Sunday, 23 July 2017

Class 45 (BR/Sulzer 2,500hp Type 4 Diesel-Electric)

The Class 45 was the largest of the 3 "Peak" classes (the others being the prototype Class 44 and the follow-on Class 46 with different equipment) [1]. The Class 45s were the motive power mainstays of the Midland Main Line from the 1960s into the early 1980s. Like the other Peak classes the Class 45s were powerful locomotives though this power came at a price of high weight. Weighing in at over 130 tons they had to have 1Co-Co1 bogies with extra non-powered wheels to help spread the weight on the rail.

Information
Number built: 127
Built: 1960-62
Builder: BR Derby & Crewe
Engine: Sulzer 12LD28B diesel
Power: 2, 500 hp (1, 864 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 1Co-Co1

Design wise the Peaks shared some of their appearance with the LMS 10000 prototype diesel-electrics and North American practice with their bonnet noses - though the bonnets were noticably shorter than the English Electric Class 40 and Class 37.  The large grills on the side of the locomotive were intended to try and produce a cleaner design and hide the many apertures that had appeared on earlier and contemporary locomotive designs [2].


The Class 45 consisted of 2 sub-types, the 45/0 with steam train heating and the 45/1 with electric train heating. The arrival of the High Speed Train in the 1980s displaced them from express work though they continued on secondary passenger services and freights into the late 1980s. They were finally withdrawn by 1989 outlasting the other Peaks by a few years. Eleven have been preserved though not all currently are in working order.
45 060 at Kidderminster SVR

45 041 at Chinnor

45 140 at Birmingham New Street (K Davies Collection)

Front view of 45 041

Side view of 45 041 at Princes Risborough showing the large bogie

[1] Brian Haresnape, Production Diesel-Electrics Types 4 and 5 (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 31
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 116