South African Class 10E

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South African Class 10E
SAR Class 10E 10-044.JPG
No. 10-044 at Klerksdorp, North West, 23 August 2007
Type and origin
Power type Electric
Designer Toshiba
Builder Union Carriage and Wagon
Model Toshiba 10E
Build date 1985-1986
Total produced 50
AAR wheel arr. C-C
UIC class Co'Co'
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Wheel diameter 1,220 mm (48.0 in)
Wheelbase 13,460 mm (44 ft 1.9 in)
 • Bogie 4,060 mm (13 ft 3.8 in)
Pivot centres 10,200 mm (33 ft 5.6 in)
Panto shoes 12,000 mm (39 ft 4.4 in)
 • Over couplers 18,520 mm (60 ft 9.1 in)
 • Body 17,506 mm (57 ft 5.2 in)
 • Pantograph 4,120 mm (13 ft 6.2 in)
 • Body height 3,945 mm (12 ft 11.3 in)
Axle load 21,210 kg (46,760 lb)
Adhesive weight 125,000 kg (276,000 lb)
Loco weight 125,000 kg (276,000 lb)
Power supply Catenary
Current collection Pantographs
Traction motors Six SE-218
 • Rating 1 hour 540 kW (720 hp)
 • Continuous 515 kW (691 hp)
Gear ratio 19:92
Loco brake Air, Regenerative & Rheostatic
Train brakes Air & Vacuum
Couplers AAR knuckle
Performance figures
Maximum speed 90 km/h (56 mph)
Power output:
 • 1 hour 3,240 kW (4,340 hp)
 • Continuous 3,090 kW (4,140 hp)
Tractive effort:
 • Starting 450 kN (100,000 lbf)
 • 1 hour 335 kN (75,000 lbf)
 • Continuous 310 kN (70,000 lbf) @ 35 km/h (22 mph)
Operators South African Railways
Transnet Freight Rail
Class Class 10E
Power class 3 kV DC
Number in class 50
Numbers 10-001 to 10-050
Nicknames Breadbin
Delivered 1985-1986
First run 1985

The South African Railways Class 10E of 1985 is an electric locomotive.

In 1985 and 1986, the South African Railways placed fifty Class 10E electric locomotives with a Co-Co wheel arrangement in mainline service.[1]


Builder’s plate

The 3 kV DC Class 10E electric locomotive was designed for the South African Railways (SAR) by Toshiba of Japan and was built by Union Carriage and Wagon (UCW) in Nigel, Transvaal. Toshiba supplied the electrical equipment while UCW was responsible for the mechanical components and assembly.[1][2][3]

Fifty locomotives were delivered by UCW in 1985 and 1986, numbered in the range from 10-001 to 10-050. UCW did not allocate builder’s numbers to the locomotives it built for the SAR, but used the SAR unit numbers for their record keeping.[1]


The Class 10E 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 10E locomotives are capable of performing the same work as six Class 6E1s.[2]

The entire fleet of Class 10E electric locomotives feature electronic chopper control, which is smoother in comparison to the rheostatic resistance control which was used in the Classes 1E to 6E1 electric locomotives.[4]


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.[2]


The Class 10E was built with sophisticated traction linkages on the bogies, similar to the bogie design which was introduced on the Class 6E1 in 1969. Together with the locomotive's electronic wheel-slip detection system, these traction struts, mounted between the linkages on the bogies and the locomotive body and colloquially referred to as grasshopper legs, ensure the maximum transfer of power to the rails without causing wheel-slip, by reducing the adhesion of the leading bogie and increasing that of the trailing bogie by as much as 15% upon starting off.[2]


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 no. 2 end.[1]

Identifying Features[edit]

In visual appearance the Class 10E can be distinguished from the later model Class 10E2 by the roof ends and the sills. The Class 10E has riffled roof ends and parts of the sill protrude slightly past the bottom edge of the body sides. The Class 10E2 has smooth unriffled roof ends and no part of the sill protrudes past the bottom edge of the body sides.[1]


The Class 10E is employed mainly to haul ore trains on the line between Kimberley and Hotazel in the Northern Cape and it also works between Kimberley and the Witwatersrand. Most are shedded at Beaconsfield near Kimberley, with several also at Welgedacht near Springs.[5]


The main picture shows no. 10-044 in Spoornet blue livery with outline numbers. Other liveries which were applied to the Class 10E, are illustrated below.


  1. ^ a b c d e 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
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "UCW - Electric locomotives" (PDF). The UCW Partnership. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Jane's Train Recognition Guide
  5. ^ 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. 49–51, 59.