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Class 73's were Electric !

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  • Class 73's were Electric !

    Class 73's spent most of their time running around as intended on the third rail. BR numbered them in the DC Electric class grouping 70-79. There abilities (as designed) with their diesel engine limited them sensibly to slow speed shunting primarily in yards. They only had 600hp on diesel. Using them to haul freight around the non electrified West London line to Acton and other yards on 600hp only caused them to suffer breakdowns. As had already occured to the slightly more powerful (650hp) Class 74's which virtually wiped out the whole class on numerous occasions.

    So WHY does everyone keep refering to them as Diesel locos and even on this website putting them in the "Diesel" loco slot ??

    If you have ever driven one as I have they were definately electric, both physically and in performance when let fly.

    Indeed around 1975 one of these locos can by all accounts claim the Victoria to Brighton speed record as the journey with a van train leaving Victoria around 02.00hrs was completed in 43 mins and some seconds, via the twisty Crystal Palace route no less, which adds a few extra miles and a lot of nasty bends.

    Driven by the infamous "Flying Scotsman" (Norwood driver), who by all accounts was as Black as the Ace of spades with a thick Glasgow accent, and a perchant for speeding, hence the nickname.

    A friend at the time was the secondman on the loco (also at Norwood depot) and said the speedo was stuck on the upper stop (100mph) all the way from Croydon to Preston Park. So the loco was in reality going over 100mph much of the way. I did ask at the time whether they arrived at Brighton with the same number of vans as they left Victoria with, as 4 wheel CCT's PMV's and GUV's on Mk1 bogies were not exactly known for their steady riding, especially through all the rough Junctions and crossovers on that route. I only received a distainful look for my doubts.

    The Duke 71000
    Last edited by The Duke 71000; 7 November 2017, 05:53.