South African Class 10E2

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South African Class 10E2
SAR Class 10E2 10-103.JPG
No. 10-103 at Beaconsfield, 18 September 2009
Type and origin
Power type Electric
Designer Toshiba
Builder Union Carriage & Wagon
Model Toshiba 10E2
Build date 1989
Total produced 25
 • AAR C-C
 • UIC Co'Co'
 • Commonwealth Co-Co
Gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Wheel diameter 1,220 mm (48.0 in)
Wheelbase 13,460 mm (44 ft 1.9 in)
 • Bogie 4,060 mm (13 ft 3.8 in)
Pivot centres 10,200 mm (33 ft 5.6 in)
Panto shoes 12,000 mm (39 ft 4.4 in)
 • Over couplers 18,520 mm (60 ft 9.1 in)
 • Body 17,506 mm (57 ft 5.2 in)
 • Pantograph 4,120 mm (13 ft 6.2 in)
 • Body height 3,945 mm (12 ft 11.3 in)
Axle load 21,210 kg (46,760 lb)
Adhesive weight 125,000 kg (276,000 lb)
Loco weight 125,000 kg (276,000 lb)
Electric system/s 3 kV DC
Current pickup(s) Pantographs from catenary
Traction motors Six SE-218
 • Rating 1 hour 540 kW (720 hp)
 • Continuous 515 kW (691 hp)
Gear ratio 19:92
Loco brake Air, Regenerative & Rheostatic
Train brakes Air & Vacuum
Couplers AAR knuckle
Performance figures
Maximum speed 90 km/h (56 mph)
Power output:
 • 1 hour 3,240 kW (4,340 hp)
 • Continuous 3,090 kW (4,140 hp)
Tractive effort:
 • Starting 450 kN (100,000 lbf)
 • 1 hour 335 kN (75,000 lbf)
 • Continuous 310 kN (70,000 lbf) @ 35 km/h (22 mph)
Operators South African Railways
Transnet Freight Rail
Class Class 10E2
Number in class 25
Numbers 10-101 to 10-125
Nicknames Breadbin
Delivered 1989-1990
First run 1989

The South African Railways Class 10E2 of 1989 is an electric locomotive.

In 1989 and 1990, the South African Railways placed twenty-five Class 10E2 electric locomotives with a Co-Co wheel arrangement in mainline service.[1][2]


Plate Toshiba 10E2 (10-125).JPG

The 3 kV DC Class 10E2 electric locomotive was designed for the South African Railways (SAR) by Toshiba and built by Union Carriage and Wagon (UCW) in Nigel, Transvaal. Toshiba of Japan supplied the electrical equipment while UCW was responsible for the mechanical components and assembly.[3]

UCW delivered twenty-five locomotives to the SAR in 1989 and 1990, numbered in the range from 10-101 to 10-125. The company did not allocate builder’s numbers to the locomotives it built for the SAR, but used the SAR unit numbers for their record keeping.[1]


The Class 10E2 was introduced as a standard 3 kV DC heavy goods locomotive. With a continuous power rating of 3,090 kilowatts (4,140 horsepower), four Class 10E2 locomotives are capable of performing the same work as six Class 6E1.[4]


The locomotive makes use of either regenerative or rheostatic braking, as the situation demands. Both traction and electric braking power are continuously variable, with the electric braking optimised to such an extent that maximum use will be made of the regenerative braking capacity of the 3 kV DC network, with the ability to automatically change over to rheostatic braking whenever the overhead supply system becomes non-receptive.[4]

The entire fleet of the Class 10E family of electric locomotives is equipped with electronic chopper control, which is smoother in comparison to the rheostatic resistance control which was used in the Classes 1E to 6E1 electric locomotives.[5]


The Class 10E2 was built with sophisticated traction linkages on the bogies. Together with the locomotive's electronic wheel-slip detection system, these traction struts, mounted between the linkages on the bogies and the locomotive body and colloquially referred to as grasshopper legs, ensure the maximum transfer of power to the rails without causing wheel-slip by reducing the adhesion of the leading bogie and increasing that of the trailing bogie by as much as 15% upon starting.[4]


These dual cab locomotives have a roof access ladder on one side only, just to the right of the cab access door. The roof access ladder end is marked as the no. 2 end.[2]

Identifying features[edit]

In visual appearance, the Class 10E2 can be distinguished from the Class 10E by the roof ends and the sills. The Class 10E has riffled roof ends and parts of the sill protrude slightly past the bottom edge of the body sides. The Class 10E2 has smooth unriffled roof ends and no part of the sill protrudes past the bottom edge of the body sides.[2]


The Class 10E2 is mainly employed to haul ore trains on the line between Kimberley and Hotazel in the Northern Cape. It also works between Kimberley and the Witwatersrand. Most were initially shedded at Kaserne near Johannesburg with several also at Beaconsfield near Kimberley.[1]

In 1998, a number of Spoornet's electric locomotives and most of their Class 38-000 electro-diesel locomotives were sold to Maquarie-GETX (General Electric Financing) and leased back to Spoornet for a ten-year period which was to expire in 2008. Of the Class 10E2, numbers 10-106 to 10-125 were later also included in this leasing deal.[1]


All the Class 10E2 locomotives were delivered in the SAR red oxide livery with signal red buffer beams and cowcatchers and a yellow V stripe on the ends, folded over to a horizontal stripe below the side windows. The number plates on the sides were mounted without the traditional three-stripe yellow wings. In the late 1990s many were repainted in the Spoornet blue livery with outline numbers on the long hood sides. After 2008 in the Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) era, several received the TFR red, green and yellow livery.[6]

On Class 10E2 units which were repainted in Transnet Freight Rail livery from c. 2011, the locomotive numbers are displayed as, for example, either "E10110" or "E10 125", instead of the earlier "10-110".



  1. ^ a b c d Middleton, John N. (2002). Railways of Southern Africa Locomotive Guide - 2002 (as amended by Combined Amendment List 4, January 2009) (2nd, Dec 2002 ed.). Herts, England: Beyer-Garratt Publications. pp. 49–52, 60.
  2. ^ a b c South African Railways Index and Diagrams Electric and Diesel Locomotives, 610mm and 1065mm Gauges, Ref LXD 14/1/100/20, 28 January 1975, as amended
  3. ^ "UCW - Electric locomotives" (PDF). The UCW Partnership. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 132–133. ISBN 0869772112.
  5. ^ Jane's Train Recognition Guide
  6. ^ Soul of A Railway, System 7, Western Transvaal, based in Johannesburg, Part 9. South-Eastwards as far as Volksrust (2nd part) by Les Pivnic. Caption 4. (Accessed on 11 April 2017)