British Rail Class 20

Ranked #219 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 20

  • Locomotives of this class:
  • Parent class:
  • Built by: English Electric

The British Rail (BR) Class 20, otherwise known as an English Electric Type 1, is a class of diesel-electric locomotive. In total, 228 locomotives in the class were built by English Electric between 1957 and 1968, the large number being in part because of the failure of other early designs in the same power range to provide reliable locomotives. The locomotives were originally numbered D8000–D8199 and D8300–D8327. They are known by railway enthusiasts as "Choppers", a name derived from the distinctive beat that the engine produces under load which resembles the sound of a helicopter. Designed around relatively basic technology, the 73-tonne locomotives produce 1,000 horsepower (750 kW) and can operate at up to 75 mph (121 km/h). Designed to work light mixed freight traffic, they have no train heating facilities. Locomotives up to D8127 were fitted with disc indicators in the style of the steam era; when headcodes were introduced in 1960 the locomotive’s design was changed to incorporate headcode boxes. Although older locomotives were not retro-fitted with headcode boxes, a few of the earlier batch acquired headcode boxes as a result of repairs. Unusually for British designs, the

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