British Rail Class 139

Ranked #234 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 139

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British Rail Class 139 is the TOPS classification for PPM60 model lightweight railcars built by Parry People Movers, for use on the British rail network. The class were originally built in 2008 for operation on the Stourbridge Town Branch Line following an extensive trial with a prototype registered as a Class 999 unit. The first newly constructed Class 139 was shown on 28 June 2008 at the Tyseley Locomotive Works Open Day. The full fleet of two units eventually entered public service on the branchline in June 2009. The Class 139 units are typical of the Parry People Mover concept, in that they utilise flywheel energy storage as the main source of energy, to propel the vehicle. The flywheel captures braking energy when the brakes are used, and re-uses the energy for acceleration. As the unit's primary motive power comes from the flywheel, this eliminates the need for a large diesel engine. The small onboard engine is used to power up the vehicle initially, and to provide power for the onboard systems. The concept of using the lightweight railcar came about in 2006, when a year-long pilot scheme began on the Stourbridge Town Branch Line on Sundays, using a PPM50 unit constructed in

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