The diesel Directory Series looks at the development of British Diesel Rail Traction. Volume Five, filmed and compiled by Railscene’s Jeremy English, covers BR Second Generation Diesels. The modernisation of the Great western and East Coast Main Lines required much higher speed trains than could be handled by the existing classes so the High Speed Train (HST) came into being, powered by two class 43 locomotives, one at each end.
The HST instantly became one of Britain’s railway’s greatest-ever trains and remains in front line service today. On the freight front new Type 5s were ordered for specific tasks, so classes 56, 58 and 60 came into being. We see them all in this new programme including the ‘second lives’ of 56s and 58s on the Continent of Europe.