Locomotives / Train Sets

BR Class 43 HST (High-Speed Train)

Diesel-Electric Locomotive

Entry Last Edited: 01/17/2024 | Content ©www.RailRoadJunction.net | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Specifications [+]
The Class 43 HST continues to serve as the fastest diesel-electric-powered train anywhere in the world.
The Class 43 (HST = "High Speed Train") is a diesel-electric locomotive built by British Rail Engineering Limited Crewe Works from the period spanning 1975 until 1982 to the tune of 197 individual units produced. These have been used as high-speed passenger haulers during their time "on the rails". Capable of reaching a record speed of 148.5 miles-per-hour (239.0 kmh), this has granted them the title of fastest diesel locomotives in the industry. Serial Nos. ranged from 43002 to 43198. Named units include Sir Kenneth Grange, Nunney Castle, and Neville Hill.

The loco measures 58.4 feet in overall length and has a beam of 9 feet. The unit tips the scales at 77.4 tons (short). The transmission arrangement involves an engine-driven alternator set with rectifier used to provide DC to the traction motors. Braking is through an air-based configuration. The engine provides an output of 2,250 horsepower.

While clocked with a maximum speed of nearly 150 mph, the loco is typically driven at speeds closer to 125 in service.

Of the 197 completed, 127 remain in active service with some forty units in storage. A dozen have been set aside for preservation and nine of the frames have been scrapped.

The series is set to be succeeded by the Hitachi Super Express. However, due to an extended development, the HST will be pushed in service for a time longer, requiring some modernization to occur to keep the machines viable for the foreseeable future.

Current (2023) operators include Scotrail (52 units), Great Western Railway (31 units), and Cross Country (12 units) among others.

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Specifications [ BR Class 43 HST (High-Speed Train) ]

British Rail Engineering Limited - UK

United Kingdom
1975 - 1982
Production Run

197 units
Production Total
Train driver seating position graphic

Driver Position
17.8m | 58.4 ft
NOTE: May include length of entire train set
70,252 kg
(154,906 lb | 77 US Tons)
Locomotive power source graphical icon
Power Source
Paxman VP185; MTU 16V4000 R41R; Paxman Valenta 12RP200L.
Engine / Drive Source
Traction Motor / Sets
201.0 kph
(124.9 mph)
Max Speed
Wheel Arrangement
(Loco Facing Left)

Operating Countries
United Kingdom

National flag of the United Kingdom
Customers / Operators:
Colas Rail; CrossCountry; Data Acquisition and Testing Services; Great Western Railway; Locomotive Services Limited; Network Rail; RailAdventure; ScotRail
NOTE: Includes both past and present

Image of the BR Class 43 HST (High-Speed Train)

Image of the BR Class 43 HST (High-Speed Train)
Side profile illustration view of the BR Class 43 High-Speed Train locomotive.
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