South African Class 10E1, Series 1

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South African Class 10E1, Series 1
Class 10E1 Series 1 10-071.JPG
No. 10-071 at Pyramid South, Pretoria, 7 May 2013
Type and origin
Power type Electric
Designer General Electric Company
Builder Union Carriage and Wagon
Serial number 5659-5708
Model GEC 10E1
Build date 1987-1989
Total produced 50
UIC classification Co-Co
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Bogies 4.06 m (13 ft 3.8 in) wheelbase
Wheel diameter 1,220 mm (48 in)
Wheelbase 13.46 m (44 ft 1.9 in)
Length 18.52 m (60 ft 9.1 in)
Width 2.906 m (9 ft 6.4 in)
Height 4.12 m (13 ft 6.2 in) pantographs down
Axle load 21,210 kg (20.9 long tons)
Locomotive weight 126,000 kg (124 long tons)
Current collection
Traction motors Six GEC G425AZ
Transmission 17/87 gear ratio
Performance figures
Maximum speed 90 km/h (56 mph)
Power output Per motor:
540 kW (720 hp) 1 hour
515 kW (691 hp) continuous
3,240 kW (4,340 hp) 1 hour
3,090 kW (4,140 hp) continuous
Tractive effort 450 kN (100,000 lbf) starting
335 kN (75,000 lbf) 1 hour
310 kN (70,000 lbf) continuous at 35 km/h (22 mph)
Locomotive brake Air, Regenerative & Rheostatic [1]
175 kN (39,000 lbf)
from 15 to 45 km/h (9 to 28 mph)
2,187 kN (492,000 lbf) [2]
from 45 to 100 km/h (28 to 62 mph)
Train brakes Air & Vacuum
Operator(s) South African Railways
Transnet Freight Rail
Class Class 10E1 [3]
Power class 3 kV DC
Number in class 50
Number(s) 10-051 to 10-100
Nicknames Breadbin
Delivered 1987-1989
First run 1987

The South African Class 10E1, Series 1 of 1987 is a South African electric locomotive from the South African Railways era.

Between 1987 and 1989 the South African Railways placed fifty Class 10E1, Series 1 electric locomotives with a Co-Co wheel arrangement in mainline service as a new standard heavy goods locomotive.[3]


The 3 kV DC Class 10E1, Series 1 electric locomotive was designed for the South African Railways (SAR) by the General Electric Company (GEC) and built by Union Carriage and Wagon (UCW) in Nigel, Transvaal. GEC supplied the electrical equipment while UCW was responsible for the mechanical components and assembly.[1][4]

Class 10E1 10-078 BPF.JPG

Fifty locomotives were delivered by UCW between 1987 and 1989, numbered in the range from 10-051 to 10-100. Contrary to prior UCW practice, GEC works numbers were allocated to the Class 10E1 locomotives. With the exception of the Class 9E, also a UCW-built GEC-designed locomotive, UCW did not allocate builder’s numbers to previous locomotives it built for the SAR, but used the SAR unit numbers for their record keeping.[3][5]


The Class 10E1 was introduced as a new standard 3 kV DC heavy goods locomotive. With a continuous power rating of 3,090 kilowatts (4,140 horsepower), four Class 10E1 locomotives are capable of performing the same work as six Class 6E1. The entire fleet of Class 10E1 electric locomotives features electronic chopper control, which is smoother in comparison to the rheostatic resistance control that was used in the Classes 1E to 6E1 range of electric locomotives.[1][6]


The locomotive makes use of either regenerative or rheostatic braking, as the situation demands. Both traction and electric braking power are continuously variable, with the electric braking optimised to such an extent that maximum use will be made of the regenerative braking capacity of the 3 kV DC network, with the ability to automatically change over to rheostatic braking whenever the overhead supply system becomes non-receptive.[1]


This dual cab locomotive has a roof access ladder on one side only, immediately to the right of the cab access door. The roof access ladder end is marked as the number 2 end. In visual appearance the Series 1 and Series 2 locomotives are virtually indistinguishable from each other.[3]


Most of the Class 10E1 locomotives were placed in service at Nelspruit and Ermelo in Mpumalanga. In 1998 a number of Spoornet’s electric locomotives and most of their Class 38-000 electro-diesel locomotives were sold to Maquarie-GETX (General Electric Financing) and leased back to Spoornet for a ten-year period that was to expire in 2008. Of the Class 10E, Series 1, numbers 10-062 to 10-100 were included in this leasing deal.[5]

Works numbers[edit]

The Class 10E1, Series 1 GEC works numbers are shown in the table.[5]

Liveries illustrated[edit]

The main picture shows number 10-071 in the Spoornet blue livery with outline numbers at Pyramid South north of Pretoria on 7 May 2013. It displays the locomotive's right side while the picture of no. 10-075 below displays the left side. Other liveries that were applied to the Class 10E1, Series 1 are also illustrated.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 132–133. ISBN 0869772112. 
  2. ^ Class 10E1 – Principle (sic) Dimensions and Technical Data (TFR leaflet used in driver training, circa 2010)
  3. ^ a b c d South African Railways Index and Diagrams Electric and Diesel Locomotives, 610mm and 1065mm Gauges, Ref LXD 14/1/100/20, 28 January 1975, as amended
  4. ^ "UCW - Electric locomotives" (PDF). The UCW Partnership. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Middleton, John N. (2002). Railways of Southern Africa Locomotive Guide - 2002 (as amended by Combined Amendment List 4, January 2009) (2nd, Dec 2002 ed.). Herts, England: Beyer-Garratt Publications. pp. 50–52, 59–60. 
  6. ^ Jane's Train Recognition Guide