Sparks effect as AL5 announced

Class 85 goes under the wires.

Class 85 by Gavin Morrison

2010 WILL SEE the introduction of a 25kV ac powered locomotive in Bachmann Europe’s 4mm scale/’OO’ gauge range for the first time. These operate from the overhead line system and were originally designated AL5.

The Class 85 ac electrics were built for the electrification of West Coast Main Line services between Liverpool/Manchester/Birmingham and London Euston in the early 1960s. 40 locomotives were built between June 1961 and December 1964 by British Rail workshops at Doncaster. Initially numbered E3056–95 they later received TOPS numbers and were designated Class 85 becoming 85001–40.

The 100 mph Class 85s were used on a variety of mixed traffic work (passenger, freight and parcels) over the electrified route. Fourteen of the Class were later downgraded to 80 mph to work freight trains for Railfreight Distribution and renumbered in the Class 85/1 series due to later delivery of the Class 90 locomotives. The Class was withdrawn between July 1984 and November 1991. One locomotive survived scrapping thanks initially to Pete Waterman and is now owned by the AC Locomotive Group based at Barrow Hill.

Three versions will be produced as the original AL5 E3058 in BR electric blue with twin pantographs (Ref. 31-676), E3056 in BR blue with pre-TOPS numbers (Ref. 31-677) and 85026 in BR blue with TOPS numbering (Ref. 31-678).

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5 Responses to Sparks effect as AL5 announced

  1. […] for the first time, of two items designed to work underneath overhead catenary. These are a Class 85 electric locomotive and a Class 350 ‘Desiro’ electric multiple […]

  2. Stuart Goulding says:

    It’s about time, a pair of locos on BAA’s swaping out at a Warrington like location for diesel traction like a pair of 20’s or 37’s bound for South Wales or 40’s taking over at Crewe for North wales or 50’s for a express to Glasgow! With heljan in the future doing back dated 86’s the ideas are endless.

  3. CHRIS says:

    Fantastic news on the 85 front! Imagine a sound version of a roarer that has to be looked at too!

    This has been along time coming and will be great to get the first super detailed and well executed AC electric!
    Will be after a couple of blue ones to haul mixed freight!
    Well done Bachmann! Maybe there is scope for a class 89 too someday!
    Am a little worried on feedback Im hearing on the forth coming Heljan 86 but will reserve judgement until I see it for real and wait for a rail express review!

  4. gerry franklin says:

    great now how about the other classes 81to 84 i have the 89 in kit form but would realy like it rtr we live in hope!!!!!

  5. Andy Hinds says:

    I eagerly await the arrival of this Class 85 model! I used to drive them for real and they were quite different to the 86s and 87s I can tell you! There hasn’t been anything like this since the old Hornby/Triang Class 81 in the 1960s so can’t wait to get one of these,
    I have asked Bachmann and Hornby to bring out a Class 305 – 312 EMU series as well as I love those designs. All we can do is wait and see.
    I do wish alos that they would continue with the Class 37s of the 1970s and 80s as there were so many variants of front end variations of their split headcode boxes but I do wish they would make it faster; I’m fed up with mine lugging nine coaches around at a scale speed of below 60 mph. On the London to King’s Lynn route they used to top 80 mph!

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