Class 27_4We were with “The Black Island”. Tintin had taken a train pulled by an SNCF 2D2 9100 electric locomotive. He was attacked and arrested and finally escaped. His adventure took him across the English Channel into United Kingdom. If you observe the details of Herge’s drawings, the colour of the passenger coaches changed to the Brown of British Rail. The shape and the windows are a perfect replication of the coaches used by British Rail. Britain of the 1970s used a large number of diesel-electric locomotives and the same is depicted by a train pulling out of a station with a diesel locomotive at the front. Tintin jumped onto the train in pursuit of his attackers and boarded the last coach.

Class 27_3The locomotive pulling this train does not match exactly with any of the British Rail diesel locomotives in service from the 1950s till the 70s. Notwithstanding, the closest it comes to is the British Rail Class 27 Diesel-Electric locomotive. These locomotives were manufactured by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon company from 1961 to 1962. The company built a total of 69 such locomotives. These locomotives saw service mostly in Scotland as both passenger and freight locomotives. These locomotives traction was classified as Bo-Bo, that is two bogies with two axles each. Each of the four axles in turn have their own driving motors.

Class 27_1The Class 27 locomotives were designed to operate on standard gauge of 4′ 8-1/2″ (1,435 mm) Each wheel of the locomotive had a diameter of 3′ 7″ (1,092 mm). They had a wheel base of 39′ (11,890 mm). Their dimensions were 50′ 9” (15.47 m) long, 8′ 10″ (2.69 m) wide and 12′ 8″ (3.86 m) tall. They weighed in between 71 and 76 tons. They were powered by a Sulzer 6 LDA28-B diesel engines and DC generator. The traction was provided  by four General Electric WT 459 DC motors. These six cylinder inline turbo-charged diesel engines produced 1,250 BHP (932 KW) at 750 rpm. Taking care of the losses in the generators and other components of the power train, the traction motors delivered 933 BHP (696 KW) at the rails. The maximum total traction effort of the four electric motors was 42,000 (ft-lb) (187 KN). For continuous running the traction force was 25,000 ft-lb (111 KN).

These locomotives remained in service till 1987.