British Rail Class 83
|British Railways AL3|
British Rail Class 83
83014 at Wolverhampton on 27th May 1978.
Fifteen locomotives of British Rail Class 83 were built between 1960 and 1962 by English Electric at Vulcan Foundry, as part of British Rail's policy to develop a standard electric locomotive. Five prototype classes (81-85) were built and evaluated, which eventually led to the development of the Class 86 locomotive.
Three of these engines were to have been built as Type B, geared for freight trains, but as it was only two were so built, becoming E3303 and E3304. The third Type B, E3305, was never built as such. Instead it was used as a test bed with silicon rectifiers and transductors, this being the first step towards thyristor control. It became a Type A, geared for passenger trains, and numbered E3100.
The other two Type B locomotives were eventually rebuilt as Type A, being renumbered E3098 (ex E3303) and E3099 (ex E3304). Power was provided by overhead catenary energized at 25,000 V AC.
Under the pre-TOPS British Rail classification, the first fourteen locomotives, E3025 - E3035 and E3303, E3304 (later E3098 and E3099) were Class AL3 (meaning the 3rd design of AC Locomotive). The fifteenth engine, E3100 became Class AL3/1. All fifteen were included in the TOPS numbering system, being renumbered 83001-015.
The Polish EU06 class was produced by English Electric at the same time as the Class 83s and externally they are quite similar.
The class was used to haul trains on the then newly electrified West Coast Main Line, from Birmingham, to Crewe, Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool and later Preston. By 1965, electrification had spread south to London Euston.
Storage and refurbishment
As with the Class 84, the Class 83 suffered with problems due to the mercury-arc rectifiers. After spending several years in storage (1967 to 1971), they were rebuilt with silicon rectifiers, as were already fitted to E3100, and dual braking between July 1970 and October 1973.
The decision to reinstate the fifteen engines of Class 83 was the result of the extension of the electrification from Weaver Junction to Glasgow, which required more electric locomotives. With both Class 83 and Class 84 being returned to traffic only thirty-six Class 87 were required to be built.
Electrification finally reached Glasgow in the early 1970s, allowing this class to operate the full length of the West Coast Main Line.
The last three in service, 83009, 83012, and 83015 were retained for use on empty coaching stock workings from London Euston Station to Willesden. 83009 had previously been used at Longsight in Manchester, to convert the 25 kV AC supply to 1500 V DC, to allow testing of the Class 506 units following the closure of Reddish Depot.
The second engine was 83004 which, on 24 December 1977, was severely damaged in a collision with a Class 47 at Willesden. In 1983, ten of the remaining thirteen engines were withdrawn, all being sent to the Vic Berry Scrapyard in Leicester. The final three were withdrawn in 1989, with two of the three being scrapped at MC Metals of Glasgow in 1993.
The locomotives always worked on power provided by overhead catenary energized at 25,000 V AC. However, the main transformer, normally operated with the four windings in series, could be operated at 6250 V AC with the transformer windings in parallel. This voltage was initially to be used where limited clearances gave concern over use of the higher voltage.
One locomotive has been preserved by the AC Locomotive Group.
|Numbers||Works Number||Date Introduced||Withdrawn||Disposal|
|Type B||Type A||TOPS||English Electric||Vulcan Foundry||Location||Date|
|-||E3024||83001||2928||E264||July 1960||December 1984||Scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester||December 1984|
|-||E3025||83002||2929||E265||July 1960||July 1983||Scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester||November 1984|
|-||E3026||83003||2930||E266||August 1960||May 1975||Scrapped at Crewe Works||July 1975|
|-||E3027||83004||2931||E267||September 1960||January 1978||Scrapped at Coopers Metals, Sheffield||February 1978|
|-||E3028||83005||2932||E268||October 1960||July 1983||Scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester||November 1984|
|-||E3029||83006||2933||E269||October 1960||July 1983||Scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester||October 1984|
|-||E3030||83007||2934||E270||November 1960||July 1983||Scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester||December 1984|
|-||E3031||83008||2935||E271||December 1960||July 1983||Scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester||November 1984|
|-||E3032||83009||2936||E272||December 1960||March 1989||Scrapped at MC Metals, Glasgow||August 1993|
|-||E3033||83010||2937||E273||16 December 1960||July 1983||Scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester||December 1984|
|-||E3034||83011||2938||E274||February 1961||July 1983||Scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester||November 1984|
|-||E3035||83012||2941||E277||July 1961||March 1989||Preserved at Barrow Hill Engine Shed|
|E3303||E3098||83013||2939||E275||March 1961||July 1983||Scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester||October 1984|
|E3304||E3099||83014||2940||E276||May 1961||July 1983||Scrapped at Vic Berry, Leicester||October 1984|
|(E3305)||E3100||83015||2942||E278||July 1962||February 1989||Scrapped at MC Metals, Glasgow||April 1993|
- Webb & Duncan 1979, p. 49
- Webb & Duncan 1979, p. 46
- "Technical Details". The AC Locomotive Group. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- Webb & Duncan 1979, p. 41
- Webb & Duncan 1979, p. 40
- Marsden & Fenn 2001, p. 77
- Longhurst 1979, Class AL3–83
- Morrison 2013, p. 13
- Marsden & Fenn 2001, p. 78
- "Well Done Willesden". Rail Enthusiast. No. 55. EMAP. April 1986. p. 32. ISSN 0262-561X.
- "Class 81-85 Renumbering Chart : 83 sorted by E-number". The AC Locomotive Group. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "The Class 83 Fleet". Rail Blue. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "Class 83 Number 83010". RailUK. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- Longhurst, Roly (1979). Electric Locomotives of the West Coast Main Line. Truro: D. Bradford Barton Ltd. ISBN 0851533558. OCLC 16491712.
- Marsden, Colin J.; Fenn, Graham B. (2001). British Rail Main Line Electric Locomotives (2nd ed.). Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 9780860935599. OCLC 48532553.
- Morrison, Gavin (2013). AC Electric Locomotives in Colour. Ian Allan. ISBN 9780711035058. OCLC 812686430.
- Webb, Brian; Duncan, John (1979). AC Electric Locomotives of British Rail. David & Charles. ISBN 9780715376638. OCLC 6916046.
- Derrick, Kevin (2014). Looking back at AC Electric Locomotives. Strathwood. ISBN 9781905276516. OCLC 931820979.
- McManus, Michael. Ultimate Allocations, British Railways Locomotives 1948 - 1968. Wirral. Michael McManus.
- "Classes 82/83 put into store". Rail Enthusiast. EMAP National Publications. February 1983. p. 47. ISSN 0262-561X. OCLC 49957965.
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