Originally conceived as a cheaper, more reliable alternative to the Advanced Passenger Train in the early 1970s, the British Railways Board authorised the development of a prototype High Speed Diesel Train with two locomotives designated as Class 41. These aerodynamic power cars were constructed by British Railways Engineering Ltd at their Crewe Works and emerged in June and August 1972, fitted with Paxman Valenta 12RP200L engines, developing 2,250 hp.
When originally built at BREL’s Crewe Works, the InterCity 125 units were considered to be diesel multiple units and allocated as Class 253 to the Western Region and Class 254 for the Eastern Region. With the introduction of Trailer Guard Second (TGS) carriages, later power cars had no guard’s equipment installed and by 1987 most power cars were simply classified as Driving Motor (DM), although they still had luggage van space, retaining a window by the luggage door on each side.
Following problems with the power cars and the operational ease of removing power cars to perform scheduled maintenance, unit formations were abandoned, resulting in the Class 43 locomotive prefix being adopted. The fleet of 197 Class 43 power cars produced between 1976 and 1982 were numbered 43002 to 43198 and are officially the fastest diesel units in the world. The units have an absolute maximum speed of 148mph (238kph), which is the current world diesel traction record, set on November 1, 1987.
43078 was built at Crewe, along with 43079 and the locomotives entered traffic on February 17, 1978. 43078 carried the name Golowan Festival Penzance between June 22, 1996 and November 30, 2003, having previously been named as Shildon, County Durham and subsequently as Rio Crusader. 43079 carried no name during the same period as 43078 Golowan Festival Penzance, but was subsequently named Rio Crusader. The two locomotives are currently unnamed
||DCC Sound Fitted
||Era 7 (1971 - 1986)
||BR Intercity, Intercity Swallow
||Sir Kenneth Grange
||2nd Radius + (438mm)
||5 Pole Skew Wound