John Austin - Western Storm - Class 52 (W)
BR Western Diesel Locomotive Dawlish Blank Fathers Day Birthday Card by John Austin FGRA
When converting to diesel traction in the 1950s, the Western Region of British Railways considered diesel-hydraulic power to be a better system than the diesel-electrics being evolved elsewhere. Experience from Germany had already shown this to be successful and the region produced four major types before standardisation to diesel-electric on BR forced the surviving classes into retirement.
Of these classes, the most successful were without doubt the Class 52 or Type 4 disesl-hydraulic as they had earlier been classified. Though generally well-liked, the class could struggle at times to reach their claimed 90mph top speed.
Always a favourite with enthusiasts, the class never wore their TOPS numbers (52 000) and instead kept their D1000 numbers to the end. As the flagship of the WR, all locomotives had names beginning with 'Western'.