South African Class E38

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South African Class E38
Amcoal Class E38 E38-003.JPG
No. E38-003 at Sentrarand, 22 September 2009
Type and origin
Power typeElectric
DesignerConsortium led by Siemens
BuilderUnion Carriage & Wagon
ModelConsortium Class E38
Build date1992
Total produced3
 • UICBo'Bo'
 • CommonwealthBo-Bo
Gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Wheel diameter1,054 mm (41.5 in)
Wheelbase11,700 mm (38 ft 4.6 in)
 • Bogie2,600 mm (8 ft 6.4 in)
Pivot centres9,100 mm (29 ft 10.3 in)
 • Over couplers16,314 mm (53 ft 6.3 in)
Width2,780 mm (9 ft 1.4 in)
 • Pantograph4,130 mm (13 ft 6.6 in)
Electric system/s3 kV DC
Current pickup(s)Pantograph from catenary
Traction motorsFour AC 6 pole ABB/6FRA5252
 • Continuous378 kW (507 hp)
Loco brakeKnorr-Bremse air brake
Spring applied, air release parking
Train brakesKnorr-Bremse W450/150-3 compressor
CouplersAAR knuckle
Performance figures
Maximum speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Power output:
 • Continuous1,500 kW (2,000 hp) continuous
Tractive effort:
 • Starting260 kN (58,000 lbf) @ 35% adhesion
 • Continuous180 kN (40,000 lbf) @ 30 km/h (19 mph)
Factor of adh.:
 • Starting35%
 • Continuous25%
Anglo Coal
ClassClass E38
Number in class3
NumbersE38-001 to E38-003
First run1993

The Amcoal Class E38 of 1993 is a South African industrial electric locomotive.

In 1993 Amcoal, now Anglo Coal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anglo American, placed three Class E38 electric locomotives in service at its Kromdraai Colliery near Witbank, Mpumalanga.[1]


The 3 kV DC Class E38 electric locomotive is an electric-only version of the Class 38-000 electro-diesel locomotive which was designed for Spoornet by Consortium under the leadership of Siemens. In 1992, three of these locomotives were built for Amcoal by Union Carriage & Wagon (UCW) in Nigel, Transvaal.[2]

Builders’ plates on no. E38-003

The locomotives were delivered in 1993 and numbered in the range from E38-001 to E38-003. UCW did not allocate builder's numbers to the locomotives it built for Anglo Coal, but used the Amcoal unit numbers for their record keeping.[1]

Spoornet’s Class 38-000[edit]

Prior to the production of the Class E38 for Amcoal Mines, UCW also built fifty Class 38-000 locomotives for Spoornet. The Class 38-000 is a dual mode electro-diesel locomotive, identical in exterior appearance and dimensions to the Class E38 but designed for 3 kV DC electric as well as diesel-electric operation and equipped with a 780 kW (1,050 hp) Caterpillar DITA 3508 diesel prime mover.[3]


The three Class E38s now serve at the Landau Colliery near Witbank.[1]


The main picture shows no. E38-003 in its as-delivered Anglo Coal yellow livery.


  1. ^ 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. p. 63.
  2. ^ "UCW - Electric locomotives" (PDF). The UCW Partnership. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  3. ^ 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

External links[edit]

Media related to South African Class E38 at Wikimedia Commons