British Rail Class 55

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British Rail Class 55
D9009 Alycidon at the National Railway Museum, York
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderEnglish Electric at Vulcan Foundry
Build date1961–1962
Total produced22
 • WhyteCo-Co
 • UICCo'Co'
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter3 ft 9 in (1.143 m)
Wheelbase58 ft 6 in (17.83 m)
Length69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)
Width8 ft 9+12 in (2.68 m)
Height12 ft 10 in (3.91 m)
Loco weight99 long tons (101 t)
Fuel capacity900 imp gal (4,100 L; 1,100 US gal)
Prime moverNapier Deltic D18-25, 2 off
MU workingNot fitted
Train heatingSteam generator; later Electric Train Heating
Train brakesVacuum; later Dual (Air & Vacuum)
Performance figures
Top speed100 mph (161 km/h)
Power outputEngines: 1,650 bhp (1,230 kW) × 2
Tractive effortMaximum: 50,000 lbf (222 kN)
Railroad(s)British Railways
NumberD9000–D9021; later 55001–55022
Axle load classRoute availability 5

The British Rail Class 55 is a class of diesel locomotive built between 1961 and 1962 by English Electric. They were designed for the high-speed express passenger services on the East Coast Main Line between London King's Cross and Edinburgh. They gained the name "Deltic" from the prototype locomotive, DP1 Deltic, which in turn was named for its Napier Deltic power units. 22 locomotives were built, and they dominated services on the line until their withdrawal at the end of 1981. Six locomotives were preserved and are still running today.