updated : 2020/04/27
7 photos
class 31

class 31

One of BR's least inspiring but longest lived classes. The original Brush Type 2s were so successful they had to be re-engined after a few years. The rebuilds were heavy and underpowered but at least they were reliable and eventually saw service on most parts of the system. Most were withdrawn in the 1990s but three remained in service with Network Rail until 2015, almost 60 years after the class was introduced.
v : T000
updated : 2020/06/18
6 photos
Class 33

Class 33

The BRCW Type 3 Bo-Bo, later known as the Class 33, was a very useful class of 98 locos, designed specifically to meet the requirements of the Southern Region. They were equipped with ETH from the start and 19 were later modified to work in multiple with SR EMUs and DEMUs. Their duties took them far from home metals on passenger and freight workings but they spent most of their lives on the SR.
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updated : 2020/04/27
19 photos
class 37

class 37

The Class 37 or English Electric Type 3 was arguably British Rail's most successful diesel design with some remaining in main line service for over 50 years and a number still working for freight operators today. The Class 37 was a go anywhere, do anything locomotive, equally at home on express passenger or local freight, anywhere from Caithness to Cornwall. They sounded good as well and still do.
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updated : 2020/05/26
160 photos
class 43 HSTs

class 43 HSTs

The introduction of class 43 powered HST sets from the late 1970s revolutionised rail travel in the UK, bringing new levels of speed and comfort to a number of main lines that hadn't benefited from electrification. Almost forty years later they're still going strong on several major routes despite having been displaced from the ECML and GWML by IETs. See the High Speed Trains gallery for all types of high speed train including the class 180 Adelantes and class 220 and 221 Voyagers.
v : T000
updated : 2020/06/18
39 photos
class 47/57

class 47/57

With 508 locos built, the class 47 was Britain's most numerous class of main line diesel and could be found on main line passenger and freight services almost everywhere from Aberdeen to Penzance and Holyhead to Norwich. Most have been withdrawn but around 30 remain in service with various operators and a similar number have been rebuilt with EMD 645 engines and reclassified as class 57.
v : T000
updated : 2020/06/18
12 photos
Class 50

Class 50

The English Electric built Class 50 was the last design built by that company for BR and the last class of express passenger diesel built for BR. Introduced in 1967, they were excellent performers but had reliability problems. In particular, they were prone to generator flashovers, which were very costly to repair. The class started their lives on the WCML before transferring to the WR and finishing their days between Waterloo and Exeter in early 1992.
v : T000
updated : 2020/04/27
23 photos
class 55 Deltics

class 55 Deltics

Without doubt the most remarkable diesels ever to run on the BR system, the Deltics packed 3300 horsepower into a 99 ton loco, a power to weight ratio that remained unbeaten until the class 68 was introduced. After 20 years and millions of miles working 100mph expresses on the ECML they were worn out and slated for withdrawal at the end of 1981. These photos were taken during their final months.
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updated : 2020/05/26
100 photos
class 59

class 59

Fifteen class 59s were built in 3 batches for 3 different private companies between 1986 and 1995. They were unusual at the time in being American built and privately owned. How things have changed! Foster Yeoman and ARC bought their locos for stone traffic from the Mendips to S.E. England while National Power's were intended for power station coal traffic in the north. After EWS acquired the N.P. locos they migrated south to join their sisters in the Mendips and are now operated by Freightliner.
v : T000
updated : 2020/06/12
38 photos
class 60

class 60

These heavy freight locos were the last built for British Rail before privatisation with 100 entering service between 1989 and 1993. All passed to EWS and successors DBS but both operators appear to prefer class 66 and most of the class 60s have been in store for several years. Ten locos were sold to Colas Rail in 2014 and moved to GBRf in 2018. DC Rail also have a few..
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updated : 2020/06/12
256 photos
class 66

class 66

Although class 66s look almost identical to the class 59s, they're based on the next generation EMD design with a 710 series engine and various other enhancements. Over 450 are now in service with several different UK operators with DB Cargo and Freightliner having the largest fleets. The class has operated the vast majority of freight services on the UK network for the last decade.
v : T000
updated : 2020/04/27
6 photos
class 67

class 67

The 30 Class 67 locos were ordered by EWS in the late 1990s for use on mail trains, replacing worn out Class 47s. The locos were built by Alstom but had much in common with the Class 66 including the same GM engine and generator. Since the loss of the mail contract in 2003, they have been used on freights, some passenger services, royal trains, special trains and test trains.
v : T000
updated : 2020/04/27
9 photos
class 68

class 68

The Class 68 was built at the same Spanish plant as the Class 67s but is powered by a Caterpillar engine developing 3800hp, making the 68 Britain's most powerful diesel. All 34 locos are operated by DRS, with 22 sub-leased to passenger operators, Chiltern, Scotrail and TPE. The remaining locos operate in freight service for DRS.
v : T000
updated : 2020/06/12
34 photos
class 70

class 70

After a decade when GM EMD products dominated the British freight scene, General Electric tried to get a share of the action with the class 70 introduced in 2008. So far Freightliner have taken 20 and Colas 17, with no new orders since 2015. The Class 70 is significantly more powerful than the class 66 but has failed to gain the same popularity with operators.
v : T000
updated : 2020/06/18
15 photos
class 73

class 73

The Class 73 Electro-Diesels were originally designed to be 750V DC electric locomotives with a small 600hp diesel engine to enable them to access non-electrified sidings and work engineering trains when the power was switched off. For years they rarely strayed far from the Southern Region but that changed when GBRf had a number re-engined with 1600hp diesel engines. Some of these Class 73/9 rebuilds are now the regular power for the Caledonian Sleeper north of Edinburgh, while others remain in the south.
v : T000
updated : 2020/04/27
17 photos
Class 90

Class 90

The fifty Class 90 locomotives were the last electrics built specifically for the WCML and produce a useful 5000hp. Fifteen Class 90s, previously with Virgin Trains, migrated to the Great Eastern to work Norwich - London expresses in 2004 and remained there until early 2020. Most of the remaining locos are operated by Freightliner and DB Cargo, predominantly on WCML freight services.
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