British Rail Class 77

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British Rail Class 77
27000 at Crewe Works.JPG
Preserved locomotive no. 27000 in original black livery
Type and origin
Power type Electric
Builder BR Gorton Works
Build date 1953–1954
Total produced 7
Specifications
Configuration Co-Co
AAR wheel arr. C-C
UIC classification Co+Co
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter 3 ft 7 in (1.092 m)
Length 59 ft 0 in (17.98 m)
Locomotive weight 102.5 long tons (104.1 t; 114.8 short tons)
Electric system(s) 1500 V DC Catenary
Current collection
method
Pantograph, 2 off
Traction motors Metropolitan-Vickers
Performance figures
Maximum speed 90 mph (145 km/h)
Power output 2,490 hp (1,857 kW)
Tractive effort 45,000 lbf (200 kN)
Train heating Steam generator
Locomotive brake Air and electrical regenerative
Locomotive
brakeforce
85 long tons-force (847 kN)
Train brakes Vacuum
Career
Operator(s) British Railways
Number(s) 27000–27006
Retired September 1968
Disposition All sold to Netherlands as NS 1500 Class

The British Rail Class 77, also known as Class EM2, is a class of 1.5 kV DC, Co-Co electric locomotive. They were built by Metropolitan-Vickers in 1953–1954 for use over the Woodhead Line between Manchester and Sheffield.

Description[edit]

Seven locomotives of this type were constructed. They represented the first Co-Co type of overhead electric locomotive built for use in the United Kingdom. The design was based on that of the smaller Class EM1, which dated from 1941. Initially, 27 locomotives of this type had been planned, but by the early 1950s, the benefits of using the 25 kV AC system had been demonstrated, which meant that the Woodhead Line would be an isolated electric system. Consequently the order was cut to just seven locomotives.

A Class 77 hauled passenger train waiting at Manchester Piccadilly in 1967

The locomotives were initially numbered 27000-27006 and were painted in BR black livery. Construction took place at Gorton Works, Manchester with electrical equipment supplied by Metropolitan-Vickers. All seven were named after characters from Greek mythology in 1959-1960. They were primarily used for express passenger trains between Manchester Piccadilly and Sheffield Victoria. In 1957, the class was renumbered with the addition of an "E" prefix to the number. In the early 1960s, the class started to receive the standard BR green livery. At least one of the class, E27002, received the electric blue livery carried by the AC electric locomotives.

The class was withdrawn en masse in September 1968. They were stored at Bury by BR in the hope of sale to a foreign railway. The passenger service for which the Class 77s were built continued to be operated by Class 76s, until its withdrawal on 5 January 1970. The Woodhead Line was closed as a through route in 1981, leaving just a stub between Manchester Piccadilly and Hadfield.

Forty more powerful class 46 electric locomotives were built by Metropolitan-Vickers in the mid-1950s for the New South Wales Government Railways.[1] The class 46 was based on the EM1 and EM2.

Further use[edit]

NS 1500 Class no. 1505 at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

In September 1969 the entire class was sold to the Dutch national railway operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen, where they became NS 1500 Class. They were renumbered in the 1500 series in the order they left their workshops, where they received various modifications, including new headlight clusters. The locomotives also retained their names. One locomotive, no. E27005 Minerva was broken up and used for spares. The remaining six locomotives were employed until final withdrawal in 1986. Their main work was on The HagueCologne express trains as far as the border at Venlo although they travelled to their home depot at Maastricht either with a train or light engine on Sunday for their weekly examination before returning to traffic the following day. They were sometimes to be found on freight trains bound for the German border originating in the Rotterdam area.

Fleet details[edit]

Key: Preserved Scrapped
BR number NS number Name Disposal
1955 1957
27000 E27000 1502 Electra Preserved at Midland Railway - Butterley
27001 E27001 1505 Ariadne Preserved at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry
27002 E27002 1506 Aurora Scrapped (02/1985)
27003 E27003 1501 Diana Preserved in the Netherlands by Werkgroep 1501
27004 E27004 1503 Juno Scrapped (10/1986)
27005 E27005 - Minerva Used for parts by NS. Scrapped (11/1969)
27006 E27006 1504 Pandora Scrapped (02/1985)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Singleton, C.C. (October 1956). "The 46-Class Electric Locomotive". Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin: pp. 142–144. 

Further reading[edit]

  • McManus, Michael. Ultimate Allocations, British Railways Locomotives 1948 - 1968. Wirral. Michael McManus. 

External links[edit]