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.

1Co-Co1 Figuration

The British Rail Class 40 Diesel Locomotive was designed to pull passenger express services. Built by English Electric in a 1Co-Co1 configuration between 1958 and 1962, these locomotives were subsequently demoted to secondary work.

Vulcan Foundry

Built at the Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows, the Class 40 first went into service between London Liverpool Street and Norwich, as well as on the East Coast Main Line. Criticised for its lack of power, the engines were subsequently used for passenger services on the West Coast Main Line.


With West Coast Main Line electrification from the mid 1960s and the introduction of more powerful diesel engines, the Class 40 was reassigned to work on freight and local passenger services. Gradually retired between 1976 and 1985, some were reinstated for a short period. All were withdrawn by 1988, and several examples have been preserved.


Have your say...

Please note: you have to be logged into the site before you can leave a comment

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh to London Kings Cross by Train

Book in advance with and save 85% advanced bookings.

From £21.00

Buy now

Millenium Dome, London

Birmingham New Street to London Euston by Train

Book in advance with and save 92% on advance bookings.

From £6

Buy now

You may also like...



Follow us on Twitter and become part of our rail community! is the easy way to buy cheap train tickets online.



Control your business fuel costs with a supermarket fuel card – free to apply, no ongoing account charges and no monthly minimum spend.