British Rail Class 50

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British Rail Class 50
50049 Defiance.jpg
50049 Defiance at Bath Spa Station on 3 June 2007.
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder English Electric at Vulcan Foundry
Build date 1967–1968
Total produced 50
 • Whyte Co-Co
 • UIC Co'Co'
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter 3 ft 7 in (1.092 m)
Wheelbase 56 ft 2 in (17.12 m)
Length 68 ft 6 in (20.88 m)
Width 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
Height 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Loco weight 115 long tons (117 t)
Prime mover English Electric 16 CSVT
MU working Orange Square
Train heating Electric Train Heat
Train brakes Dual (Air and Vacuum)
Performance figures
Top speed 105 mph (169 km/h)
Power output Engine: 2,700 bhp (2,010 kW)
Tractive effort Maximum: 48,500 lbf (216 kN)
Continuous: 33,000 lbf (147,000 N)
Railroad(s) British Rail
Number D400–D449; later 50001–50050
Axle load class Route availability 6

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 Leasings, not being purchased outright by BR until around 1973. Under the pre-1968 classification system these locomotives were known as the English Electric Type 4. The class were affectionately nicknamed "Hoovers" by rail enthusiasts because of their distinctive engine sound, caused by the centrifugal air filters originally fitted. These proved unreliable, and were later removed, but the "Hoover" nickname stuck.