At the heart of a Class 50 is a EE16CSVT power unit built by English Electric. This is a development of the unit found in Class 40 diesels which in turn can trace its origins back to those that powered the two pioneer London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) diesel-electric locomotives back in 1947.
The unit is a medium-speed, 16-cylinder four-stroke, direct injection engine developing 2,700bhp at its maximum speed of 850rpm. The cylinders have a 10 inch diameter and a 12 inch stroke. They are arranged in a V-formation, with the twin banks of cylinders driving a common crankshaft. For each set of four cylinders there is a separate turbocharger and charge cooler.
Photographs of power units IH6937 and IH6946 appear courtesy of Darryl Tebbs.
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