The reference for locomotives and railcars
Soviet Railways series ВЛ8
Soviet Union | 1953 | 1,723 produced
Ukrainian ВЛ8-1512 in October 2017 in the Dnipro area
Ukrainian ВЛ8-1512 in October 2017 in the Dnipro area
Andrey Kurmelyov

In order to be able to dispense with double-heading with two ВЛ22s in freight traffic, the first Soviet electric double locomotive with a total of eight axles was manufactured in 1953. Due to the original production site in Novocherkassk, it was initially called Н8 (N8), but was renamed ВЛ8 (VL8) in 1963 in honor of Vladimir Lenin. The one-part, six-axle ВЛ23 was developed directly from the ВЛ8. The successor ВЛ10 was manufactured from 1967 after 1,723 ВЛ8 had been built.

It was initially only used in Siberia on lines electrified with 3,000 volts direct current, but that was later expanded to a larger area. In the 1970s some ВЛ8s received train heating. From 1976 onwards the conversion to the 100 km/h fast ВЛ8М took place. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the locomotives were in use in several CIS countries. Some were in use in Ukraine until 2010, and in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia even for longer.

VariantВЛ8rebuilt ВЛ8М
ManufacturerNowotscherkassk, Tiflis
Axle configB-B+B-B 
Gauge4 ft 11 13/16 in (Russian broad gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length90 ft 3 7/16 in
Wheelbase75 ft 9 7/16 in
Fixed wheelbase10 ft 6 in
Service weight396,832 lbs
Adhesive weight396,832 lbs
Axle load49,604 lbs
Power sourceelectric - DC
Electric system3,000 V
Hourly power5,632 hp (4,200 kW)
Continuous power5,042 hp (3,760 kW)
Top speed50 mph62 mph
Starting effort133,986 lbf
Power Plant
Calculated Values
electric locomotive
last changed: 12/2023

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