British Rail Class 89

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British Rail Class 89
89001 at Doncaster Works.JPG
Class 89, no. 89001, at Doncaster Works open day on July 27 2003. This locomotive has now been bought by the AC Locomotive Group.
Type and origin
Power typeElectric
BuilderBREL Crewe Works
Build date1989
Total produced1
 • WhyteCo-Co
 • UICCo'Co'
Gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Minimum curve80 m (260 ft)
Length19,800 mm (65 ft 0 in)
Loco weight105 tonnes (103 long tons; 116 short tons)
Electric system/s25 kV AC
Current pickup(s)Pantograph
Train heatingElectric Train Heating index: 95
Loco brakeAir & Rheostatic
Train brakesAir
Performance figures
Top speed125 mph (201 km/h)
Brakeforce50 long tons-force (500 kN) (Rheostatic)
Railroad(s)British Rail, GNER
Axle load classRoute availability 6
DispositionNow preserved by the AC Locomotive Group

The Class 89 is a prototype design for an electric locomotive. Only one unit was built, no. 89001, which was officially named Avocet by the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on January 16 1989 at Sandy, Bedfordshire - the home of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (whose logo is an avocet). It was built in 1986, by BREL at their Crewe Works, and was used on test-trains on both the West Coast Main Line and East Coast Main Line. It was fitted with advanced power control systems and develops over 6,000 bhp (4,500 kW). It was given the nickname "Aardvark" although the railfans used to call it "The Badger" owing to its sloping front ends.