Reality Check

Reality Check class profiles

Prototype HST Feature Premium

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.

Stanier 8F Feature Premium

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.

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Stanier’s ‘Princess Royal’

Eclipsed in reputation by later and more famous designs, the ‘Princess Royal’ class ‘Pacifics’ of the LMS were nevertheless a radical step forward for that company. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains how the class started a golden era of West Coast steam.

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Class 158 and 159 DMUs

The Class 158 family of DMUs revolutionised secondary services all over the country on their introduction 30 years ago and have been reliable performers with many more years of service planned. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES tells us more about this popular class.

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Class 50 afterlife

BR’s Class 50 diesels are some of the most popular locomotives ever built, and this has been reflected in the number preserved, which currently stands at just over a third of those constructed, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES discovers.