British Rail Class 87

Ranked #104 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 87

  • Locomotives of this class:
  • Parent class:
  • Built by: BREL

The British Rail Class 87 is a type of electric locomotive built from 1973-75 by British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL). 36 of these locomotives were built to work passenger services over the West Coast Main Line (WCML). They were the flagships of British Rail's electric locomotive fleet until the late 1980s, when the Class 90s started to come on stream. The privatisation of British Rail saw all but one of the fleet transferred to Virgin Trains they continued their duties until the advent of the new Pendolino trains, when they were transferred to other operators or withdrawn. There is only one Class 87 still in use in Britain, and that is 87002, owned by the AC Locomotive Group but is solely used alongside 86101 for the occasional charter train. A large proportion of the fleet have now been exported to Bulgaria. A requirement for more electric locomotives came about after the electrification of the WCML was extended from Weaver Junction north of Crewe to Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow. Initially, three Class 86 locomotives were used as test-beds to trial equipment (mainly electrical equipment and suspension) that would be used in the new locomotives; effectively, these locomotives

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