The Deltics were a transport phenomenon. They outstripped the slow speeds of former steam locomotives on the East Coast Mainline (ECML) to match the accelerated journey times of the new electric locomotives introduced on the West Coast Mainline (WCML). The Deltics were introduced in 1961, and twenty-two production locomotives were built; at this time they were the most powerful locomotives in the world. They were powered by two Napier engines that produced a massive 3,300 hp - enough to cope easily with heavy train carriages.
The prestigious trains were sped up overnight, improving the receipts on the ECML and competing with domestic air travel, which was growing in popularity among the British public. In the mid-1970s the Deltics' dominance came under threat with the introduction of the Inner-City 125; the 125s were faster than the Deltics and started to take over the main services. As a consequence, the Deltics were demoted to ‘semi-fast’ trains, although their area of operations increased to cover Aberdeen, Hull, Liverpool, and Glasgow.
Alastair McLean was born in Glasgow and educated at Eastwood High School in the late Seventies, choosing the health service as a career. Working as a Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer, he changed direction and joined the Scottish Ambulance Service. McLean’s partner, Christine, is the love of his life and he likes nothing more than a walk in a park with her and their dog Suzie. Apart from trains, his other interests include photography and music.
Dimensions: 235 x 165 mm
Extent: 96 pages
Illustrations: 182 black-and-white and colour photographs