Class 44 'Peak' 1CoCo1

Rapido's new 'Peak' Class 44 1CoCo1 models will feature a variety of detail differences seen across the locomotives working life (including plated-over steps on the body side, removal of inner sandboxes and extra steps on the bogies) to allow us to produce the definitive N gauge class 44 model. These new models will feature a high-quality specification including:

  • Directional Lighting
  • Next18 Decoder Socket
  • High quality motor and drive mechanism for smooth running
  • DCC Sound option
  • NEM Coupler pockets
  • Separately fitted handrails and wipers
  • A selection of discs so you may apply your chosen headcode
  • Etched radiator fan grill with separate fan.

BR ordered ten new Co-Cos from Derby Works as part of its appraisal of comparative locomotive designs (dubbed the ‘Pilot Scheme’). They were inspired by the LMS’ and Southern’s pioneer diesel designs and were outwardly similar to English Electric’s Type 4 (subsequently Class 40). Although fitted with a Sulzer 12LDA28 diesel engine capable of 2,300hp, the new BR Type 4s were heavy. Their 133 ton weight required a 1Co-Co1 wheel arrangement.

The first, D1, emerged from Derby in 1959 and was named Scafell Pike. The remaining nine locomotives were also named after English and Welsh peaks and the class soon gained the nickname ‘Peak’, which was also applied to the subsequent Class 45s and Class 46s.

Although a mixed traffic design, they were initially used on West Coast Main Line passenger services before being transferred en masse to the Midland Main Line. The subsequent arrival of the Sulver Type 4s (later Class 45) meant that the BR Type 4s (which would become Class 44 on TOPS) were allocated predominantly to freight work radiating out from Toton. Consequently, they could be seen as far afield as York or Severn Tunnel Junction.

Any small class of locomotive was always under threat and the ‘44s’ were no exceptions. 44003 was withdrawn in July 1976 and all had gone by the end of 1980. Happily, two survive: D8 Penyghent is based at Peak Rail and D4 Great Gable is owned by the Peak Locomotive Company and is based at the Midland Railway-Butterley.