CIE 001 Class

Córas Iompair Éireann A class
(later 001 class)

001 Class locomotive No. 051
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder Metropolitan-Vickers, Dukinfield Works, Manchester
Build date 1955–1956
Total produced 60
AAR wheel arr. C-C
UIC class Co′Co′
Gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
Length 15.55 m (51 ft 0 in)
Width 2.692 m (8 ft 10.0 in)
Height 3.835 m (12 ft 7.0 in)
Loco weight 84 tonnes (83 long tons; 93 short tons)
Prime mover Crossley HSTV8
Re-engined 1968–1971 with EMD 12-645E
Generator DC generator
Traction motors Metropolitan Vickers MV137CW/K, 6 off DC traction motors
Transmission Diesel electric
Loco brake Vacuum
Train brakes Vacuum
Performance figures
Maximum speed 120 km/h (75 mph)
Power output Crossley HSTV8: 1,200 hp (890 kW) at 625 rpm
EMD 12-645E: 1,325 hp (988 kW) at 830 rpm
EMD 12-645E: 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) at 900 rpm (Nos. 027, 036, 046, 054 & 059. All later de-rated to 1325 hp)
Tractive effort 275 kN (62,000 lbf) starting,
77 kN (17,000 lbf) continuous at 35 km/h (22 mph)
Operators Córas Iompair Éireann
Iarnród Éireann
Class A, later 001
Numbers A1–A60, later 001–060
Withdrawn 1973–1995
Disposition Four preserved, 56 scrapped

The Córas Iompair Éireann 001 Class locomotive was manufactured by Metropolitan-Vickers at their Dukinfield Works in Manchester. The 001 Class locomotive was the backbone of mainline passenger and freight train services on the Irish railway network for forty years from 1955 until the mid-1990s when they were replaced by the new 201 Class.



Initially they were fitted with eight-cylinder two-stroke, port-controlled Crossley engines. These were a loop scavenge type, which utilised a patented principle that recycled the normally wasted exhaust-pressure pulse to boost charge air in the cylinder. They produced 890 kW (1,200 hp) at 625 rpm and could do 120 km/h (75 mph). The original sandboxes, which were utilised to improve traction with the rail, were removed after a few years.

Their Crossley engines proved to be notoriously unreliable from the start. Amongst a plethora of problems were:

There were also problems with generator and motor flash-overs.


These problems were tackled between 1968 and 1971 through the progressive re-engining of the entire class with a 1,650 horsepower (1,230 kW) 12-cylinder EMD 645E engine (a similar process was implemented for the original 201 Class). However, this power output stressed the ability of the original cooling and transmission systems and the engine output was reduced to 1,325 horsepower (988 kW) for improved reliability. When built, these locomotives were originally numbered A1 to A60, and as locomotives were re-engined, they had the suffix 'R' added to their number. From 1972, the prefix letters were dropped and the locomotives were renumbered 001 to 060.

Accidents and Incidents


015 restored at Moyasta Junction, March ‘09
A39r at Downpatrick

The first locomotive to be withdrawn was 008, following bomb damage in 1973. The last withdrawal was in 1995; four locomotives of this class have since been preserved as follows:


The A Class has been made as a 00 gauge kit by Silver Fox Models.[7]

See also


Wikimedia Commons has media related to CIÉ 001 Class.
  1. "Report of Inquiry into Accident on Railway System Córas Iompair Éireann near Mullingar, Co. Westmeath on 5th December 1963" (PDF). Department of Transport and Power via Rail Accident Investigation Unit. 1964. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  2. "A3R". Irish Traction Group. Retrieved January 15, 2009.
  3. "Withdrawn Locomotive Classes". Irish Traction Group. Retrieved January 15, 2009.
  4. "Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society No.167". Irish Railway Record Society. 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  5. "A39". Irish Traction Group. Retrieved January 15, 2009.
  6. "A Boyhood Dream...". Hells Kitchen Railway Museum & Bar. Retrieved January 15, 2009.
  7. Silver Fox Models. "Iarnród Éireann 001 Class (A Class) Co-Co". Archived from the original on March 31, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
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