British Rail Class 46
A Class 46 at Exeter St Davids in 1976.
The British Rail Class 46 is a class of diesel locomotive. They were built from 1961-1963 at British Railways' Derby Works and were initially numbered D138-D193. With the arrival of TOPS they were renumbered to Class 46. Fifty-six locomotives were built. The first was withdrawn in 1977 and all of them were withdrawn by the end of 1984.
The Class 46 design was structurally the same as the preceding Class 45 build, and had the same Sulzer engine, but differed in the fitment of a Brush generator and traction motors, in place of the Crompton Parkinson equipment fitted to the Class 45. Along with the other Sulzer class 44 and 45 designs they are often referred to as "Peaks", so named because the earliest of the Class 44 were named after mountains. Unlike the earlier designs, many of which were named, only one class 46 was so graced: D163 (later 46026) carried the name Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry from new. This name is now carried by the preserved Class 45 number D123 / 45125.
Despite intermittent use on freight trains, Class 46s were regular performers on passenger turns, particularly North East-South West, Trans-Pennine and secondary North East-London trains, and depot allocations reflected this with locos at Gateshead, Cardiff and Plymouth in 1977 giving a typical spread. Freight workings were also quite often worked over long distances, particularly "clay hoods" carrying china clay from Cornwall to the area around Stoke-on-Trent.
In the 1980s the remaining locomotives were concentrated at Gateshead depot, and the final booked passenger workings for the class were the dated summer Saturday services Bradford - Weymouth (between Bradford and Birmingham New Street), Newcastle - Plymouth, Newcastle - Blackpool North, and York - Blackpool North.
Nuclear flask crash test
On 17 July 1984, 46009, hauling three Mark 1 coaches, was deliberately crashed into a "Flatrol" wagon loaded with a nuclear waste flask and lying on its side. The train was travelling at about 100 mph (160 km/h) on the Old Dalby Test Track in a test organised by the CEGB. The test was intended to demonstrate to the public that there would be no leak of radioactive material in the event of a rail accident involving a train carrying a nuclear waste flask.
46009 was scrapped on site at Old Dalby later the same month by Vic Berry of Leicester.Images
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- Railblue.com A list of fleet numbers with dates withdrawn.