Class 73

Work on the dual power concept continued throughout the 1950s, during which time the straight electric class 71 was also designed and introduced. The class 71 attempted to solve the absence of third rail issue with additional catenary pick up but the overhead lines were only installed in a limited number of siding locations.

Finally an order for six electro-diesel locomotives was made in July 1959. These were initially designated class JA, subsequently under TOPS initially class 72 but 73/0 was the classification that was implemented. They were numbered E6001-6, subsequently 73001-6. These six were built at the SR's Eastleigh works and are capable of 1600hp (i.e. similar to the Southern's native diesel electric class 33) on straight electrical pick up and 600hp from its own diesel-electric generator set. In tune with the Southern's policy of standardisation and interchangeability of parts the diesel-electric generator set was from the same series as used in the DEMU units and the traction bogies (albeit with different pick up arrangements) as on contemporary EMU and DEMU stock. The class was designed to work in multiple with all other Southern MU stock - with other JAs, EMUs, DEMUs and subsequently JBs, 33/1s and 74s. A strong point of the design is that the locomotives can change their power at speed since the diesel can be started and stopped and the pick-ups raised and lowered on the move.

E6019 NºE6019 with two withdrawn Bulleid coaches.

photograph by Ray Soper

NºE6020 (subsequently Nº73114) is pictured here at Bournemouth Central on 6th May 1967. This EDL was named Stewarts Lane Traction Maintenance Depot on 14th November 1994.

photograph by Alan Robinson

E6047 NºE6047 propels a train of 4 TCs on the down main by Wimbledon 'C' Signalbox in July 1967. The unit adjacent to the loco is Nº413.

photograph by Mike Morant

NºE6044 (subsequently Nº73137 & Nº73202) is captured entering Eastbourne Station with a goods train during June 1969. Note the green 4Cig in the background.

photograph by Michael Taylor

73131 Nº73131 in front of a Class 74 outside Eastleigh works in 1974 plus an unidentified class 07 shunter.

photograph by Michael Taylor

All photographs are copyright

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Modern Railways' March 1967 article on these engines

This page was last updated 7 February 2004

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