between 1961 and 1962, the 22 Class 55 'Deltics' were intended as a
direct replacement of the Gresley A4 Pacific steam locomotives on the
East Coast Main Line. At the time, they were the most powerful diesel
locomotives on British Railways at 3,300hp, and derived their name
from the unique English Electric Napier Deltic engine. Originally
developed for high speed naval craft, two of these 18 cylinder,
opposed piston engines graced each locomotive. The last of these
machines was withdrawn in January 1982, with six examples surviving
Engines: 2 Napier D18.25s
Numbers: 55 001 - 55 022.
Previous number series:
D9000 - D9021.
(before the class were built the numbers allocated were D1000 onwards,
then changed to D1500 onwards; D9000 onwards was finally settled
The end... In January 1982 the Deltics ended their careers with
British Rail and the remaining members were unceremoniously
dumped at Doncaster works awaiting their final call to the
scrapman. Happily six examples survived for preservation.
On the 27th
February, 1982, Doncaster
Works held the 'Deltic Farewell' open day, displaying all the
remaining members of the class before cutting up commenced.
The popularity of these locomotives can be seen below, with
crowds well in attendance. Then, only 55 002 The Kings Own
Yorkshire Light Infantry had been secured for