Type HA / Class 71


photograph: Mike Morant collection

E5009 photographed in platform 1 at Victoria on 23rd September 1972.

This 24-strong class of Darlington-built electric locomotives was initially introduced by the BR Southern Region in 1959 in connection with the Kent Coast electrification scheme, and they were originally numbered E5001 to E5024. Under TOPS they became class 71. They were designed with a maximum rail horse power of 3000 at 59.3 mph to haul freight trains up to 900 tons and passenger trains up to 700 tons. In order to overcome the problems with "gapping" on the third rail due to the relatively short distance between collector shoes booster equipment as originally applied to Southern Railway electric locomotives CC1/2 and 20003 was fitted, but it was of a larger capacity than these earlier locomotives. Due to safety problems when working in sidings a pantograph was also fitted. These locomotives were built with load bearing underframes, the bodywork not being designed to take any major stresses. Another feature is the use of 4ft diameter spoked wheels and a comparatively long bogie wheelbase of 10ft 6in (matched by the WR's Warship class).

The main workload of this class was intended to be freight, but they are perhaps best known for hauling two of the Southern Region's most celebrated passenger trains "The Golden Arrow" and "The Night Ferry". The high power of these locomotives was useful on these very heavy trains.

Although this class had a successful performance record with low maintenance costs, the amount of freight hauled on the SR fell off, first causing 10 to be placed in store, then in 1967 10 (not necessarily those in store) were converted into class 74 electro-diesels. Unfortunately the class 74 was not as successful as the class from which it originated. All remaining members of class 71 were withdrawn in 1977 but E5001 remains having been preserved by the National Railway Museum.  Having been in store at Crewe for an extended period E5001 headed back home and arrived at Stewarts Lane on 1 May 2001 for assessment for possible main line recertification for use on VSOE services.

Class 71 HA NºE5020 photographed at Stewarts Lane in the company of Bulleid/Raworth "Booster" Nº20003.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

A picture of a class 71 in corporate blue livery hauling a short freight. The 4D headcode indicates a Hither Green - Sidcup - Chatham - Dover working.

photograph by Michael Taylor

Class 71

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This page was last updated 20 October 2011

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