86213 moved to Willesden TMD 19th December 2014
86213 has been moved from Barrow Hill to Willesden TMD for assessment.
English Electric / Associated Electrical Industries
English Electric (Vulcan Foundry)
An example of the standard passenger subclass, 86/2, 86213 was purchased in 2005 along with 86101.
It was stored in 1998 following changes in traffic and the introduction of new rolling stock,
and loaned to the Group at Barrow Hill by HSBC Rail UK in November 2002. In early 2005 it was
moved to Wembley for use as a train supply locomotive, until February 2011 when it was moved the
short distance to Willesden TMD for cosmetic work to be carried out. In December 2011 it was moved
back to Wembley, then back again to Willesden TMD in February 2013.
It is in working order, although not to mainline standard at present.
86213 was named "Lancashire Witch" on 13th March 1981 at Burnley, in the shadow of Pendle Hill,
home of the Pendle Witches.
The AL6 design was produced ostensibly from the experience gained with the first five designs in the early years of the WCML
electrification. It featured a general construction design and bogies closely following those of the AL5, high-tension tap
changing (power control) pioneered on the AL2 and a completely modular interior based around the concept of four 'power
packs', one for each traction motor.
In a departure from the styling of the AL1-AL5 fleet, the AL6s featured squared-off front ends, as opposed to the raked back
noses of the earlier designs. The three window arrangement was retained, as was the headcode box. Another significant change
was the lack of a second pantograph when built.
Two builders were responsible for the construction of the 100 locomotives. BR Doncaster was given the job of completing 60
locomotives, while Vulcan Foundry was to build 40. Eventually the numbers were reversed with VF building the majority due to
capacity problems at Doncaster. Electrical equipment was supplied by AEI and English Electric, and one area that received special
attention was that of noise levels. The cooling fans on the AL6 were specially designed to avoid the sometimes deafening roar
produced by the earlier locos!
The first locomotives from each manufacturer were noted on test in January 1965, however build dates, first testing dates, first
passenger traffic dates and introduction dates for the AL6s were so varied that it is almost impossible to state which locomotives
came first. E3101 and E3161 were amongst the first locos sighted, and E3173 (of which more later) is often quoted as the first
delivered, though two locos became the first to haul passenger trains, both being charged with football specials in May 1965.
Official introduction didn't come until August of the same year.
After much research we are now 95% sure that the AL6s all emerged painted in an early shade of Rail Blue, with white cab roofs and
window surrounds) and not the Electric Blue of the early classes. The original number series was E3101 - E3200.
The whole fleet was delivered within 24 months, however, and the class soon settled down to regular service on a variety of trains,
including pick-up goods! Two designs of traction motor were used on the fleet, with slightly different gear ratios, but with little
impact on performance in the early years.
One significant failure of the AL6 design was that of the traction motor mountings. In the early designs, bogie-frame-mounted motors
had been used with flexible drives to the axles, but with the AL6 the motors were mounted directly on the axles. It was soon found that
the excess of unsprung weight at high speed was causing serious track damage and bad riding.
In 1969, one locomotive, E3173, was fitted experimentally with additional suspension in the form of large helical 'flexicoil' springs in
groups of three on each side of each bogie, supporting the body. The trials with the loco, which was nicknamed 'Zebedee', were a success,
and eventually led to the design being fitted to the whole fleet.
E3173 went on to perform an important role in the development of the HST or InterCity 125. Prior to the prototype of this train being
built, E3173 was fitted with an aerodynamic nose and ran a series of high-speed tests in the Tring area, measuring air resistance and pressure
effects in tunnels. It is reported that the loco reached 129mph during these tests, becoming the first UK loco to beat Mallard's record! BR
chose not to publicise the event, however, as they were expecting better things from their HST, and didn't want to overshadow the new train.
The first significant change to the Class 86 fleet (as it became known in the early 70s) was the separation of the class into two principle
sub classes, determined by the traction motor type. The 86/0s were the standard loco, essentially as built, and were generally restricted to
freight and slower passenger duties, with their maximum speed dropped from 100mph to 80mph. The 86/2s became the high-speed passenger
locomotives, all being fitted with flexicoil suspension. Forty-nine locomotives were originally converted, increased soon afterwards to 58.
As traction motor types were distributed amongst the fleet seemingly at random,
renumbering from the original
E3XXX series to the new TOPS series was also essentially random, so, for instance, 86001 was not previously E3101.
In addition, three further locos were modified. Initially numbered with the 86/2s (86201-203), these were modified with new bogies of a
design developed for use in the Class 87s, then under development. They were renumbered as Class 86/1s, taking the series 86101 - 86103, and
undertook special testing, particularly on the northern stretches of the WCML as the line was electrified, in preparation for the new locos.
By the mid 1970s, all the 86s were in Rail Blue livery with aluminium BR double-arrows on each side, however in the late 1970s and early
1980s, several 86/2s were selected to receive names following the change in BR policy towards named locomotives. Two 86/2s were treated to a
special livery to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Rainhill Trials in 1979; 86214 Sans Pareil and 86235 Novelty (both named after locomotives
that took part in the original trials), were given large bodyside numbers and a full height emblem marking the event. They also received full
yellow cabs and black window surrounds after a short time, being the first locos to carry the style that later developed into Large Logo Blue.
Eventually all the 86/1s and 86/2s received names, and many of the freight fleet have also been named as the years have passed. A number of
the freight locos were fitted with multiple working equipment compatible with the Class 87s during this period, the addition of hefty jumper
cables to the nose end being especially obvious.
By the late 1970s, the 86/0 fleet were still causing problems due to bad riding and track damage. In addition, there was a need for more
100mph-capable locomotives. Nineteen 86/0s were modified by the use of SAB resilient wheels - a new design of wheel in two sections separated
by a rubber bearing. The converted locos (86011 - 86029) were renumbered into the 86/3 series (86311 - 86329).
Still more 100mph locos were needed, however, and a further conversion programme was undertaken, fitting all the 86/3s and 86/0s with flexicoil
suspension, and fitting the 86/0s with SAB wheels, standardising the whole lot as Class 86/4, renumbered appropriately. Thus by the mid 1980s,
all 100 locos were a near-standard interchangeable fleet. A number of 86/2s were moved to the Great Eastern for use on the newly electrified line
to Ipswich and later Norwich. The fleet was flexible and saw locos move back and forth from the WCML at irregular intervals.
In 1986 two Class 86s locos were written off in the fatal Colwich crash. These were 86211 City of Milton Keynes (the only 86 never to receive
a version of InterCity livery) and 86429 The Times (originally E3200 - the last numbered loco).
Sectorisation in the late 1980s then split the fleet up once again, with the 86/4s moving to dedicated parcels and freight use, and the 86/2s
remaining on InterCity passenger services. Many 86/4s had their train heating capabilities removed, with other modifications, and became Class
86/6s, with a reduced maximum speed of 75mph. These generally operated in pairs on long-distance freight services.
At the end of the 1980s, the Freightliner subsector required a fleet of electric locomotives for dedicated Freightliner use, and so ten 86/2s were
earmarked for regearing and removal of train heating. Nine of these were renumbered into a new Class 86/5 series before the InterCity sector demanded
the locos back and they reverted to their 86/2 identities!
The increased use of fixed-formation trainsets, coupled with the delivery of new DVT (Driving Van Trailer) vehicles, saw the 86s modified with Time
Division Multiplex (TDM) multiple working equipment. Railway Clearing House (RCH)-style jumpers were added to the cab fronts of all locos, used to
control the loco whilst propelling for the 86/2s, and for general multiple working amongst the other sub-classes. The 86/4s and 86/6s lost their
original multiple-working equipment soon afterwards.
At the dawn of Privatisation, the 86 fleet was divested to a number of owners and operators. The 86/1s and the majority of 86/2s passed to Eversholt
Leasing Company (later Forward Trust, and later still HSBC) and hired to InterCity West Coast and InterCity Cross Country (later Virgin West Coast and
Virgin Cross Country). A small fleet of seven 86/2s passed to Rail Express Systems and later EWS, together with the eight remaining 86/4s. Ten 86/6s
moved to the Freightliner business, with the remainder becoming the property of Porterbrook Leasing, leased back to Freightliner.
The third loss to the fleet came in 1997 when 86239 L S Lowry was written off in the Stafford crash, however a number of locos began to be stored in
the late 1990s as strategic reserves or unofficially as 'Christmas Trees' for spare parts. Some eventually returned to service, while others did not.
Freightliner chose one of their locomotives for special re-gearing trials in 2000, and 86608 was renumbered 86501, just to confuse anyone who thought
that 86258 had been 86501 for a while in 1989. This loco re-entered service but remained a one-off conversion.
In mid 2002, Virgin Trains replaced all its Cross Country loco-hauled services with new stock, displacing the dedicated 86/2s which were placed into
store. On a more positive note, however, Virgin, Alstom (who maintained the fleet) and HSBC agreed to repaint one of the remaining West Coast 86/2s
into a good approximation of original Electric Blue livery. 86233 (E3172) was the chosen loco, renamed Alstom Heritage on the occasion of its unveiling.
2002 also saw the start of disposals, with 86219 Phoenix having the dubious distinction of being the first to be cut up. Several other locos,
including numerical pioneer E3101 (86252), 86103 and 86204 (E3173 - 'Zebedee') also met their end during the year.
86s on West Coast Main Line passenger services all but ceased in 2003, leaving Anglia to continue alone until the end of 2004 when their last three
locos were due to be taken out of service. Many off-lease locos were stored during 2003, however a good number were sent almost immediately for scrap.
By the end of 2004 no less than 25 locos had been disposed of or sold for scrap. Meanwhile The AC Locomotive Group purchased 86401 from EWS in June 2004.
Anglia surprised everyone by retaining a couple of 86/2s for most of 2005, but the end finally came on 17th September when 86235 ran its last diagram.
In the meantime, two further 86/2s (86210 and 86253) gained a new lease of life, being converted into new Mobile Load Bank machines numbered 86902 and
86901 respectively. A third 86/2 took on a new aspect as 86258 was moved to Brush Loughborough for conversion to a battery powered short-haul locomotive.
86213 had been on loan from HSBC to The AC Locomotive Group since November 2002 and, along with 86101, purchased by the Group in 2005. Initially stored
at Barrow Hill, 86213 was moved in 2005 to Wembley for use as a train supply locomotive. 86101 had been stored unused for some years but was moved to
Barrow Hill in 2006 for restoration to start. 86101 became the first preserved AC electric locomotive to operate on the main line on 15th March 2007,
and it became the first preserved AC electric locomotive to operate a charter train on 24th March 2007, from Carlisle to Crewe and back.
West Midlands radio presenter Les Ross purchased 86259 from HSBC in 2007, and it was restored to main line running order in 2008.
86101 was hired to Hull Trains in late 2007 for use on weekend services between London Kings Cross and Doncaster. These services ran from 11th January 2008 to
20th April 2008. Thus 86101 became the first preserved AC electric locomotive to work scheduled passenger services. The services required use of the Time
Division Multiplex (TDM) remote control system, and sustained running at 110mph.
In 2008 Europhoenix Ltd. completed a deal to purchase the remaining HSBC Class 86/2 fleet, numbering 23 locomotives, with the intention of overhauling some of
them for use in Europe and the UK. 86248 and 86250 were sold to Hungarian private open access freight operator Floyd, and were delivered in February and May 2009,
becoming Hungarian class 450. Trials with these locos were successful and up to eight further locos will be exported: delivered so far are 86232 (April 2010),
86218 (February 2011), 86215 (May 2012) and 86217 (February 2013).
Also during 2009, Europhoenix prepared 86205 and 86260 for use by Electric Traction Ltd as "commercial" locomotives to supplement "preserved" locomotives
86101 and 87002. Becoming 86701 and 86702 respectively, they have been approved for use at 110mph.
Since general withdrawal from service in 2005, a number of the poorest quality 86/2s have been scrapped, including 86258, the conversion project being abandoned.
The Class 86 situation in July 2012 was as follows:
86/1: 1 in traffic with The AC Locomotive Group/Electric Traction (86101)
86/2: 1 in traffic with Les Ross (86259), 1 preserved by The AC Locomotive Group/Electric Traction (86213), 8 stored (of which 4 are expected to be exported to Hungary), 1 being used as a spares source
86/4: 1 preserved by The AC Locomotive Group/Electric Traction (86401), 1 being used as a spares source by Electric Traction (86424)
86/5: 1 in traffic with Freightliner
86/6: 16 in traffic with Freightliner
86/7: 2 in traffic with Electric Traction
86/9: 2 stored, not being used
86233 was sent to Bulgaria in October 2012 for use by open access freight operator Bulmarket as a spares donor for 87009, 87017, 87023 and 87025.
86621 was scrapped at LNWR Crewe in April 2013.
Hungarian open access freight operator Floyd received two further operational locomotives in August 2013 (86228 and 86242) and also 86424 for use as a spares donor.
86401 was selected for preparation for mainline operation for the Serco Caledonian Sleeper contract, moving to Leicester TMD in February 2015, then via
Loughborough (for repainting) and on to Willesden in June 2015.
86246 was moved to Willesden TMD in June 2015 to act as a spares donor.
The Class 86 situation in June 2015 was as follows:
86/1: 1 in traffic with The AC Locomotive Group/Electric Traction (86101)
86/2: 1 in traffic with Les Ross (86259), 1 preserved by The AC Locomotive Group/Electric Traction (86213), 5 stored, 2 being used as spares donors.
86/4: 1 being prepared for mainline use by The AC Locomotive Group/Electric Traction (86401)
Built by English Electric at Vulcan Foundry and introduced as E3193 in December 1965, this loco
led a fairly unremarkable career, much like any other class 86. It was first allocated to 5H,
a general depot code for WCML electric locomotives, but soon changed to the ACL, or 'AC Lines',
code. Following the opening of Willesden Depot, all the 86s were transferred to the London shed.
Originally being outshopped in Monastral Blue, E3193 was later repainted into Rail Blue, and
renumbered 86213 in October 1973.
Following BR's new naming policy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, 86213 was selected to
carry one of the regionally themed names applied to a number of the 86/2s. As a result,
86213 holds the distinction of being the only AC electric locomotive to visit Burnley Goods
Yard (a long way from any wires!), where it was named 'Lancashire Witch' on Friday, 13th March
1981, in the shadow of Pendle Hill, home of the famous Pendle Witches.
Following electrification of the East Anglian main line, the loco spent some time on these services
in the 1980s before returning to its old WCML haunts for use on Euston-Birmingham services, and
later the general WC pool. It was stored in 1995 but transferred on paper to the Cross Country
fleet briefly in 1997. It worked, however, on the West Coast route until September 1998, when it
returned to store. At the start of 1999 it was moved to the off lease pool.
During this time it was moved to Glasgow, however it and 86228 Vulcan Heritage were moved south
to Crewe in 2000 and repainted into Virgin colours at The Railway Age. This move is understood
to have been a "monumental cock-up", since the locos were not needed for traffic, nor had Virgin
requested them to be repainted. Nevertheless, both locos moved back to Glasgow for general
repairs for standby use. In 2001 they were both repainted back into INTERCITY colours,
again at The Railway Age, making them more acceptable for hire to companies other than Virgin.
Interestingly, 86213 was one of the exhibits at the Crewe Electric Depot Staff Open Day in
November 2001, alongside 82008 and 83012 from the AC Loco Group's fleet.
In 2002, 86228 returned to use in 2002 with Virgin West Coast, but 86213 remained off-lease with
a rheostat blower fault, returning to Glasgow in July. Movement to Barrow Hill for long-term
storage in the care of the Group took place in November 2002, arriving on the morning of the 29th.
On 21st February 2005, the loco was moved to Wembley depot by road for further storage and
attention. It was restored to working order in April 2005 by group members, and officially
preserved in August when it was purchased from HSBC.
86213 was purchased in 2005 by the Group's 86/87 Project after three years on loan.
It was returned to working order in early 2005 and spend the next six years at Wembley where
it was used as a train supply locomotive. It made its first preservation appearance at Crewe
Works Open Days in September 2005.
In February 2011 86213 was moved the short distance to Willesden TMD. By mid May 2011 the
loco had been repainted into INTERCITY 'Swallow' livery, and some electrical
rectification work had been carried out. The loco was returned to Wembley in December 2011.
86213 was moved from Wembley to Willesden TMD on 5 February 2013.
86213 was moved from Willesden TMD to Barrow Hill in two stages, to Washwood Heath on 4th October 2013 before completing the journey on 9th October 2013.