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 type Electric
Designer Consortium, led by Siemens
Builder Union Carriage & Wagon
Model Consortium Class E38
Build date 1992
Total produced 3
 • AAR B-B
 • UIC Bo'Bo'
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Wheel diameter 1,054 mm (41.5 in)
Wheelbase 11,700 mm (38 ft 4.6 in)
 • Bogie 2,600 mm (8 ft 6.4 in)
Pivot centres 9,100 mm (29 ft 10.3 in)
 • Over couplers 16,314 mm (53 ft 6.3 in)
Width 2,780 mm (9 ft 1.4 in)
 • Pantograph 4,130 mm (13 ft 6.6 in)
Power supply Catenary
Current source Pantograph
Traction motors Four AC 6 pole ABB/6FRA5252
 • Continuous 378 kW (507 hp)
Loco brake Knorr-Bremse air brake
Spring applied, air release parking
Train brakes Knorr-Bremse W450/150-3 compressor
Couplers AAR knuckle
Performance figures
Maximum speed 100 km/h (62 mph)
Power output:
 • Continuous 1,500 kW (2,000 hp) continuous
Tractive effort:
 • Starting 260 kN (58,000 lbf) @ 35% adhesion
 • Continuous 180 kN (40,000 lbf) @ 30 km/h (19 mph)
Factor of adh.:
 • Starting 35%
 • Continuous 25%
Operators Amcoal
Anglo Coal
Class Class E38
Power class 3 kV DC
Number in class 3
Numbers E38-001 to E38-003
Delivered 1993
First run 1993

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 and 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, 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