Diesel Locomotive & Engine Classes

Chart diesel’s development from dirty shunter to high speed service courtesy of our potted locomotive history, from Class 03 to Class 55.

Class 50 Diesel at Crewe Open Day
Class 50 Diesel at Crewe Open Day
 
Class 03 Diesel at Carnforth

British Rail Class 03 Diesel Locomotive

Discover more about this hard-working diesel-mechanical shunter that saw over a decade of active service in yards in the 1950s and 60s.

British Rail Class 03

 
Class 20 Diesel at Llangollen

British Rail Class 20 Diesel Locomotive

Explore the 1000-horsepower English Electric Type 1 and its extended service life as a freight-hauling workhorse.

British Rail Class 20

 
Diesel Trains Icon

British Rail Class 23 Diesel Locomotive

Read more about the iconic ‘Baby Deltics’ and the reasons behind their withdrawal from service in the early 1970s.

British Rail Class 23

 
by Phil Marsh

British Rail Class 26 Diesel-electric Locomotive

The British Rail built class 26 was ordered along with a number of other pilot scheme Diesels in the 1950s with delivery taking place between 1958-1959.

British Rail Class 26

 
Class 27 Diesel at Kinneil

British Rail Class 27 Diesel-electric Locomotive

The British Rail built class 27 also known as BRCW Type 2 during 1961-1962.

British Rail Class 27

 
Class 31 Diesel at York

British Rail Class 31 Diesel Locomotive

Take a trip with the Brush Type 2 locomotive, designed for life on Britain’s regional railways in the 50s and 60s.

British Rail Class 31

 
Class 33 Diesel at Swanwick

British Rail Class 33 Diesel Locomotive

Climb aboard Southern Region’s BRCW Type 3 and learn more about where you can get up close and personal with it today.

British Rail Class 33

 
Class 47 and Class 37 Diesel at Carnforth

British Rail Class 37 Diesel Locomotive

Discover more about the English Electric Type 3, and its reputation for reliability on a whole different range of routes, all the way to the 1990s.

British Rail Class 37

 
Class 40 Diesel

British Rail Class 40 Diesel Locomotive

Read all about the Class 40 and discover why a locomotive originally intended for great things ended up being demoted to secondary duties.

British Rail Class 40

 
Class 45 Diesel at Butterley

British Rail Class 45 Diesel Locomotive

Explore the Sulzer Type 4 – workhorse of the Midland Mainline and Transpennine routes from the 60s until after the arrival of HSTs.

British Rail Class 45

 
Class 55 and Class 47 Diesel at Carnforth

British Rail Class 47 Diesel Locomotive

Find out why the ultra-durable Class 47 was made in vast numbers – and how long it survived as a stalwart of the diesel age.

British Rail Class 47

 
Class 50 Diesel at Butterley

British Rail Class 50 Diesel Locomotive

Read more about the story of the English Electric Type 4, born to service the West Coast Main Line in the years before electrification.

British Rail Class 50

 
Class 55 Diesel at Crewe Open Day

British Rail Class 55 Diesel Locomotive

Discover more about the legendary Deltic, which survived in regular high speed service until the introduction of HSTs along the east coast.

British Rail Class 55

 

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