British Rail Class 89

The Class 89 is a one of a kind (literally) electric locomotive designed by Brush Traction and built at British Rail Engineering Limited Crewe Works in 1986. One unit, 89001, was ever built. She was named Avocet by Margaret Thatcher in 1989, whose Party instrumented the murder of the British Railways in 1993. The Class 89 was thought to be used in the Channel Tunnel and also replace aging Class 86 locomotives. These tasks however ended up with Classes 90, 92, and 9, but some of the Class 89's designed lived on in these later locomotives. Eventually the Avocet ended up hauling InterCity trains on the then newly electrified East Coast Main Line between London King's X and Leeds wearing the InterCity livery. She was sidelined in 1989 due to a major failure and put in storage, just days before the Class 91, power for the InterCity 225 went in service.

During a motive power shortage in 1996, the Great North Eastern Railway, TOC then for the InterCity East Coast franchise, repaired the unit and placed her back on inter city services on her old route until she suffered another major failure. Today the Class 89 is owned by AC Locomotive Group, a dedicated AC electric locomotive preservation society. Although she has yet to be fully restored, but at least the fans know she's in good hands. When fully repaired, her 6 axles will again pump out 6,000 horsepower and accelerate her to her top speed of 125 mph.


Eric said…
This post got me searching through TOTW for another class, the Class 142 BREL or Skippers.

A one-unit BREL railbus came to Canada around 1981 for testing in Northern Manitoba, with a two-unit Class 142 arriving in 1986 and attending Expo 86 in Vancouver.

I've included some information on these railbuses in my upcoming VIA book. Interesting to learn about the testing of these British units in Canada!

Thanks for sharing,

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