Thunderbirds are go!

Thunderbirds are go!

The Class 57 is an important part of the modern railway scene and one stands out from the crowd – 57307 Lady Penelope in its Cable Thieves-branded DRS livery. MIKE WILD picks up a Bachmann Collectors Club limited edition of the unique locomotive for this sound installation guide.

Bodysnatchers, Thunderbirds, Zombies – just three of the nicknames given to the Class 57 fleet rebuilt from ageing Brush Type 4s between 1998 and 2004. The first were completed for Freightliner, but so successful were the Brush-managed rebuilds that in total 33 locomotives were rebuilt.

The reconfigured Class 57s feature an EMD 645-E3 or 645-F3B V12 two-stroke diesel engine at their heart which develops either 2,025hp or 2,200hp respectively. The rebuilds also saw reconditioned alternators installed together with a heavy overhaul of each locomotive. The cost of this process was £300,000 per Class 57 – considerably less than building a brand new locomotive.

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