British Rail Class 87

This week I want to write about one of the first locomotives that has carried the InterCity branding on the British Railways. Most of us not from the UK have probably have heard of the InterCity 125 and InterCity 225 at some point in time. However, this brand of flagship intercity trains have been in existence before the introduction of the above mentioned famous British high-speed trains.

The Class 87 was a purpose built machine to haul fast service on the electrified West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Scotland. She bares the InterCity branding and routinely brings trains up to a maximum line speed of 110 mph, quite some speed for a blunt looking thing. Power, all 5 000 horsepower of it, comes from 4 DC traction motors.

A total of 36 locomotives have been built by Crewe Works of the British Rail Engineering Limited between 1973 and 1975. The Class 87 served British passengers well past privatisation of the British Railways with Virgin Trains. One unit has been preserved by the National Railway Museum and many have been given a second life with the Bulgarian Railways since 2006.


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