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Class 71s on the South West main line

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AidWall

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I have followed Southern region matters for many years; it has recently occurred to me that I have never seen any reference to Class 71s being used (or even considered for use) on the South west main line.
I believe that the first Class 71s were sent to Crewe for conversion to Class 74s in 1966, that is before the electrification to Bournemouth was completed. So, some-one must have decided early on that there was no need for a 'straight' electric locomotive. Or was it that the Class 71s were considered unsuitable for the kind of sustained high speed running which is not so much associated with the Kent lines?
Later on, in the mid-1970s, the Class 71s started to be put into store, just at the time that the South-West Division was short of motive power for the Bournemouth line; again, I can recall no discussion that Class 71s might be re-deployed, although I accept that, by then, the Class 71s were past their best and it may be that there were thought to be enough Class 73s (along with the second tranche of REPs) to meet traffic requirements.
Any views or information would be much appreciated!
 
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30907

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I have followed Southern region matters for many years; it has recently occurred to me that I have never seen any reference to Class 71s being used (or even considered for use) on the South west main line.
I believe that the first Class 71s were sent to Crewe for conversion to Class 74s in 1966, that is before the electrification to Bournemouth was completed. So, some-one must have decided early on that there was no need for a 'straight' electric locomotive.
Barring the Weymouth boat trains and mails (as far as Bournemouth), basically a couple of diagrams, there really wasn't much for a straight electric to do, so a mixed fleet made little sensesense.
Later on, in the mid-1970s, the Class 71s started to be put into store, just at the time that the South-West Division was short of motive power for the Bournemouth line; again, I can recall no discussion that Class 71s might be re-deployed,
Without equipping them to work with TC stock they wouldn't have been useful (and IIRC the 74s weren't a complete success, which won't have persuaded the SR to spend money on the 71s). More REPs were much more use.
 

randyrippley

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I know. The OP refers to 71s in the mid 1970s, so I assume they were asking the question regarding the use of these locos on the SWML irrespective of whether they had been rebuilt to 74s or not.
Unlikely as the 74s were specifically rebuilt for the Bournemouth electrification - partly as a short term stand-in for the EMUs, partly for the boat trains, partly for Southampton docks work
 

Snow1964

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There wasn’t that much work that needed the more powerful 74s that the smaller, newer and more reliable 73s couldn’t do. It was only really anything longer than 8 or 9 coaches.

The 71s couldn’t operate in non electrified yards so didn’t really have any need to stray from South Eastern (where 12 yards had overhead wires for them)

There was lots more freight and parcels work when the 71s (and 73s) were built, but by the mid 1970s many of the locos were idle lot of the time. The lack of use saw the 71 and 74 withdrawn, and were even enough spare 73s for some to find new use on Gatwick Express
 

D6130

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South Eastern (where 12 yards had overhead wires for them)
As a matter of interest, which were the 12 yards involved? I seem to remember seeing overhead trolley wires at Hither Green, Hoo Junction, Faversham, Shepherd's Well and Snowdown Colliery.
 

AidWall

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Unlikely as the 74s were specifically rebuilt for the Bournemouth electrification - partly as a short term stand-in for the EMUs, partly for the boat trains, partly for Southampton docks work
You are right in that my original question referred to the Class 71s as built (not as re-built into Class 74s). I agree that, by the mid-1970s, there was probably not enough work on offer for the Class 71s to be moved to the SWD. The intrigue is more that, going back to the 1960s, Class 71s appear never to have been trialled on (or even considered for) the SWD.
Great picture of the Class 74!
 

xotGD

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As a matter of interest, which were the 12 yards involved? I seem to remember seeing overhead trolley wires at Hither Green, Hoo Junction, Faversham, Shepherd's Well and Snowdown Colliery.
This was posed as a quiz question in the Railway General Knowledge thread a short while ago, so you should be able to find the answer there.
 

randyrippley

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You are right in that my original question referred to the Class 71s as built (not as re-built into Class 74s). I agree that, by the mid-1970s, there was probably not enough work on offer for the Class 71s to be moved to the SWD. The intrigue is more that, going back to the 1960s, Class 71s appear never to have been trialled on (or even considered for) the SWD.
Great picture of the Class 74!
Probably considered and then rejected as the decision was made to go with EMUs. Without jumpers they were useless for hauling the TC sets: that's exactly why the 74s were created as those COULD work with the TCs.
Think of the 74s as 71s that were specifically adapted for use on the Bournemouth line. If the 71s had been considered capable of the work, the conversions would not have happened. After the REPs were built there was never enough work for the 74s anyway - just as well given their reliability

There wasn’t that much work that needed the more powerful 74s that the smaller, newer and more reliable 73s couldn’t do. It was only really anything longer than 8 or 9 coaches.

The 71s couldn’t operate in non electrified yards so didn’t really have any need to stray from South Eastern (where 12 yards had overhead wires for them)

There was lots more freight and parcels work when the 71s (and 73s) were built, but by the mid 1970s many of the locos were idle lot of the time. The lack of use saw the 71 and 74 withdrawn, and were even enough spare 73s for some to find new use on Gatwick Express
As I understand it, while the 74 had more maximum power than a 73, there wasn't much difference in continuous power so the difference in performance was less than you might expect
 
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