Class 87

The Class 87 was built for the extension of the electrification of the West Coast Main Line into Scotland and was Britain's first 5, 000hp locomotive [1]. The Class 87 was a development of the then standard AC electric locomotive the Class 86 and shared the same body shell but with redesigned bogies with Flexicoil suspension to reduce track wear [2] and frame mounted traction motors. The Class 87s were cleared to travel at up to 110 mp/h.

Number built: 36
Built: 1973-75
Builder: BREL Crewe / GEC Traction
Engine: 4 GEC G412AZ traction motors
Power: 5, 000 hp (3, 728 kW)

Thirty five Class 87/0s were built with a 36th locomotive being the solo Class 87/1 which tested a thyristor control system. The later Class 90 was a development of the 87 and indeed was at one stage to have been the Class 87/2. A small number are still in operation on the main line and some have been preserved. Quite a few have been exported to the continent and serve in Eastern Europe [3].
87 001 at the NRM

87 035 at Crewe Heritage Centre

Cab of 87 035

[1] Chris Heaps, BR Diary 1968-1977 (Ian Allan, 1988), p. 70
[2] Brian Haresnape, Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 1983), p. 69
[3] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (Ian Allan, 2008), p. 88