Class 33 Crompton Bo-Bo diesel electric

Lima Birmingham RCW type 3 (BR Class 33) as D6524 in BR blue

Lima Birmingham RCW type 3 (BR Class 33) as D6524 in BR green



Mixed traffic

Operating company/organisation


Years of operation

1960 to present




Model/catalogue/item number

1646M (BR green)
8049M (BR blue)
8049CL (BR blue with working lights)
8015M (Irish Railways colours)


Ready to run plastic and metal model.

Motive power replacement

The Alco FA-2 chassis from the Life-Like Proto 2000 range has the correct 101.6 mm bogie centres, and bogies with wheelbases that are just 1mm short. To fit this chassis correctly, you will need to remove the cooling fan mechanism, the driver and diode/wiring assembly, and the lugs at each end of the casting. You will also need to rebuild the Lima battery box and fuel tank moulding to fit over the lower part of the casting, or make a new battery box and fuel tank assembly, or remove this piece of metal completely.

For the Lima body as supplied
The Lima body is about 2mm too wide (33 mm outside, 31.5 mm clear inside), and in this state it accepts three possible replacement chassis:
- the Alco FA-2 chassis
- the pre-Genesis Athearn F7A chassis
- the revived Krupps V160 chassis from Mehano

For slimmed bodies
For slimmed bodies reduced by up to 1.5 mm (31.5 mm outside, 30 mm clear inside), the Alco FA-2 chassis fits snugly but you have to file down the four lugs protruding from the sides of the chassis as well. If you reduce the width sufficient to achieve the scale body width of 31 mm, you will also have to remove a little plastic along the insides of the body moulding. If you reduce the width even further, to make a model of a Hastings gauge engine ('Slim Jim') you will have to remove metal from both sides of the FA-2 chassis, and this is likely to need a complete strip down and rebuild of the chassis.

Check current availability of the Athearn and Life-Like chassis with Model Junction.

The revived Mehano Krupps V160 is probably available only second-hand.


An article describing how to narrow and detail the model was published in the November 1983 edition of Scale Trains.


Produced from 1976 to c.1980.


See Buying second-hand.


The earliest HO releases had continental loop-type couplers. Later HO versions were released with UK tension-lock couplers. Eventually, an entirely new Class 33 model was released in 00.

British 1:87 Scale Modelling