British Rail Class D16/2

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British Rail Class D16/2
Tring with Bulleid English-Electric 10201 geograph-2397732-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
10201 at Tring, 1959
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Order number SR Order 3441
Build date 1950 (10201/10202)
1954 (10203)
UIC classification (1Co)′(Co1)′
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter
  • Driving: 3 ft 7 in (1.092 m)
  • Idling: 3 ft 1 in (0.940 m)
Minimum curve 4.5 chains (91 m)
Wheelbase 55 ft 6 in (16.92 m)
Length 63 ft 9 in (19.43 m)
Width 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
Height 13 ft 1 in (3.99 m)
Locomotive weight 133 long tons (135 t; 149 short tons)
Fuel capacity 1,150 imp gal (5,200 l; 1,380 US gal)
Lubricant capacity 16 imp gal (73 l; 19 US gal)
Coolant capacity 280 imp gal (1,300 l; 340 US gal)
Prime mover English Electric 16SVT
Traction motors English Electric 526A, 6 off
Cylinder size 10 in × 12 in (254.0 mm × 304.8 mm)
Performance figures
Maximum speed 90 mph (140 km/h)
Power output Engine:
10201/2: 1,750 bhp (1,300 kW)
1,600 bhp (1,200 kW) from 1957
10203: 2,000 bhp (1,500 kW)
At rail :
10201/2 1,300 bhp (970 kW)
Tractive effort 10201/2: 48,000 lbf (213.5 kN)
Train heating Steam
Train brakes Vacuum
Operator(s) British Railways
  • 10201/2: D16/2, later 16/9
  • 10203: D20/3, later 20/9
Power class
  • 10201/2: 6P5F, later 5P5F
  • 10203: 7P6F, later 6P6F
Number(s) 10201–10203
Axle load class RA 6
Withdrawn 1963

British Railways Class D16/2 was a class of prototype diesel locomotive built by BR at Ashford Works and introduced in 1950–1951, with a third example being introduced in 1954. They had been designed by Oliver Bulleid for the Southern Railway before the 1948 nationalisation but did not appear until after nationalisation. The diesel engine and transmission were supplied by the English Electric company but the Bulleid influence was obvious. The box-like body style closely resembled Bulleid's electric locomotives and was quite different from the usual English Electric style, typified by British Rail Class D16/1.

Unusually for pioneer British diesels, 10201 and 10202 were originally specified (prior to alteration of gear ratios to improve tractive effort when operating as mixed-traffic units) with a top speed of 110 mph rather than the 90 mph of 10203,[1] pre-dating the three-figure maximum speeds of the Deltic and Class 50 designs by some years.

Percie Bollen's bogie design and the power train of 10203 were taken almost unmodified for the first ten production D16/1 but with a more traditional English Electric design of body with prominent noses and louvered side panels.


10203 at Wolverton, in 1957

The original locomotives, numbered 10201 and 10202, worked services on the Southern Region of British Railways. They were transferred to Camden depot in the London Midland Region in April 1955.

Number 10203 was outshopped from Brighton works in March 1954, its modified engine giving a power output of 2,000 hp (1,500 kW). It was trialled on the Southern Region before joining its sisters on the London Midland, being allocated to Willesden depot.

All three locomotives were non-standard with regards to spare parts and servicing and they were withdrawn at the end of 1963. After spending some time on the scrap line at Derby Works they were eventually scrapped at Cashmore's at Great Bridge in 1968.

Additional information[edit]

  • Bogie wheelbase (rigid): 16 ft 0 in (4.88 m)
  • Bogie wheelbase (total): 21 ft 6 in (6.55 m)
  • Bogie pivot centres: 28 ft 6 in (8.69 m)
  • Sanding equipment: Pneumatic
  • Heating boiler: Spanner
  • Gear ratio: Originally 17:65, amended to 19:61
  • Boiler water capacity: 880 gal
  • Boiler fuel capacity: From main supply


  • Strickland, David C. (September 1983). Locomotive Directory. Camberley, Surrey: Diesel and Electric Group. pp. 27, 29. ISBN 0-906375-10-X. 
  • Stephens, Robert (1988). Diesel Pioneers. Atlantic Transport. ISBN 0-906899-29-X. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]