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 typeDiesel-electric
BuilderEnglish Electric at Vulcan Foundry
Build date1967–1968
Total produced50
Specifications
Configuration:
 • WhyteCo-Co
 • UICCo'Co'
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter3 ft 7 in (1.092 m)
Wheelbase56 ft 2 in (17.12 m)
Length68 ft 6 in (20.88 m)
Width8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
Height12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Loco weight115 long tons (117 t)
Prime moverEnglish Electric 16 CSVT
MU working Orange Square
Train heatingElectric Train Heat
Train brakesDual (Air and Vacuum)
Performance figures
Top speed105 mph (169 km/h)
Power outputEngine: 2,700 bhp (2,010 kW)
Tractive effortMaximum: 48,500 lbf (216 kN)
Continuous: 33,000 lbf (147,000 N)
Career
Railroad(s)British Rail
NumberD400–D449; later 50001–50050
Axle load classRoute 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.