British Rail Class 71

Ranked #208 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 71

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The British Rail Class 71 was an electric locomotive used on the Southern Region of British Railways, unlike most other Southern Region electric locomotives (such as classes 73 and 74) they could not operate away from the electrified (750 V DC third rail) system. As part of the BTC Modernisation Plan of 1955, twenty-four electric locomotives were built in 1958 for the Kent Coast main lines. They were built at the British Rail workshops in Doncaster. Numbers were originally E5000 - E5023 but the first locomotive, E5000, was renumbered E5024. They were classified type HA under the pre-TOPS scheme. Power collection was from a 3rd rail at 650 volts DC (Eastern & Central sections) or 750 volts DC (Western section) and control was by flywheel booster, as in British Rail Class 70. In some yards (notably Hither Green, South East London and Snowdown colliery near Dover) overhead catenary energized to 650 V DC was used. This overhead collection method was only employed where it was deemed too dangerous to have third rail with staff constantly at ground level reaching into low running areas to couple and uncouple trains. The overhead system utilised tram-style catenary and pantographs - it

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