26041 at Carlisle in August 1991. ©Phil Richards
The fleet of Class 26 locomotives were produced as part of the pilot scheme for BR’s modernisation plan. BR required a large number of small diesels in the 800 to 1,250hp range and the Class 26s were one such of these designs. The initial batch of 26/0 locos were evaluated in London on a variety of duties, including commuter services from Kings Cross. The second batch of 26/1 locos were appointed to the Scottish region and by the mid-1960s it was decided to move the entire Class 26 fleet for use in Scotland exclusively. Like other Type 2s, the 26s were “maids of all work” in the 60s and 70s and could be seen on a huge variety of duties.