Class 73 'Electro-Diesel' Profile and Models

Class 73 'Electro-Diesel'

73122 at Bournemouth in October 1987. ©Phil Richards

The Class 73s are highly unusual electro-diesel locomotives built between 1962 and 1967, that can operate either from an on-board 600hp diesel engine or from 650/ 750V DC third-rail. Until the introduction of the Class 88, the 73s were unique in their electro-diesel functionality following the withdrawal of the Class 74. They produce significantly more power when on third-rail, so rarely leave the Southern regions - however, some are currently used on the Caledonian Sleeper service in Scotland. Later in life, some were converted to the 73/9 subclass which provided them with the AAR system for multiple working as well as new engines. Many are still in service to this day, whilst eight have been preserved.

(Information provided via Wikipedia)

Type of Locomotive



73/0: British Railways Eastleigh Works
73/1: English Electric at Vulcan Foundry

Build Dates

1962 to 1967

Total Built


Tractive Effort

73/0: 34,100 lbf (Diesel) and 42,000 lbf (Electric)
73/1: 36,000 lbf (Diesel) and 40,000 lbf (Electric)

Power Output

Electric: 1,600 hp
Diesel: 600 hp

Top Speed

73/0: 80mph
73/1: 90mph

Wheel Configuration


Operated By

British Rail
Caledonian Sleeper
FM Rail
Gatwick Express
GB Railfreight
Network Rail
RT Rail
South Western Railway
Transmart Trains

Main Duties

Mixed Traffic

In Service Until


Surviving Examples