Class 44

The first of the "Peaks", the Class 44 was the most powerful batch of diesels built in the post-Modernisation Plan pilot-scheme, though also the heaviest! [1] Weighing 133 tons (and that was with some modifications to reduce weight) the Class 44 were imposing locomotives with their 1Co-Co1 bogie wheel arrangement with extra load bearing wheels like the Class 40 and the Bulleid prototype main line diesels. The Class 44 derived a lot of their internals from the LMS prototypes 10000/1 and the SR Bulleid locomotives 10201-3.

Information
Number built: 10
Built: 1959-60
Builder: BR Derby
Engine: Sulzer 12LDA28 diesel
Power: 2, 300 hp (1, 715 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 1Co-Co1

Although there were some early issues with the bogies which could crack or catch fire if maintenance was lax the Class 44s were a successful design and were followed by the uprated series production Class 45 and 46. All three classes of locomotives are known as the Peaks which came from the Class 44 being named after British mountains.



When they first entered service they were used on express passenger services though were soon supplanted by more powerful machines and spent most of their careers, especially the final years, on freight duties in the London Midland Region area [2]. Scrapping began in the late 1970s as the Class 44s were surplus to requirements with the last leaving service in 1980 [3]. Happily two have been preserved.
Three views of the preserved D8 at Peak Rail's HQ Rowsley South


[1] Brian Haresnape, Early Prototype & Pilot Scheme Diesel-Electrics (Ian Allan, 1981) p. 77
[2] John Vaughan, Diesels on the London Midland (Ian Allan, 1981) p. 62
[3] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 47