British Rail Class 50

Ranked #23 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 50

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

The British Rail (BR) Class 50 is a diesel locomotive built from 1967-68 by English Electric at their Vulcan Foundry Works in Newton-le-Willows. Fifty of these locomotives were built to haul express passenger trains on the, then non-electrified, section of the West Coast Main Line between Crewe, Carlisle and Scotland. They were originally hired from English Electric Leasing, not being purchased outright by BR until around 1973. Before gaining their 50xxx TOPS numbers these locomotives were known as English Electric Type 4s. The class were nicknamed "Hoovers" (sometimes shortened to "Vacs") by rail enthusiasts because of the distinctive sound made by the inertial air-filters originally fitted. These proved unreliable, and were removed during mid-life refurbishment, but the "Hoover" nickname stuck. The Class 50 fleet was developed following trials with the prototype Deltic-bodied DP2 locomotive. Fifty locomotives were built, initially numbered D400-D449. All were delivered in the BR Blue livery with yellow cab fronts. From 1973 onwards, the locomotives were renumbered into the range 50001-50050, to conform with the TOPS system. With the exception of the first-built locomotive, which

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