The Class 52 diesel hydraulic locomotive was introduced by BR Western Region in 1962 to provide improved top end freight and passenger service unobtainable from the lesser powered Hymeks and Warships. At this time the required power output was not achievable by a single power unit and the Westerns were fitted with two Maybach engines coupled with a Voith 3 speed hydraulic transmission.
This had the added advantage that the locomotive could run, if necessary, on one engine which reduced the levels of breakdown and rescue previously experienced. The major drawback with the design however, was the high gear ratio experienced with the Voith hydraulic transmission. This meant that the acclaimed top speed of 90MPH was very hard to achieve and the locomotive experienced increased wear and tear, resulting in high maintenance and overall operating costs.
In the end these disadvantages resulted in the replacement by 1977 of the Western with Class 50s and Class 43 HSTs. The classic elegant design, sweeping curves and unmistakable presence has meant that this locomotive has been a firm favourite with diesel aficionados. The Dapol OO Western has captured this character through detailed collaborative work with fellow modellers and from a detailed laser scan of Western Champion.
These great little models feature lots of details including etched grills, directional lighting, and finely printed external logos and numbering.
- Detailed body with etched roof fan grilles and separately fitted handrails
- Finely detailed cast wheels
- Metal sprung buffers
- All wheel drive and pick up
- 5 pole Super creep motor with twin brass fly wheels for controlled pulling power and incredible slow running speed
- PCB board to incorporate independent directional lights and cab lighting
- Alternate valance supplied for negotiating tighter radius curves
- NEM Coupling pockets
- Separately etched name and number plates
- Accessory bag with optional fitted components