In 1984 BR announced plans to electrify the east coast main line. At the time the APT project had been abandoned although one APT set continued in service as a test bed for future electric loco development. One disadvantage with the APT was the location of the power cars in the middle of the train. This effectively split the train in half and meant that there were two sets of catering, etc. This is not ideal from a business point of view so the plan for the intercity train of the future changed to conventional locomotives and stock working in push/pull mode with a loco at one end and a remote driving cab at the other end of the train. About the same time Brush traction were designing the class 89 locomotive. Construction of the loco was subcontracted to BREL at Crewe and work started on building the loco in 1985. The loco had a top speed of 125 MPH and featured a streamlined cab similar to the HST power cars at each end. Unfortunately whilst the loco was under construction BR decided to develop the 140 MPH class 91 for the ECML services although to this day the trains still run at 125 MPH ! As a result the class 89 remained a one off prototype although it has seen service on the ECML with both intercity and following a period of temporary preservation GNER. The loco has now entered preservation again this time with the AC locomotive group.     

The model

Our class 89 started life as a pair of Hornby HST cab ends. These were chopped to leave the cab windows and roof section. The bodysides were then cut from styrene sheet using scale drawings of the real loco. For the locos underframe a Lima class 47 was chosen as this was the same length as the 89. For the bogies we chose a pair of Lima class 60 ones as these were a direct replacement for the class 47’s.  

The class 60 bogies are very similar to those fitted to 89001 and although the 89 wheelbase is offset it’s not that noticeable on the model. Modifications to the bogie involved removal of the sandboxes and dampers. The distinctive class 89 details were then added using evergreen strip.