British Rail Class 91

Ranked #65 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 91

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

The British Rail Class 91 is a class of 140 mph (225 km/h), 6,300 hp (4,700 kW) electric locomotives ordered as a component of the East Coast Main Line modernisation and electrification programme of the late 1980s. The Class 91s were given the auxiliary name of InterCity 225 to indicate their envisaged top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). The other end of the InterCity 225 train set is formed of a Driving Van Trailer, built with a similar body shell to the Class 91 locomotives. The locomotive body shells are of all-steel construction. Unusually, the motors are body mounted and drive bogie mounted gearboxes via cardan shafts. This reduces the unsprung mass and hence track wear at high speeds. The locomotive also features an under-slung transformer so that the body is relatively empty compared to contemporary electric locomotives. Much of the engineering was derived from the research and operational experience of the APT-P. In 1985, ASEA, Brush and GEC tendered for the design and construction of the Class 91s. GEC subsequently won the bid and the fleet was built by sub-contractors BREL in Crewe between 1988 and 1991. The Class 91s began passenger service on 3 March 1989 when 91001 worked

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