The Class 87 was the last purpose built electric locomotive for the West Coast Main Line following electrification of the line north of Crewe, and now you can take control of British Rail’s flagship electric model in Train Simulator.
Based on its predecessor, the Class 86, 36 models of the Class 87 were built at BREL Crewe Works between 1973 and 1975. Similar in appearance to the Class 86, there were some external and a number of internal differences between the two locomotives – the Class 87 was fitted with new bogies and multiple working equipment, two cab windows instead of three, headcode boxes were removed and the engine improved to give 5,000hp to improve performance on the hilly West Coast route.
With a top speed of 110mph (180km/h), the Class 87 was used mainly on express passenger services for British Rail, although there were occasional times when they were put into service on freight trains and even the Royal Train. In the late 1970s, BR named the entire fleet of Class 87s, many receiving names previously carried by ‘Britannia’ Class steam locomotives or town, cities and counties along the West Coast.
During the 1980s, all Class 87/0s were transferred from British Rail to InterCity whilst 87101 (which carried a different specification to the rest of the Class) was transferred to Railfreight Distribution. Post-privatisation, many Class 87s passed to Virgin Trains where they continued to operate West Coast Main Line express services, whilst others were transferred to Cotswold Rail, Direct Rail Services and First GBRf.
Following the fleet’s withdrawal in the late 2000s, 27 locomotives were sold to the Bulgarian Railway Company and converted to run on the national network. However, due to a downturn in railway traffic around the country, only 14 were eventually exported. Three Class 87s have also been preserved, two on static display at the National Railway Museum, York and the Railway Heritage Centre, Crewe, with the other used on the occasional charter train by the AC Locomotive Group.
The Class 87 for Train Simulator is available in InterCity Executive silver and grey livery and features nameplates, BR Mk3 passenger coaches in InterCity Executive livery with passenger view, working tap changer power control with functioning power gauges, two-tone horn and cab lighting.
Class 87 in InterCity Executive silver and grey livery
Working tap changer power control with functioning power gauges
BR Mk3 passenger coaches in InterCity Executive livery with passenger view
Vulcan Productions host a variety of free repaints for the Class 87 locomotive, ranging from Intercity Swallow to Porterbrook and more. To visit this page at the Vulcan Productions website, click here.