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Class 45 D55 'Royal Signals'

The British Rail Class 45 also known as the Sulzer Type 4 diesel locomotives were built by British Rail at their Derby and Crewe Works between 1960 and 1962. Along with the similar Class 44 and 46 locomotives they became known as "Peaks".

When first put into service they were fitted with multi-unit working and steam heating boilers for passenger service. After the introduction of the TOPS numbering system in 1971, units with steam heating boilers were designated Class 45/0 and those with electric train heating became Class 45/1. They were assigned to work services on the Midland Main Line from St. Pancras to Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield. All were withdrawn from service by 1988; twelve locomotives have survived to preservation.

Sky Cloud Train Plant Wheel
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D123, 12 July 2009, Great Central railway.
Photo: Duncan Harris

45144 'Royal Signals' in BR blue, 4 March 1984, Crew works.

Photo courtesy of
Martin Bray,

D55, number 45144 'Royal Signals' was withdrawn 21/12/1987 and scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester (06/1988).

Bachmann model: Class 45 Diesel D55 'Royal Signals' BR Green (with DCC Sound)

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A photo of the No 1 end showing the buffer beam detail fitted. A rather pink-faced driver is included who seems a bit small for OO scale - perhaps he was a small bloke. The indicator panels light up (forward end), but for the photo, the lights are not on.

Finger Circuit component Thumb Bumper Electronic engineering

The 1Co-Co1 wheel configuration can be seen above. No problems through all the points on my layout. Good traction, but the model is not quite as powerful as the Deltics and struggles with 7 Mk1 coaches up an incline.

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Here above in the cut-away photo, you can see the driver at the No. 1 end with the vent over the speaker. A nice sized speaker gives a full sound even if the sounds themselves don't have that much character. There is no cab lighting as in the latest Deltics, but it can be added as an extra function of the decoder.

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I've added a #18 Kadee at the No 2 end and swung the hoses out of the way so they don't get snagged up with the coupling. Detail is preserves as well as functionality.

Below you can see the Class 45 'Royal Signals' D55 on a parallel track to the Class 55 D9007 'Pinza'. Although the prototype Class 45 weighed in at 139 tons to the 106 tons of the Deltic, the Class 45 was less powerful with a 17.9 BHP/ton to the 31.1 BHP/ton of the Class 55.

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The etched nameplates have been added to the sides of the body using a few small drops of super glue applied with a toothpick. I suppose you can renumber and rename the model if you wish, but I would have preferred if the nameplate was added at the factory. I don't like playing around with super glue so close to the nice shiny body. A botched job would be difficult to fix.

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A very substantial model. Heavy and strong. Almost as long as the Deltic, slightly longer cab window to cab window give the impression its bigger. Once run in and oiled, it will be an impressive hauler. I will tweak the sounds a little to give some more character to the overall sound. Video to follow.

Doug Teggin

July 2010
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