Developed from the Class 87, the Class 90 locomotives were
manufactured and assembled at Crewe Works by BREL from 1985 until their
completion in 1990. Designed as a replacement for locomotives from the
Class 81, through to the Class 85, the Class 90 entered service as a
mixed traffic locomotive, working both freight and passenger trains.
The original fleet size consisted of 50 locomotives, numbered 90001
through to 90050, although the original number sequence for the Class
took the form of 87/2, a system that was short lived. The first
locomotive, 90001, left Crewe Works on October 12, 1987 and went
straight to Derby for testing, but it was July 1988 before the first
passenger service was hauled.
A Time-Division Multiplexer (TDM) was fitted, enabling two or more
locomotives to work as multiple units, this allowed a Class 90 to haul a
push-pull passenger train, working with a Driving Van Trailer (DVT).
The original allocation of locomotives saw 90001 to 90025 working
passenger services on the West Coast Mainline, along with cross country
services from Euston, Manchester/Liverpool and Glasgow, as well as
Manchester and Liverpool to Birmingham. As such, the Class 90s were the
first new locomotives to carry the InterCity 21st Anniversary Swallow
livery. The remainder were assigned to freight duties, although it was
not unusual at the time to see freight engines working both passenger
duties, or vice versa.
DCC Ready - 8 Pin Socket