South African Class 5E1, Series 3
|South African Class 5E1, Series 3|
Number E819 waiting in line to be cut up at Danskraal in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, 26 April 2007
|Builder||Union Carriage & Wagon|
|Gauge||3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge|
|Bogies||3.430 m (11 ft 3 in) wheelbase|
|Wheel diameter||1,220 mm (48 in)|
|Wheelbase||11.279 m (37 ft 0.1 in)|
|Length||15.494 m (50 ft 10 in)|
|Width||2.896 m (9 ft 6 in)|
|Height||4.089 m (13 ft 5 in) pantographs down|
|Axle load||21,591 kg (21.3 long tons)|
|Locomotive weight||86,364 kg (85 long tons)|
|Traction motors||Four AEI 281 AZX|
|Transmission||18/67 gear ratio|
|Top speed||97 km/h (60 mph)|
|Power output||Per motor:
485 kW (650 hp) 1 hour
364 kW (488 hp) continuous
1,940 kW (2,600 hp) 1 hour
1,456 kW (1,953 hp) continuous
|Tractive effort||250 kN (56,000 lbf) starting
184 kN (41,000 lbf) 1 hour
122 kN (27,000 lbf) continuous at 40 km/h (25 mph)
|Train brakes||Air & Vacuum|
|Operator(s)||South African Railways
|Power class||3 kV DC|
|Number in class||100|
|First run||1964 |
In 1964 and 1965 the South African Railways placed one hundred Class 5E1, Series 3 electric locomotives with a Bo-Bo wheel arrangement in mainline service.
Series 3 of the Metropolitan-Vickers (Metrovick) designed 3 kV DC Class 5E1 electric locomotive was built for the South African Railways (SAR) in 1964 by Union Carriage and Wagon (UCW) in Nigel, with the electrical equipment supplied by Associated Electrical Industries (AEI).
The one hundred Series 3 locomotives were delivered in 1964 and 1965, numbered in the range from E721 to E820. UCW did not allocate builder’s numbers to the locomotives it built for the South African Railways and used the SAR running numbers for their record keeping.
These dual cab locomotives have a roof access ladder on one side only, just to the right of the cab access door. The roof access ladder end is marked as the number 2 end. A passage along the centre of the locomotive connects the two cabs.
Class 5E1 series
The Class 5E1 was produced in five series, the Metrovick built Series 1 and the UCW built Series 2 to 5. Between 1959 and 1969 altogether 690 of them were built, 135 Series 1, 130 Series 2, 100 Series 3, 100 Series 4 and 225 Series 5.
With the exception of the Series 2 and 3, the series distinction between Class 5E1 locomotives was based on the different model traction motors each was equipped with, MV 281 in Series 1, AEI 281 AZX in Series 2 and 3, AEI 281 AX in Series 4 and AEI 281 BX in Series 5. The distinction between the series 2 and 3 locomotives appears to have been based on the grounds of the design of their traction motor bearings.
Traction motor bearings
The axle-hung traction motors of all earlier SAR electric locomotives, up to and including the Class 5E1, Series 1, were suspended on the axles by means of plain oil-lubricated bearings consisting of bronze shells with white metal linings. With the introduction of the more powerful Class 5E1, Series 1, considerable trouble was experienced due to flaking of the white metal linings as a result of the increased intensity of the pressure on these bearings. The use of roller bearings was investigated and one traction motor of a Class 1E was converted for trial purposes. Since satisfactory results were obtained, it was decided to equip the traction motors of the subsequent UCW-built Series 2 and later locomotives with roller-type suspension bearings.
On the Class 5E1, Series 2 locomotives the arrangement consisted of a self-aligning spherical roller bearing at the pinion end and a parallel roller bearing at the commutator end of the traction motor. The roller bearings were grease-lubricated and were carried in a split cannon box to which the traction motor was attached by means of two clamps that engaged cylindrically-machined seatings on the outside of the housing. The roller-type suspension bearings required little attention other than the replenishment of the grease when the wheels were removed for tyre-turning.
When orders were placed for the Class 5E1, Series 3 and later models, the specifications made provision for roller suspension bearings incorporating a lip-type cylindrical roller bearing to replace the self-aligning spherical roller bearing at the pinion end, and alternatively for tapered roller bearings at both ends. Since the external dimensions of the bearing-housings would remain the same, the traction motors would still be freely interchangeable.
The Class 5E1 continued the prototype of what eventually became the most prolific locomotive type to ever run on South African rails. The type commenced with the Class 5E in 1955 and continued with the Class 6E and the Class 6E1 from 1969 to 1985, and still later with the rebuilding of Class 6E1s to Class 18Es, a project that started in 2000.
The Class 5E1 served on all 3 kV DC electrified mainlines country-wide for almost forty years, but by the early 2000s the Series 3 locomotives were all retired. None are known to have survived.
The main picture shows number E819 in the SAR Gulf Red and whiskers livery that was introduced in 1960 and that the whole series was delivered in.
No. E742 being cut up at Danskraal, Ladysmith, 26 April 2007
- South African Class 5E1, Series 1
- South African Class 5E1, Series 2
- South African Class 5E1, Series 4
- South African Class 5E1, Series 5
- Numbering and classification: Electric locomotives
- List of South African locomotive classes
- 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
- "UCW - Electric locomotives". The UCW Partnership. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- 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. 50–51, 53.
- Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. p. 128. ISBN 0869772112.
- SAR&H Annual Report 1963-64, Research - Mechanical engineering. p. 73.