Pre-orders are open for a 'whistler' in BR blue from the extensive custom model specialist, arriving in 2020.
The Model Centre has commissioned Bachmann to produce an exclusive model of English Electric Type 4 No. 233 Empress of England. The limited-edition models are to be sold with prototypically-correct red-printed nameplates and additional etched stainless-steel nameplates for customers to fit. Alternatively, TMC can fit the plates, frost grilles and buffer beam details included, plus weather to your specification for an additional fee. Models are to be made available in analogue and DCC sound-fitted guises. Delivery is expected with TMC in 2020, but pre-ordering is now available via its website.
Between 1958 and 1962, English Electric's Vulcan Foundry built 200 of the Type 4 diesel-electrics with a 1 Co-Co 1 wheel arrangement built. Earning themselves the nicknames of 'whistler' because of their turbo-chargers, they were originally numbered D200-D399. When introduced they were allocated to the Eastern, North Eastern, London Midland and Scottish Regions.
D233 was delivered in September 1959 going initially to Crewe North. During 1960 it was one of the locomotives used for crew training and spent time at both Aston and Holyhead sheds. On 9th September 1961 it was named Empress of England after an Ocean Liner built in 1957 for the Canadian Pacific Steamship company. The ship was withdrawn from service in 1975 and sent to Taiwan for scrapping, the locomotive lasting a few years longer being withdrawn from service in 1984. Some 25 members of the class were named between May 1960 and March 1963 after ships whose owners used the port of Liverpool, it should have been 26, but D226 never received its allocated name.
Empress of England was an early repaint into blue livery and had a light blue line under its running number to indicate that it had its traction motors changed for a new type and the letter W to show it was allocated to the Western Division of LMR. In late 1968, D233 became 233 losing its light blue line and W but gaining a data panel, a livery it would retain until receiving its TOPS number in 1974. It is in this pre-TOPS blue livery as 233 that our model is produced.
The locomotive was one of a number of Class 40s which found itself hauling the Royal Train on a number of occasions. Probably the most famous of its workings, with 216 Campania, occurred on June 30/July 1, 1969 when its train conveyed the Royal family from London to Caernarvon for the investiture of The Prince of Wales. What was less publicised about the train movements surrounding the investiture was that a train of three luggage vans, three coaches and 27 Mk. 1 Horse Boxes made several trips between Kensington Olympia and Caernarvon both before and after the investiture.
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