History and background::British Rail Class 43 (HST)


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History and background

In early British Rail InterCity livery, Class 43 No.43079 (254012) leaves York railway station.
Locomotive information panel carried on the inner end

In the early 1970s the British Railways Board (BRB) made the decision to replace its main-line express diesel traction. Financial limitations were tight, so mass electrification was not possible. As a result, a new generation of high-speed diesel trains had to be developed.

Experience with the high-speed Class 55 Deltic locomotives had shown that a low axle weight was essential to avoid damage to the track at sustained high speed, and that high-speed engines were the only way to provide a good enough power/weight ratio for diesels. To power the HST at up to {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}}, each power car had a new diesel engine, the 12-cylinder Paxman Valenta, running at 1,500 rpm and developing {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}}. The 70-tonne weight of the power car gave it a 17.5-tonne axle loading.

British Rail Class 43 (HST) sections
Intro  History and background  Development and design  Buffered units  Engines  Life extension  Prototype  Operations  Replacement  See also  References  External links  

History and background
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