Manufacturer catalogue image
Era 9 (1995 to 2004) Initial Privatisation
Era 10 (2005 to 2015) Rebuilding of the Railways
We are delighted to be able to offer you this modern-day take on the classis Class 20, with the Branchline Class 20/3 No. 20312 in the popular DRS Compass (Original) Blue livery.
Featuring working directional head and tail lights and cab lighting, the model also has a pre-fitted speaker and a Plux22 DCC Decoder socket for those wishing to equip their model for use on DCC.
Also available with SOUND FITTED (Item No. 35-127SF)
CLASS 20/3 HISTORY
The British Railways Board's (BRB) 1955 modernisation plan called for a change to alternative forms of traction and manufacturers were asked to produce trial or initial designs for evaluation. English Electric adapted an existing design based on an export model for a 1,000bhp diesel and 20 were built as a pilot scheme for assessment.
The first batch was built in 1957 and the diesels were assigned to work from Devon's Road depot, East London. The design was a success from the start and by 1962 a total of 127 had been built. Following assessment of all the Type 1 diesels, BRB placed a further order increasing the total to 228 by 1968 and the design became the BR standard for 1,000bhp diesel locomotives. With the introduction of TOPS the locomotives were designated Class 20 and renumbered 20001 to 20228. The locomotives were principally designed for freight work but also saw service on summer passenger trains where train heating was not required. The Class 20s worked over the Eastern, London Midland and Scottish regions as well as into Wales and were commonly associated with coal traffic. The only drawback the Class had was its single end cab, unlike modern designs that have a cab at each end. BR resolved this problem by regularly operating the Class 20s as pairs, nose to nose, and with the combined power of 2,000bhp they were able to haul the heavier block freight trains.
BR's decision to switch to Type 5 and in particular Class 60 diesels in the late 1980s started a gradual withdrawal of the fleet, with just 28 left by 1994. A tribute to the design is that after 45 years the Class is still in service with DRS on mainline duties following refurbishment, the resulting locomotives being designated Class 20/3s. At least 28 of the class are now preserved.
* Class names often change over the lifespan of a locomotive, so this is not necessarily the class name used by the operator in the period modelled.