British Rail Class 85 facts for kids

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British Railways AL5
British Rail Class 85
Power type Electric
Builder British Railways’ Doncaster Works
Build date 1961–1964
Total production 40
Configuration Bo-Bo
UIC classification Bo'Bo'
Gauge ft 8+12 in (1,435 mmstandard gauge
Wheel diameter 4 ft 0 in (1.219 m)
Length 56 ft 6 in (17.22 m)
Locomotive weight 79.5 long tons (80.8 t)
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC
Traction motors 847 hp (632 kW) BTH 189, 4 off
Top speed 100 mph (160 km/h)
Power output 3,200 hp (2,400 kW)
Tractive effort 50,000 lbf (222,000 N)
Train heating Electric Train Heating
Locomotive brakes Air
Locomotive brakeforce 69 long tons-force (688 kN)
Train brakes Vacuum, Dual from 1968–1971
Career British Rail
Number E3056–E3095; later 85001–84040
Axle load class Route availability 6
Retired 1981–1992
Disposition One preserved, remainder scrapped

The British Rail Class 85 is an electric locomotive built during the early 1960s, as part of BR's policy to develop a standard electric locomotive. Five prototype classes (81-85) were built and evaluated, which eventually led to the development of the Class 86 locomotive. The locomotives of Class 85 were Originally fitted with germanium rectifiers which were eventually replaced by silicon rectifiers. Forty of these locomotives were built from 1961-64 by BR at Doncaster Works. The class were used to haul trains on the then newly electrified West Coast Main Line, from Birmingham, to Crewe, Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool and later Preston. By 1965, electrification had spread south to London Euston.

Under the earlier BR classification, the type was given the designation AL5 (meaning the 5th design of 25 kV AC Locomotive), and locomotives were numbered E3056-E3095. In 1968, this was changed to Class 85, when BR introduced a new computer numbering system. From 1971 onwards, locomotives were progressively renumbered into the 85001-040 series. Fifteen locomotives were converted for freight only use, numbered in the 85/1 series. These locomotives were restricted to 80 mph.

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British Rail Class 85 Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.