Thursday, March 3, 2016

Renfe class 7800 electric locomotive, Spain

In the 1950s, Renfe undertook a program of mainline electrification and it saw a second generation of electric locomotives from different manufacturers in France (series 7600), Britain (series 7700) and America (series 7800).

A total 29 units of the series 7800 were built between 1954 and 1960; the first 20 appeared almost simultaneously with Alco diesels of the 1600 class between 1954 and 1955. This series was nicknamed Panchorga although it is unclear why. The series was manufactured in Spain by the Sociedad Española de Construcción Naval de Sestao, although its design was by the American companies Westinghouse and Baldwin.

A special feature, unusual in Spain until the 1980s, was the six axles in three groups of bogies, or Bo-Bo-Bo; a design suited to tight curves and enabling them to pull trains a little faster. The output power of 2200 kW (2922 hp) was very similar to the classes 7600 and 7700, but never got their results.

They were refurbished in 1986 in order to prolong their lives, but in January 1992 orders were issed to remove the last still in service. Some were nearly 40 years in service.

In 1993, one of these Panchorgues, specifically 7807, was moved from its base in Alcazar de San Juan to be preserved at the Museu del Ferrocarril de Catalunya (Railroad Museum of Catalonia) at Vilanova Geltru, where it has remained exhibited in the Rotunda until now.

At the end of 2015 comprehensive restoration took place at it was painted in its original colors with two shades of green and one of ivory.

Electrotren, a subsidiary of Hornby, is issuing this HO scale model of unit 7802 - webpage.

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