The Electro-Diesels - An Illustrated History of Classes 73 and 74
With its emphasis on third-rail electrification. BR's Southern Region's requirement was for a locomotive design with considerable flexibility and, in the provision of the dual-powered electro-diesels. the SR achieved its aims. Designed to operate over the third-rail. when the line was so provided. the electro-diesels were fined with an auxiliary diesel engine that could provide the required source of power when travelling over routes not fitted with the third rail. The first six of the future Class 73 were constructed in 1962 and these were followed by a further 42 examples between 1965 and 1967. In addition to the 48 members of Class 73. the opportunity was taken in the late 1960s. as a result of the withdrawal of express steam services between London and Weymouth and the electrification of the route as far as Bournemouth. to convert 10 of the older Class 71 locomotives to the electro-diesel format. as Class 74, between 1966 and 1968. In total, therefore, some 58 locomotives of this unusual arrangement were constructed. Whilst the Class 74s were to prove less than satisfactory. all being withdrawn by the end of December 1977. the Class 73s have proved themselves to be highly successful and it is only in recent years that the class has finally been eliminated from front-line service as a result of the modernisation of the Gatwick Express stock. Many of the Class 73s have survived, however, either in preservation or as emergency salvage locomotives for individual Train Operating Companies.
Over the years relatively little has been published on the life and times of these two locomotive classes. but as the final examples enter the twilight of their mainline careers it is an opportune time to pay tribute to some 40 years of service. Compiled by Colin J. Marsden. one of Britain's foremost experts on the subject of modern BR locomotives and rolling stock. The Electro-Diesels: An Illustrated History of Classes 73 and 74 records the operational careers of the classes from their early development after the Modernisation Plan through to their swansong on Gatwick Express and rescue duties.
Comprehensively illustrated, the book is an ideal reference for all those interested in the history of Southern Region motive power and all those who model the period from the early 1960s onwards
Hardback with dust jacket, 128 pages, black & white photographs
Condition: Very Good
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