British Rail Class 97

Ranked #63 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 97

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British Rail reserved the TOPS Class 97 designation for departmental locomotives, which were used for special or engineering duties. They were therefore of several different classes, lumped together for numbering purposes. Some locomotives were converted from redundant engines, whilst others were purpose built. In 2008, Network Rail once again used Class 97 for signalling test locomotives (Class 97/3). Class 97 numbers were allocated in one of three ways: Built by Ruston & Hornsby in January 1957 with the serial number 408493, this 0-4-0 shunter was ordered specifically for departmental use by the Signalling & Telecommunications department of the Western region in Readings Signal Works. The transmission was diesel mechanical, although the wheels were chain driven from the gearbox and the loco was rated at 88 bhp (66 kW) for a weight of only 17 tons. Tractive effort was a maximum of 9,500 lbf (42,000 N). Delivered to the WR with the number 20 it was renumbered to 97020 in May 1980. However withdrawal came in April 1981 and it was scrapped on site in August 1982 by Cartwrights of Tipton. For refuelling, it had to go via the main line to the depot at Reading. This locomotive was a

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