Reality Check

Reality Check class profiles

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Direct Rail Services Class 20/3

Throughout railway history there have been many instances of obsolete equipment being repurposed for a second life, with few being as successful as the rebuilding of a small fleet of almost 40-year-old locomotives to become the Class 20/3s, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.

HM163 English Electric GT3 Feature Premium

ENGLISH ELECTRIC’S GT3

In the rush to replace steam during the 1950s and 1960s a number of different propulsion systems were proposed, with gas turbines being the least successful. A number of experimental locomotives were, however, built with one of the shortest lived being English Electric’s GT3, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES remembers.

HM162 Reality Check Feature Premium

JOHNSON’S ‘1P’ 0-4-4Ts

For more than half a century, the Midland Railway’s primary lightweight passenger design for secondary duties was a very neat and attractive series of 0-4-4T engines designed by Samuel Johnson. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks back at the history of one of the variants of this once numerous class, and finds out why it was so long-lived.

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Reality Check: The prototype HST

The High Speed Train has proved to be one of the icons of British railway history since its inception almost half a century ago. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES finds out how the concept was developed and looks back at the first of the type.

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Reality Check: LNER ‘N2’ 0-6-2T

Perhaps the most popular model of the early Hornby Dublo period was the LNER’s ‘N2’ 0-6-2T, which launched the Dublo range alongside the Gresley ‘A4’ in 1938. Many variations, some more realistic than others, followed. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks back at the history of this often modelled but unappreciated class.

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The Clayton Type 1s

In its rush to dispense with steam locomotives, British Railways ordered many new diesels straight from the drawing board. One of the shortest-lived was the Clayton Class 17 – now the subject of a new model from Heljan. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the history of this handsome, but unreliable class in this feature from HM24 in 2009.

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Split box Class 37/0s - the early years

One of the most successful diesel locomotives ever to run in Britain is the English Electric Class 37, a design that has now given 60 years of front-line service to our railways. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks back at the inception and early years of this popular machine.

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THE PRESSED STEEL CLASS 117

One of the longest-lived of the first-generation DMUs was the Pressed Steel-built Class 117, intended for the Western Region but later used in many other parts of the country. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES delves into the history of these highly regarded trains.

A4 at Aberdeen Feature Premium

The 'A4s’ Scottish fling

The dieselisation programme of the 1950s should have meant a swift end for Gresley’s streamlined ‘A4s’, but some enjoyed a memorable swansong, with duties far removed from those with which they were traditionally associated, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES found out.

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LMS ‘8F’ 2-8-0

One of the most numerous and effective classes of locomotive ever built was Stanier’s heavy freight ‘8F’ 2-8-0 – which varied careers at home and abroad, EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes.