Often seen as the first of British Rail’s second-generation diesel types, the Class 56s came about because of a rapid growth in power station coal traffic in the mid-1970s that could not be met by the existing locomotive fleet.
In this programme we take a look at the history of the class, including the services they worked and also which Railfreight companies are still using them in 2023.
The Romanian built 56s.
The Doncaster & Crewe built 56s.
Trainload sub sector footage and the flows that they worked on, from MGR coal traffic around Britain, stone workings, waste traffic and even on Freightliners to Felixstowe.
Loadhaul & Transrail operations.
EWS and the start of the demise of the class when they ordered the class 66s.
Fastline 56s and British American Railway Services 56311 & 56312.
DCR early workings and also 56091 in 2023.
Charter workings & visits to heritage railways.
Colas Rail flows.
GB Railfreight’s 56081 & 56098 in 2023 and also the story of the conversion programme to class 69s.