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Prototype - Class 50

50046 at Birmingham New Street. ©Phil Sangwell

The Class 50 was built by English Electric at the Vulcan Foundry between 1967 and 1968. A total of 50 were built and were employed hauling express passenger services along the unelectrified northern section of the West Coast Main Line between Crewe and Scotland. Post-electrification, the locomotives were moved to the South-West of England. They received the nickname "Hoovers", due to the distinctive sound of their dynamic braking system. The class was steadily retired in the 1980s and 1990s as second generation DMUs took over their services. However, a few examples of the class recently returned to service in the late 2010s with GBRf.

(Information provided by Wikipedia)

Type of Locomotive



English Electric at Vulcan Foundry

Build Dates

1967 to 1968

Total Built


Tractive Effort

48,500 lbf

Power Output

2,700 bhp

Top Speed

100 mph

Wheel Configuration


Operated By

British Rail
GB Railfreight

Main Duties

Express Passenger

In Service Until


Surviving Examples



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