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    UKP: BR Electric 86

    Electric Loco

    Class 86 AL6

    The British Rail Class 86 is the standard electric locomotive built during the 1960s. One hundred of these locomotives were built from 1965 to 1966, either by English Electric at Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows or British Rail (BR) at their Doncaster works. The class was built to haul trains on the then newly electrified West Coast Main Line (WCML) from London Euston to Birmingham, Crewe, Liverpool, Manchester and later Glasgow and Preston.

    Introduction of the class enabled the replacement of many steam locomotives, which were finally withdrawn by British Rail in 1968. Under the earlier BR classification system, the type was given the designation AL6 (meaning the sixth design of AC locomotive) and locomotives were numbered E3101-E3200. In 1968, this was changed to Class 86 when British Rail introduced the TOPS classification system.

    The class was built to haul passenger and freight trains alike on the West Coast Main Line, however some members of the class also saw use on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) between London Liverpool Street and Norwich, after that line was also electrified in the mid-1980s. The type has had a generally long and successful career, with some members of the class seeing main line service lives in the UK of up to 55 years. Most regular passenger duties of the class came to end on both the WCML and the GEML in the early-to-mid-2000s, after a career of up to 40 years. Some members of the class remained in use for charter work and for freight work with Freightliner until 2021. A number of the class were exported to Bulgaria and Hungary and remain in use. As of 2022 three Class 86s remain preserved in usable condition in the UK, all in private ownership.

    System 25kV 50Hz AC
    Length 16.66m
    Width 2.648m
    Height 3.766m
    Introduced 1965
    Withdrawn 1995
    Wheel Arrangement Bo-Bo
    Weight 82t
    TE 267kN
    Max Speed 110mph
    Driving Wheel Dia 1.143m
    Wheelbase 13.26m

    Class 86 in Freightliner Livery at Stratford (London)

    Photo: Neil Thaler

    Number Altnumber Name Status Livery Depot Pool Owner In Service Withdrawn
    86101 86201E3191 Sir William A Stanier F R S** P ICS CL LSLO LSL 11/11/1965 UK/86 UK70/86
    86259 86045E3137Peter Pan Les Ross P BRB BU MBEL PPL 15/01/1966 10/2003 UK/86 UK70/86
    86401 86001E3199 Mons Meg, Northampton Town** P CAS CS AWCA WCR 21/01/1966 UK/86 UK70/86