Class 90 commissioning 1988

The class 90  bo-bo locomotives were designed to complement the existing Class 87 and in fact were originally designated Class 87/2. They were designed for both locomotive-hauled and 'Push-Pull' operation and in the latter mode could be operated remotely from a Driving Van Trailer (DVT) vehicle using a Time Division Multiplex (TDM) system of control by which 'signals' are sent through the standard Railway Clearing House (RCH) lighting jumper cables to operate the controls of the locomotive.

I remember undertaking TDM trials on the WCML with a couple of class 85s and a rake of Mk2 coaches, mainly between Crewe Basford Hall and Stafford. The locos were not permanently fitted for TDM just 'jury-rigged' and monitored.

Later when the Mk3 DVTs arrived they were also trialled in a similar way but with a class 86 which would be coming off works fitted with TDM kit.

Rated at 5,000 HP with a maximum permitted speed of 110 mile/h they were well able to deal with the passenger services on the WCML

90 001 was delivered to the RTC, Derby for trials in late Autumn 1987.

The fleet of 40 locos were introduced onto the WCML in 1988 and I was part of the team responsible for the commissioning of the locomotives.

 Here is a selection of photos of the class 90 on test.............

Click on the picture for a bigger image - photos are the author's unless otherwise credited

90 technical data IVA88 The technical data for the class 90 was produced in German and English for the Hamburg IVA88 exhibition

Author's collection

About to leave Crewe 90001 stands inside BREL's Crewe Works on 31st October 1987 prior to being loco-hauled to Derby to commence its type testing.

Brian Morrison

90 001 publicity shot Publicity shot of 90001 at Winsford, north of Crewe on the WCML, in early 1988

Author's collection

In the EDU Coupled to Lab Coach 6 (Prometheus) 90001 stands in the EDU workshop at Derby

Colin Marsden

RTC yard 90001 stands outside the EDU after arrival at Derby
On test The loco is pictured on a test run south of Preston on the WCML


On test With Test Car 10 and a train of loaded steel carriers behind the locomotive, 90001 heads up Shap during its type testing

Author's collection

On test Another shot on test - this is the Lune Gorge

Author's collection

Winsford Down Slow Another shot at Winsford where the Down Slow line would have been under a possession for brake testing.

Author's collection

Class 90 New Street An unidentified class 90 rolls into Birmingham New Street station sometime during 1988

Author's collection

On test at Old Dalby 90001 is pictured at the Old Dalby test track during pantograph aerodynamic trials

Derek Young

Hanburg 90008 at the IVA88 exhibition in Hamburg, Germany - May 1988
Willesden Jnc HL 90001 trails TC10 when passing through Willesden Jnc HL station on a turning move at the south end of the WCML, behind 47115 on 20th January 1988

Colin Brooks

90001 Another shot of 90001 at Willesden Jnc HL station

Colin Brooks

Stonebridge Park Here's an unidentified class 90 at Stonebridge Park at the bottom of the WCML en route to Bounds Green for a series of comparative traction tests with the class 91 in July 1988

...........and in service

90030 at Waverley Pictured at Waverley station, Edinburgh in the spring of 2002 - this is the EWS livery applied to 90030
90020 at Oxley And again at Oxley Depot, Wolverhampton on 1st March 2003 the EWS gold and maroon on 90020
Ipswich 90049 in the old Freightliner livery on the depot at Ipswich on 29th June 2006
Ipswich 90001 in 'One' livery propels its train out of Ipswich towards Norwich on 29th June 2006
Crewe On 20th July 2006 EWS-liveried 90017 is captured in platform 12 at Crewe on relief MK2 stock with DVT
Euston 90019 at Euston on 8th July 2008
Euston Late departure for the overnight sleeper ECS saw 90021 still on the stops at 11.00am on 8th July 2008
Euston 90020 waits at Euston with the spare Mk3 set on 29th July 2008
Norwich 90009 in NXEA interim livery at Norwich Thorpe on 10th August 2008
Norwich 90035 and 90009 at Norwich on 10th August 2008
Euston 90019 at Euston on 19th June 2009
Norwich 90005 at Norwich on 11th July 2009
Euston 90029 At Euston with VWC newly liveried Mk3 rake (known as the Pretendolino) on 14th August 2009
90041 90041 heads north at Rugeley with a Freightliner train on 28th August 2009
90042 90042 heads north at Rugeley with a Freightliner train on the same day
Euston Still going in 2010 - 90036 with the Pretendolino at Euston on 15th October 2010

More pictures will be added as time permits


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