South African Class 5E1, Series 5
|South African Class 5E1, Series 5|
|No. E941 at Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, 5 August 2007|
|Builder||Union Carriage and Wagon|
|Gauge||3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge|
|Bogies||3.430 m (11 ft 3.0 in) wheelbase|
|Wheel diameter||1,220 mm (48.0 in)|
|Wheelbase||11.279 m (37 ft 0.1 in)|
|Length||15.494 m (50 ft 10.0 in)|
|Width||2.896 m (9 ft 6.0 in)|
|Height||4.089 m (13 ft 5.0 in) pantographs down|
|Axle load||21,591 kg (21.3 long tons)|
|Locomotive weight||86,364 kg (85.0 long tons)|
|Traction motors||Four AEI 281 BX|
|Transmission||18/67 Gear ratio|
|Top speed||97 km/h (60 mph)|
|Power output||Per motor:
485 kW (650 hp) 1 hour
364 kW (488 hp) continuous
1,940 kW (2,600 hp) 1 hour
1,456 kW (1,953 hp) continuous
|Tractive effort||250 kN (56,000 lbf) starting
184 kN (41,000 lbf) 1 hour
122 kN (27,000 lbf) continuous at 40 km/h (25 mph)
|Locomotive brake||Regenerative |
|Train brakes||Air & Vacuum|
|Career||South African Railways
|Power class||3 kV DC|
|Number in class||225|
Series 5 of the Metropolitan-Vickers designed Class 5E1 3 kV DC electric locomotive was built for the South African Railways (SAR) by Union Carriage and Wagon (UCW) in Nigel, Transvaal, with the electrical equipment supplied by Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) and English Electric (EE).
UCW did not allocate builder’s numbers to the locomotives it built for the SAR. While the practice by most other locomotive builders was to allocate builder’s numbers or works numbers to record the locomotives built by them, UCW simply used the SAR running numbers for their record keeping.
These dual cab locomotives have a roof access ladder on one side only, just to the right of the cab access door. The roof access ladder end is marked as the number 2 end. A passage along the centre of the locomotive connects the cabs.
Class 5E1 series
The South African Class 5E1 was produced in five series, the Metrovick built Series 1 and the UCW built Series 2 to 5. Between 1959 and 1969 altogether six hundred and ninety of them were built, one hundred and thirty-five Series 1, one hundred and thirty Series 2, one hundred Series 3, one hundred Series 4 and two hundred and twenty-five Series 5.
With the exception of Series 2 and 3, the series distinction between Class 5E1 locomotives was based on the different model traction motors each was equipped with, MV 281 in Series 1, AEI 281 AZX in Series 2 and 3, AEI 281 AX in Series 4 and AEI 281 BX in Series 5. The distinction between series 2 and 3 locomotives appears to have been based only on the grounds of being built on different orders.
The Class 5E1 continued the prototype of what eventually became the most prolific locomotive type to ever run on South African rails. The type commenced with the Class 5E in 1955 and continued with the Class 6E and the Class 6E1 from 1969 to 1985, and still later with the rebuilding of Class 6E1s to Class 18Es, a project that started in 2000.
The body design, which had remained unaltered apart from some minor less obvious modifications ever since the first Class 5E (E259) was built in 1955, was changed from rounded corners to squared corners somewhere between the construction of number E941, with rounded corners, and E948 which has squared corners.
By 2007 two Series 5 locomotives, numbers E1101 and E1102, had been modified extensively. It involved a complete strip down overhaul to rebuild them as prototypes with the object to determine if large scale Class 5E1 rebuilding would be economically viable.
On E1102 visual external differences from the originals were side window screens, higher side doors with a curved rainwater gutter above it (not done on E1101), and reinforcing under the side doors and side windows. On the roof access ladder sides the cutaways on the roof edge were filled in and the locomotives were repainted into the then current Spoornet blue livery with outline numbers, the only Class 5E1s to receive this livery. They were also equipped with drivers consoles similar to those that are being fitted to Class 18Es.
No further such rebuilds were done. By 2010 these two locomotives were being used to push road trainers, which are modified coaches or cabooses with Class 5E1 controls installed in one end, that are used to familiarise drivers with routes.
Several Series 5 locomotives were sold at auction during 2010, some as scrap. Nine were purchased by Rovos Rail, a private operator of luxury rail tours that is based at Capital Park in Pretoria. The Rovos Class 5E1, Series 5 locomotives are E1030, E1044, E1091, E1104, E1105, E1114, E1115, E1123 and E1127.
The main picture shows number E941 with rounded corners, in SAR Gulf Red and whiskers livery at Ladysmith on 5 August 2007.
- "New Electric Stock for South Africa". Proceedings of the American Railway Engineering Association 68: 238. 1967. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- South African Railways Index and Diagrams Electric and Diesel Locomotives, 610mm and 1065mm Gauges, Ref LXD 14/1/100/20, 28 January 1975, as amended
- "UCW - Electric locomotives". The UCW Partnership. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- Middleton, John N. (2002). Railways of Southern Africa Locomotive Guide - 2002 (as amended by Combined Amendment List 4, January 2009) (2nd, Dec 2002 ed.). Herts, England: Beyer-Garratt Publications. pp. 51–53.
- Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. p. 128. ISBN 0869772112.
- E941 with rounded corners
- E948 with squared corners
- Modified E1101 in Spoornet blue livery
- Modified E1102 in Spoornet blue livery
- Rovos Rail's no. E1114