One of the most successful locomotives to have operated on Britain’s railways in recent years has been the Class 90, a second-generation electric design that has racked up millions of service miles. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES reviews its story.
IN THE 1950s a decision was taken to modernise Britain’s railways with the intention that all major routes would be electrified. In the event only the West Coast Main Line (WCML) received such an upgrade and to work it British Railways ordered a fleet of Bo-Bo locomotives from five different manufacturers, with these eventually being known as Classes 81-86. These were later joined by the more powerful Class 87 (HM132), which was added to the fleet when the electrified lines were extended to Glasgow.