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British Rail Class 89 facts for kids

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British Rail Class 89
Class 89, no. 89001, at Doncaster Works open day on July 27 2003. This locomotive has now been bought by the AC Locomotive Group.
Power type Electric
Builder BREL Crewe Works
Build date 1989
Total production 1
Configuration Co-Co
UIC classification Co'Co'
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Minimum curve 80 m (260 ft)
Length 19,800 mm (65 ft 0 in)
Locomotive weight 105 tonnes (103 long tons; 116 short tons)
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC
Current collection method Pantograph
Top speed 125 mph (201 km/h)
Train heating Electric Train Heating index: 95
Locomotive brakes Air & Rheostatic
Locomotive brakeforce 50 long tons-force (500 kN) (Rheostatic)
Train brakes Air
Career British Rail, GNER
Number 89001
Axle load class Route availability 6
Disposition Now preserved by the AC Locomotive Group

The Class 89 is a prototype design for an electric locomotive. Only one unit was built, no. 89001, which was officially named Avocet by the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on January 16 1989 at Sandy, Bedfordshire - the home of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (whose logo is an avocet). It was built in 1986, by BREL at their Crewe Works, and was used on test-trains on both the West Coast Main Line and East Coast Main Line. It was fitted with advanced power control systems and develops over 6,000 bhp (4,500 kW). It was given the nickname "Aardvark" although the railfans used to call it "The Badger" owing to its sloping front ends.

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