Hornby Colas Rail Freight Co-Co Diesel Class 56 with DCC Sound R3291XS
Livery: Colas Rail Freight
Special Features: Digital Sound Fitted
Digital control (DCC) has many advantages over the conventional DC control. One of the most dramatic bonuses of operating DCC must be our superb locomotives fitted with sound.
The authentic sounds of the heavy freight Class 56 locomotive have been digitally captured thus the realistic sounds of the locomotives air horn, with the heavy throb of the Class 56s diesel motor can be clearly heard as the Hornby model slowly and deliberately goes about its scheduled duties.
The British Rail Class 56 Type 5 Co-Co diesel locomotive was first introduced in 1976 to cope with the increased requirement for heavy freight. British Rail awarded the contract to design and build these new engines to Brush Traction in Loughborough who subcontracted the construction to Electroputere in Romania due to the lack of capacity in their own works.
The initial 30 locomotives to be delivered from Romania suffered from transit damage and construction deficiencies. With this in mind the decision was made to build the remainder of the fleet in the UK. British Rail Engineering Limited were given an order to produce a further 55 A total of 135 locomotives were built as part of this Class with the construction being divided between the Doncaster and Crewe Works.
They were designed using a modified Class 47 bodyshell fitted with a Ruston-Paxman power unit to provide the capability for heavy haul freight. The Grids, as they were nicknamed, replaced the Class 20 and Class 47 locomotives and commonly undertook the transportation of iron ore, coal, aggregate and steel. The Class 56 locomotives operated on the Eastern and London Midland Regions where they were used mainly to haul Merry-Go-Round trains and on the Western Region for aggregate duties.
The first livery used on the Class 56 locomotives was BR Blue, followed by the BR Large Logo. Since those times numerous other liveries have graced the Class 56 locomotives including Dutch, Trainload Coal and Metals, Loadhaul, Transrail, early EW&S and the revised EWS logo and now Colas Rail Freight.
The introduction of the Class 60 locomotives saw a gradual reduction in the use of the Class 56 locomotives and with the arrival of the Class 66 locomotives the Class 56 fleet ceased operating and were placed into storage in 2004. The majority of the locomotives remain in various depots around the UK although some have been reinstated and used on projects in France. A few were also refurbished for Fastline, which ceased operating in 2010.
56 094 entered service in August 1981and carried the BR Blue livery with the large white arrows emblazoned on each side. Later 56094 received the livery markings of Railfreight Coal SubSector and named on the 30 April 1993, Eggborough Power Station, a name it kept until the 30 April 2004. After the fleet was purchased by EWS the colour scheme changed to EWS red, however when DB Schenker purchased EWS 56094 was sold to European Metal Recycling from where Colas obtained the locomotive and returned 56094 back into freight service but this time bearing the house colours of Colas Rail, a livery that it still carries to this day.
The superb and superior Hornby model is powered by a 5 pole skew wound motor and together with a heavy chassis is capable of handling very large loads. The LokSound decoder provides a large number of unmistakable and evocative sounds associated with this class of locomotive.