The English Electric prototype class 55 Deltic was running by 1955, using two converted Napier marine engines, giving 3000HP. It had a distinctive blue livery and was relatively light in weight. At the time, BR was looking to replace the aging pre-war steam locomotives on the main lines to Scotland. The Deltic took over these duties and ran into the 1980’s.
The engine was triangular in shape hence the “Deltic” name. During testing the prototype suffered catastrophic engine failure. As a result, the 22 production versions had engine and other modifications done to them, before entering service.
The prototype is also the subject of Bachmann’s recent, eye wateringly expensive model, at £400.
The Kitmaster Deltic Kit.
In the early 1960’s Kitmaster released a kit of the Prototype Deltic. This was undergoing testing in 1958. Later, many of the Kitmaster range were re-boxed by Airfix. The kit is still available from Dapol.
The Hornby Dublo model
The class 55 Deltic locomotive went into service in 1961 and the Hornby Dublo model came out in the same year. The catalogue number was 2232 and it was in the BR green livery with the second logo. This was a remarkably crude model at a time when Hornby was losing out to Tri-ang.
Next, In 1962 “Crepello” was released, also in BR green. Finally, the same year saw the release of “St Paddy” . St Paddy was made for the 3-rail system. additionally, good boxed examples go for around £300. 1964 saw Hornby go into administration with many unsold models still in stock.
The Hornby 2007 / 8 model
For two years Hornby produced The class 55, The duke of Wellington’s regiment in BR green livery. These go for around £50. This locomotive was only issued in the City freight set and the set is fairly scarce on auction sites.
The lima class 55 models
Lima released a number of Class 55 Deltic, named models, starting in 1977. They are also readily available for £30 – £40. Additionally, They are quite good runners and reasonably detailed. “Meld” was released in 1977 and seems to be the most common model, on auction sites.
The Bachman class 55 models
The Bachmann Deltic first appeared in 2002 and it is still in the range. These are less common on auction sites and are much higher priced than the Lima versions, at over £100.
The Bachmann Deltic prototype model
As mentioned earlier there is a special edition model of the Prototype that was made for the National Railway Museum.
There are DC and DCC sound fitted versions. Also, The model is well finished with a striking blue livery. There is good cab detailing and sprung buffers.