The BREL Class 58 locomotives
The BREL-built class 58 co-co loco was introduced in 1983, with the last locomotive being accepted in March 1987. Built at Doncaster the class numbered 50 examples and the early deliveries were subject to extensive acceptance testing which took most of 1984 mainly utilising 58001.
Testing soon found the 58's Achilles’ heel - that of a tendency to slip and a long period of testing and development took place during 1984 in conjunction with the Brush engineers.
The final locomotive, 58050 was fitted with a separately excited traction motor (SEPEX) wheelslip control system, which allowed a much better control of slipping.
I have it on good authority that the sources which say it was only used for
experimentation are wrong and the loco DID enter revenue earning service
with BR in 1987. Apparently it performed quite well, the weakness being the
bogie which was not designed for heavy haulage.
Although the author was not directly involved with the testing & commissioning of these locomotives they were around at the RTC in 1983/4 when undergoing acceptance testing and commissioning by my colleagues. I was involved doing other things with the prototype Sprinters.
Click on the picture for a bigger image - pictures are BR official unless otherwise credited
|58001 coupled to Test car 6 at the side of the EDU at the RTC sometime in 1983||On the Midland at Sileby on 19th
February 1983 sees 45106 with 58001, Lab 6, Lab 10 and Test Car 10 probably
heading for Old Dalby. It was hauled by a class 45 as at this stage no Derby
drivers were trained to operate the class 58
|The same train heads towards
Leicester in this view TC6 ADB975290, Lab
10 RDB975428 and
|A close up of the locomotive
|A shot of 58001 propelling Test Car 6 towards in order to turn the train on the triangle south of the station in the Spring of 1983||58001 propelling Test Car 6 towards Burton on Trent|
|58001 at Leicester, with TC6 in
tow, probably returning to the RTC from a run to Cricklewood sometime during
|58004, Test Car 6 and 58005 at Sutton Colliery in 1984 whilst undertaking wheel slip tests- the locos were actually working in multiple as TC6 was through-wired|
|58005 at Sutton Colliery||58004 - during these trials over a 3 month period one loco was re-wired to have separately excited motors. 58050 was fitted with SEPEX which made a remarkable improvement to the ability of the loco to keep its feet, however it was not pursued|
|58050 at Old Dalby in April 1987
Click on the picture for a bigger image - all pictures are the author's except where otherwise indicated
|58011 in the sidings at RTC - probably during 1984||58038 official photo
|Unidentified class 58 waiting to come off the Donnington Branch on 21st January 1985||58022 heading north near Ratcliffe power station in summer 1986|
|58008 with ballast train at Old
|58041 leaving Rattcliffe Power
|58005 on a test train at Crewe on 14th July 1999|
|Restored 58001 at Barrow Hill on 18th May 2008|
More will be added
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