Class 56, the “Grids”

(C) D.Dowling

The class 56 is a relic from the heyday of British Railways. They were built in the late 1970s and can still be seen today pulling freight trains around the country.

Built with Ruston-Paxman 16RK3CT Engines, the name Paxman has become very well know amongst railway men and enthusiasts because of its connection to the Intercity 125 High Speed Trains as they were built with Paxman engines. Some of the Class 56 locomotives were constructed in Romania by Electroputere but were plagued with issues. However, once a second batch was built by British Railways Engineering Limited (BREL) at both Crewe and Doncaster workshops, it was believed that some of the original issues had been resolved.

(C) D.Dowling

There are still a few companies operating them today. The list includes Colas Rail, GB Railfreight and Devon & Cornwall Rail (DC Rail). DC Rail have recently been using some for driver training runs along the Great Eastern Mainline.

So far only three have been preserved and they can be seen hauling heritage trains at the East Lancashire Railway and the Grand Central Railway. Anyone who would like to find out more, please visit the link below to the Class 56 locomotive group website.

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