Branchline 32-650DS Class 44 D3 'Skiddaw' BR Green (DCC Sound)
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- Sound fitted
- Directional lights
The British Rail Class 44 or Sulzer Type 4 diesel locomotives were built by British Railways' Derby Works between 1959 and 1960. They were named after British mountains, and consequently nicknamed Peaks. Their 16-wheel 1Co-Co1 wheel arrangement became idiosyncratic in later years.
Inspired by LMS prototypes 10000 and 10001, and by Southern Railway 10201-10203, the Class 44 diesels were some of the first big diesels commissioned for the British Rail modernisation project and were the precursors to the Class 45 and Class 46 locomotives of similar design. The allocation of all ten locomotives in March 1974 was Toton.
When introduced, the locomotives were fitted with multi-unit working and steam heating boilers for passenger service. They worked regularly over the West Coast Main Line for a couple of years, and also between London St Pancras and Manchester Exchange over the Peak main line. Once the Class 45 units were available, their steam heating boilers were removed and the Class 44 locomotives assigned to freight duties. They mostly operated in the East Midlands, on services radiating from or centred on Toton until 1980.