North Eastern Railway 3-12 / Class EB1

The North Eastern Railway was pioneer of electric traction in Britain. Following on from the construction of a couple of electric shunting engines built in the early twentieth century (the Class ES1) the NER electrified an eighteen and a half mile long freight line between Shildon and Newport County Durham [2] (which included part of the original Stockton & Darlington Railway). The line was electrified to 1500v DC overhead and a fleet of ten Bo-Bo electric locomotives was built for it. These were the first mainline electric locomotives built for 1500v DC in Britain. They were built in-house at NER's Darlington works with electrical equipment supplied by the Siemens factory in Stafford [3]. The locomotives had a low top speed (45 mp/h) though usually ran at 25 mp/h and could haul a train of 1,400 tons [4].

Number built: 10
Built: 1914
Builder: NER Darlington
Engine: 4 Siemens traction motors (1500v DC OHLE)
Power: 1, 100 hp (820 kW)
(Class EB1) 1, 256 hp (937 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Bo-Bo

Unfortunately a decline in coal traffic throughout the 1920s made using electric locomotives on the line uneconomic. The catenary needed replacement by the mid-1930s, the decision was made to revert to steam traction in 1935 [5]. The locomotives were withdrawn though one did survive as a shunter used at the Ilford carriage sidings. For this role it's power output was raised. It survived into British Railway use and became known as the Class EB1. It was finally withdrawn in 1964 when the electrification was converted to AC [7].
Public domain image [1]

View of the catenary in a freight yard, public domain image [6]
[1] "Electrification of an English Freight Line", Electric Railway Journal Vol. XLVIII No. 1 (July 1916) p. 5
[2] Brian Haresnape, Electric Locomotives (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 7
[3] Electric Railway Journal p. 4
[4] R.L. Vickers, DC Electric Trains and Locomotives in the British Isles (David & Charles, 1986) p. 57
[5] Haresnape p. 9
[6] Electric Railway Journal p. 7
[7] Paul Smith & Shirley Smith, British Rail Departmental Locomotives 1948-1968 (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 26