In contrast to the lightweight Class 42s, the Class 44s were big, bulky locomotives, weighing over 130 tons. They were the prototypes of the British Rail design for a Type 4 locomotive and all ten of them were built at the Derby works in 1959 and 1960. They were based on the prototypes of the LMS and Southern Region.

Because of their weight, they had to run on four-axle bogies, giving then a 1Co-Co1 arrangement. They used a Sulzer engine which produced 2,300hp, however they could only reach a top speed of 75mph. When built, the class were fitted with steam boilers for working passenger trains on the West Coast and out of St Pancras, however they were soon replaced by the faster Class 45 and Class 46s, so lost the boilers and were put on freight workings. In their first five or so years of service, 80% of the locomotives were available for service at any one time, better than most of the other Type 4s.

Like the Class 40s, they had snouts at each end, but the Class 44s had much smaller snouts than their English Electric counterparts. Although referred to originally as the Sulzer Type 4s, they became known as 'The Peaks', thanks to the policy of naming them after mountains.

Being the largest of British Railways-built locomotives, they got to be numbered D1 to D10. Out of the class of 10, only D4 Great Gable and D8 Penyghent were preserved.

Class 45

The Class 45s were a 127-strong class built at Derby and Crewe between 1960 and 1962 based on the Class 44. Their Sulzer engines were slightly more powerful (2,500hp) and could reach 90mph. They worked the passenger services on the Midland Mainline out of St Pancras.

Like the Class 44s, they were heavy locomotives with snouted front ends. After displacing the Class 44s, the Class 45s worked the Midland Mainline until the 1980s when they were replaced by the High Speed Trains. They then took over the Transpennine services and other secondary trains until being retired at the end of the 1980s. Although all built with steam boilers, 50 of the class had their boilers removed and electric train-heating fitted.

Although the Class 45s that were named didn't take the names of mountains, the class were still known as 'The Peaks'. Eleven were preserved.

Class 46

56 Class 46s were made at BR's Derby Works between 1961 and 1963. They were based on the Class 44 and Class 45 locomotives but had Brush generators and traction motors instead of the Crompton Parkinson ones used in their sister classes. They were even heavier, at 140 tons.

They mainly saw service on secondary passenger trains, including long distance cross-country and Transpennine services. They were also regular haulers of freight trains. Together with their Class 45 sisters, these turned out a 60% availability, which was appalling, especially compared to the less powerful Class 44.

One of the class, 46009, met an untimely end when it was crashed, deliberately, into a nuclear waste flask to prove that even if you smashed a 140-ton train into a flask at 90mph, nothing radioactive would leak.

Class 47

Technology moves quickly, so does demand. By the time the Type 4s were being produced, in terms of engines they were already out of date, being too heavy and underpowered. A new, lighter Type 4 was needed, one that was not only more powerful, but one that was light enough to run on three-axle bogies to allow it to negotiate the sharp curves in freight yards. They decided against using hydraulic transmissions, so went the way of diesel-electric.

Brush Traction got the contract and started churning out what would be the first of 512 Class 47 locomotives produced between 1962 and 1968. The power plant was a modified version of the Sulzer engine from the 'Peaks' rated at 2,750hp and it was combined with Brush's own electrical systems. They weighed between 110 and 125 tons, much lighter than older diesel-electric Type 4s. Most had a maximum speed of 90mph, although were capable of more.

By the time the Class 47s were designed, the received wisdom that you needed a snout or something blocking the driver's view of the rails vanishing underneath a fast-moving locomotive had been proved false. More ergonomically designed cabs allowed the fronts of the locomotives to be flat, with the windows raking back gently. It was similar in look to the Class 35 Hymeks and resembled a number of prototype designs such as the Kestrel and the Lion.

They came in three sub-classes: locomotives with steam heating, those with no heating and those with electric train-heating. Eventually, most of the steam heating boilers were removed, only some being replaced by electric train-heating systems. While the non train-heating locomotives were originally designated for freight trains, they occasionally saw use on summer passenger excursions.

The arrival of the Class 47s allowed the remaining steam locomotives to be replaced on longer express trains. They were equally at home on passenger and freight workings and saw a good deal of both. With over 500 examples, they were the most successful of the dieselisation locos and their availability allowed the phasing out of the hydraulics and smaller locos.

One working where modified Class 47s were used was on the Glasgow to Edinburgh, and Glasgow to Aberdeen shuttles, where they replaced pairs of Class 27s on the former route. These locomotives were fitted with long-range tanks and altered to run at 100 mph.

In the 1970s, the Sulzer engine was down-rated to 2,500hp to increase reliability. As the other Type 4s and the Type 5 Deltics were withdrawn during the early 1980s, the Class 47 dominated the locomotive-hauled express scene in Britain. Any long-distance diesel service not hauled by a High Speed Train was likely to be headed by a Class 47.

By the mid-1980s it was the policy of British Railways to move from using locomotive-hauled trains to multiple units, meaning that there was less call for the locomotives. Ongoing electrification compounded this issue. While successive governments had tried to move freight onto the road network, there was still a large call for heavy bulk freight like oil and coal. However the Class 47s had been supplanted on many of these by the newer, more powerful Type 5s, the Class 56 and 58s.

It was decided to take some of the life-expired locomotives out of service. Due to the wide variety of modifications give to the class during their service, lots were non-standard and tended to be removed first. Around 15 or so Class 47s were taken out of service each year from 1996 to 2006, with around 30 or so active in 2012 on mainline duty, but a lot of others surviving in preservation.

Nicknames for the class included 'Duffs', 'Brushes' and 'Spoons'. They were not the most popular locomotive with rail enthusiasts due to them being so commonplace. Enthusiasts were often disappointed when waiting to see an unusual locomotive pulling an excursion, only to find a 'Duff' arrive instead. One modern duty carried out by some Class 47s is to be attached to the back of steam excursions. They help back the locomotives into stations, are there in case the steam breaks down and (whisper this quietly) sometimes help the steam locomotives up hills.

Thirty-three Class 47s were given a new lease of life when they were fitted with a EMD engine and new electrical equipment. These became the Class 57s, known as 'Zombies' or 'Bodysnatchers'. Some were designed for freight service, while others were built to haul passenger trains. Virgin Rail called its fleet, specially modified to connect to their high speed Pendilino trains, the 'Thunderbirds' as they were mostly used to rescue stranded trains or to haul the electric units into north Wales, where the lines are not electrified.

Class 48

Five Class 47s were built with a Sulzer V engine instead of the twin bank engine of the normal Class 47s. This produced 2,650hp, and the class were used on the Great Eastern Main Line into Liverpool Street until the poor reliability of the engine saw the Class 48s get replacement engines and turned into Class 47s.

Class 50

The Class 50s were the second class of Type 4 locomotives built by English Electric, and were also known as English Electric Type 4s, although they quickly acquired the nickname 'Hoovers'. The 50-strong class were built to run expresses over the non-electrified section of the West Coast Mainline, north of Crewe. As such they could run at 100 mph. They were built between 1967 and 1968 at the Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows

Power came from a 2,700hp English Electric 16 cylinder engine and went through EE traction motors, one for each of the six axles. It weighed 115 tons. Much of the equipment was tested on the Deltic look-alike, the DP2 prototype, although this was written off. The Class 50s looked nothing like their English Electric brethren, they didn't have a snout. Instead they had a flat front with two slightly swept back cab windows. On the top of the cab was the box that had the code indicator lights and the horns.

The Class 50s were ordered in 1965 after permission was given for another 50 Type 4 locomotives to add to their existing fleet. Building more Type 5 Deltics was ruled out, as these locomotives, although powerful and respected, were too expensive. The choice came down to building more Class 47s, which were not proving to be the most reliable of locomotives, or a new English Electric class based on their reliable DP2 locomotive. Despite the English Electric option being a bit cheaper than buying in more Class 47s, the decision was finely balanced. When the order was given to EE they set about building the Class 50s. The locomotives that the operating department got back were not quite what they had hoped for. The styling had been changed to comply with new technical requirements and the reliable equipment of the DP2 had been augmented with new technology that was not always the boon that it was hoped it would be.

They featured inertial air-filters which gave the locomotives a characteristic sound, leading them to acquire the 'Hoover' nickname. These filters were one of a series of complex and not always reliable systems fitted to the class. They often ran in pairs and it was joked that the combination of two Class 50s only had a 50:50 chance of making it without at least one failure. When running they were capable performers, In a test of the Type 4s hauling trains up an incline, the Class 50 came out best.

They were moved off the West Coast Mainline once it had been fully electrified in the mid-1970s and were sent to the Western Region. Their arrival meant that the final hydraulics could be withdrawn. The class took over many of the names used by the earlier Warship class. They were soon replaced on the Great Western Mainline by the arrival of the High Speed Trains, and were then sent to work on the lines to Birmingham from Paddington and Bristol, and from Waterloo to the West of England.

A series of refurbishments from 1979 onwards saw the class refurbished at Doncaster. They lost a lot of their complex equipment including the air intakes, so lost their trademark sound. By the 1990s, they were mostly confined to the Waterloo lines, but struggled with the stop-start nature of the service. Like most Type 4s, they were hefty pieces of equipment, so a stop-start service meant that the engines had work hard to keep accelerating the heavy locomotive and train from a standstill to running speed. This was a lot harder on the equipment than continuous high-speed running. Also they had to run on a number of single-tracked sections where they caused havoc due to their increasingly high failure rate. Having been replaced by Class 47s and new diesel multiple units on their lines, only a few were in service by 1992.

Eighteen of the 50-strong class were saved for preservation.

Class 52

The Class 52s were a 74-strong class of Crewe- and Swindon-built Type 4s to supplement the existing Warship hydraulics on the Great Western lines. They were meant to be more powerful than the Warships and also solve some of the class's other problems. They took on names that all started with the word Western, such as Western Champion and Western Tailsman. This led to the class being known as the 'The Westerns'.

Built between 1961 and 1964, they were the last and most powerful of the diesel-hydraulics. Like the Warships they ran with two engines, in this case 1,350hp Maybach power units, together producing 2,700hp. Although much heavier than the Warships, at 108 tons the class were lighter than all the other Type 4s. While capable of 100mph, the class officially maxed out at 90mph. Due to a mismatching between the engine and the Voith transmission, the locomotives found it very difficult to hit their top speed.

The Westerns had a unique look to them, with an angular flat front with a slightly overhanging roof. They had a C-C wheel arrangement, with six wheels per bogie. This reduced the rail pressure compared with the Warships. Part of the reason that these locomotives were so much heavier than the Warships was that the test crews found that engines mounted behind the cabs were too loud, and it made the locomotives heavier by mounting them centrally.

While the Western's engines produced 2,700hp, this was not the amount of power available to haul trains. Rail observers calculated the best horsepower delivered by the locomotive was in the region of 1,500hp, something like 56% efficiency through the hydraulic transmission compared with nearer 80% with the diesel-electrics. In a haulage comparison between the Classes 45, 46, 47, 50 and 52, the Class 52 fared worse when pulling a load up a hill, despite it having nominally the best power-to-weight ratio and being more powerful than the 45 and 46s.

They took over both the remaining steam services and the smaller Warships on the Western Region's top services. One welcome feature of the twin engine design was that if either engine or transmission broke, the locomotive could still haul its train home under its own power. The Western proved successful in service, but it did have high maintenance costs due to it being a non-standard design.

Unlike the Warships, it proved possible to add air braking to the locomotive, so it could haul both vacuum and air-braked stock, but this was at the expense of some of its fuel tanks. This alteration allowed the Westerns to last in service longer than the Warships as British Rail was switching to air-braked stock. The Western Region needed to compete with the motorways for passenger traffic, and one way of doing that was by making the carriages more comfortable. Air-conditioned coaches were introduced, but they had to be powered by locomotives fitted with Electric Train Heating. It wasn't possible to remove the steam heating boilers from the Westerns, so Class 50s handled these services. This, along with the drive to abolish non-standard engines from the network, lead to the end of the Westerns by 1971.

No Western ever wore the classification ‘Class 52', as the TOPS system was introduced after they were withdrawn, and they were retrospectively renumbered. The class did however see service in a number of different liveries. The original came out in 'Desert Sand', but the majority were painted in maroon when they left the workshop. A few were painted 'Golden Ochre' and some even left Crewe with green paint. Most of these only had yellow warning patches rather than full yellow ends. They were then all repainted in British Rail blue with full yellow ends, although safety regulations saw some of the locomotives get yellow ends before they got blue paint.

Seven Westerns were preserved.

Class 55

The Class 55s, known as the Deltics, were the most powerful production class of locomotives built for the dieselisation project. They were brought in to replace the Gresley and Peppercorn Pacifics on the East Coast Mainline. These steam locomotives were easily capable of hauling a train of several hundred tons at speeds of over 100mph and something special was needed to replace them.

The English Electric design was based on the DP1 prototype and used two 1,650hp Napier Deltic engines connected to the wheels through an electric transmission. The Deltic engines comprised 9 or 18 cylinders. Each cylinder had two pistons acting at either end. Three cylinders were arranged in triangles around three crankshafts. The Deltic engines were high revving, and very powerful for their weight. They had their roots in engines built for Torpedo boats and so Class 55s were also known as Boats.

With 3,300hp on tap, the Deltics were easily capable of improving on the times of the steam locomotives thanks to their superior acceleration and the fact they didn't have to stop to take on water and coal mid journey. Respected rail commentator OS Nock was astounded by the acceleration these locomotives were capable of even past 60mph. He calculated that they had a drawbar horsepower5of 2,750, this compared to the Class 40s which had a little over 1,400.

On the routes from London to Edinburgh and Leeds the new locomotives set record timings. Because the diesels offered 24/7 availability, only 22 were needed to replace 50 steam locomotives. While their maximum speed was claimed to be 100mph, 55 008 The Green Howards managed to hit 125mph in February 1978.

Built between 1961 and 1962 at English Electric's Vulcan Foundry, the Deltics resembled the other early EE diesels in having a large snout at either end. The Class 55's snouts were much higher than the other EE designs and the cab winders were correspondingly much smaller and set back. With its elegant curves, the locomotive had an almost American feel to it.

Despite its size and power, the Class 55 was a relatively light locomotive, at around 100 tons, lighter than all the Type 4s except for the Warships. They ran with a Co-Co wheel arrangement.

Originally they came out in two-tone green, with yellow warning ends, then soon full yellow ends, before being repainted into BR blue with yellow ends. The Deltics based in Gateshead and Edinburgh Haymarket took on the names of regiments of the British Army, while the ones based at Finsbury Park in London carried on the LNER6tradition of naming the locomotives after racing horses.

Deltics were pretty reliable in service. They had the advantage that running with two engines meant that if one failed, they could still pull a train on the other one. The engines were designed to easily come out of the locomotive and so a replacement could be hoisted in quickly, meaning the locomotive was never out of service for long. This lead to them having commendable availability.

Despite their success, their days as a frontline locomotive were limited. The High Speed Train arrived on the East Coast and offered the capability for sustained 125mph running. This pushed the Deltics onto secondary services and semi-fast trains. With there being only 22 of them and their workings not requiring their massive reserves of power, it was decided to retire the class from normal service at the end of 1981. Six have been preserved.

The Deltics were always popular with railway fans on account of their speed, power, looks and novel technology. The class are regularly used for excursions since they can keep to the tight schedules of a modern railway.

In 2011 55 022 Royal Scots Grey was hired by a freight company to haul freight trains in Northumberland. The company had thought it easier to get the Class 55 for a short term loan than to get one of their newer freight locomotives out of storage.

Also in 2011, as part of the Deltics' 50th anniversary celebration, a train was formed of 55 022 Royal Scots Grey, with Class mates 55 019 Royal Highland Fusilier, 55 002 Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, D9009 Alycidon and D9016 Gordon Highlander became the most powerful train ever to run in Britain, as it hauled a passenger service on the East Lancs Railway. With D9016 only running on one engine, the train that consisted of the five locomotives and six coaches had a combined power of 14,850hp.

1It was a 1Co-Co1 arrangement.2London, Midland and Scottish Railway.3From the noise its cooling fans made.4Despite the fact that they could haul heavier trains than the Class 40s.5Actual usable horsepower.6The London and North Eastern Railway was the railway that used to run the East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland.

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