_________________ Class 23 'Baby Deltics' _________________

2096 - Photo: Keith Long.

Built in 1959 the Baby Deltics, so named due to their size and use of one Napier power unit per loco instead of two as in the larger type 5 Deltic locos, the class (later designated class23) was prone to problems and failure. The power units used in the class 23 locomotives were 1100hp Napier Deltic T9-29 engines, not those used in the large class 55 locomotives, and gave persistent problem with crankshaft seizures. The class was also overweight when first built and this held up acceptance by British Rail who refused to take delivery - the weight problems continued into service and the locomotives were restricted in use finding themselves banned from certain routes. As consistent failure continued the locomotives were steadily stored at Stratford and by 1962 only four of the ten built were left in service. All ten were finally stored when the last of the class still remaining in service, No. D5905, eventually succumbed to failure in June 1963. All the locomotives were moved to Doncaster Works in July 1963 and then onto Vulcan Foundry for refurbishment. The first locomotive back into service was D5904 in July 1964 with all back in traffic by June 1965. The 'Babies' were, however, still a short lived class and all were condemned for scrap from 1968 until 1971, with one example, No. D5901, entering departmental stock. D5901 was condemned in November 1975 and cut-up at Doncaster Works in February 1977. There were no survivors into preservation, however, one T9-29 Deltic power unit remains, which is currently being brought back to life at Barrow Hill and will one day power the replica 'Baby' No.D5910 - click here.

Use the links below to navigate to each locomotives allocation history and any photos so far available on this site...

D5900 D5900 D5902 D5903 D5904
D5905 D5906 D5907 D5908 D5909

Unidentified photos of class 23 locomotives on this site...

D59xx Potters Bar 09.09.61

D59xx Potters Bar 09.09.61

D59xx & D90xx King's Cross

D59xx Langley Junction