British Rail Class 92 / SNCF CC 92000

I feel like writing about a little 6-axle Anglo French electric locomotive this week. By little I really only mean in physical dimensions, however, this locomotive is more powerful than any diesel in service in North America right now. She is used in transporting goods (or in freight train service I should say) domestically in Great Britain and through the Channel Tunnel between Great Britain and Europe. This locomotive is classified as the Class 92 in Britain and CC 92000 in France by the SNCF.

The Class 92 is quite a modern looking locomotive
The locomotive is jointly developed by Swiss company ABB and Britain's own Brush Traction. Since the Class 92 predates the High Speed 1 and has been built between 1993 and 1996, they have to have both a pantograph and the ability to draw current from the third rail DC system in the South of England. Due to the difference in electrical supply system, the maximum power developed by this locomotive differ. On top of a third rail, the Class 92 develops a healthy 5 360 horsepower; and under the catenary, that number becomes more impressive 6 760 horsepower. Although small in stature, 70 ft. by 8 ft. 8 in. by 13 ft. in fact, the Class 92 is more powerful than our massive SD90MAC-H at the wheels. However, the extra horsepower is meant for speed. European freight locomotives tend to be light and fast with what we consider very low tractive effort. In the case of the Class 92, the locomotive weighs merely 139 tons (vs. 208 tons for the SD90), a top speed of 87 mph in service, and develops a maximum starting tractive effort of 90 000 lbs. (vs. 200 000 lbs. for the SD90). Like most modern AC electric locomotives, the Class 92 is equipped with regenerative braking (dynamic only on 3rd rail). Since the Class 92 is used in the Channel Tunnel, most electrical systems have redundancies built in to prevent locomotive failure while inside the tunnel.

Nice and fresh coating on this DB Schenker unit
After the opening of the High Speed 1, Class 92 locomotives have received signal system updates to TVM (Transmission Voie-Machine) to allow them to operate on the HS1. There are currently 4 operators of these locomotives, GB Railfreight, Europorte Tunnel, DB Schenker in Britain, and SNCF in France.


Mark Sumner said…
GBRF just bought 16 Class 92's from Europorte (their parent company)

Also DB Schenker have sent some of their locos to Eastern Europe - one is in Romania and up to five are in Bulgaria now.

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