Class 73

The first JA emerged from Eastleigh on the 1st February 1962 and all six were in service by the end of the year. So successful was the design that an order for a further 30, subsequently 43, was made. These were built by the English Electric Company at their Vulcan foundry Works in Newton-le-Willows. The first of this series, designated JB (later 73/1), E6007 left the works on 13 October 1965 and all were in service by January 1967. The JBs are distinguishable from the JAs since they have one less high level MU jumper cable and one less body side window. The JBs also have different traction motors allowing a top speed of 90mph - 10mph higher than the JAs.

The 73s staple work initially was on freight, parcels and departmental services with only limited passenger workings such as boat trains and overnight services. However the class provided an interim service on the Bournemouth line pending arrival of the 4Reps and introduction of the full electrified service. Indeed the 73s reprised this role - somewhat in a reverse scenario - in the late 1980s when they substituted for withdrawn Rep power cars in makeshift units so the Rep motors electrical equipment could be re-cycled into the new class 442 units.

Class 73 Nº73101 Brighton Evening Argus photographed at Brighton in August 1985.

photograph by Mark Westcott

73xxx An unidentified class 73 with a couple of tank wagons passing through Polegate in August 1985.

photograph by Mark Westcott

Nº73005, one of the first batch of electro-diesels, stands at Stewart's Lane in September 1985 during an open day at the depot, although this locomotive was not part of the display.

photograph by Colin Duff

73137_1 A later view of Nº73137 by now in large logo version of Intercity livery on display at Waterloo on 22nd November 1986. This locomotive was named Royal Observer Corps (which it continued to carry after being renumbered 73202) on 30th October 1985.

photograph by Mark Westcott

Another variation of overall Network SouthEast blue livery was applied to Nº73005, with just the front of the cabs painted yellow, seen here at Clapham Junction. This EDL was named Mid-hants Railway Watercress Line on 10th September 1988. The name was removed in August 1993.

photograph by David Smith


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Modern Railways' March 1967 article on these engines

This page was last updated 28 December 2008

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