The reference for locomotives and railcars
China Railway 8K
China | 1987 | 150 produced
8K No. 100 in 2011 with a freight train on the Fengsha line
8K No. 100 in 2011 with a freight train on the Fengsha line
Yí Yuán Xinju

Another type of electric locomotives imported from abroad in the 1980s was the 8K, supplied by Alstom. The reason for ordering a heavy goods train locomotive was the lack of capacity to haul large quantities of coal, which was urgently needed in Shanxi Province in particular. In order to be able to achieve sufficient traction with two-axle bogies, the 8K was designed as a double locomotive with two four-axle sections. The basis used was the BB 15000, which had been used by the SNCF since 1971. 148 units were delivered from France and two more were built in the Zhuzhou locomotive works in order to gain knowledge of modern technology.

Visually, the locomotives built for China differed from their originals in that they lacked the “Nez Cassé”, i.e. the bent fronts. In terms of power train technology, the biggest difference was that each axle had its own motor and not the typical French monomotor bogies were used. As with the 6K, traction motors with 800 kW each were used, resulting in a total output of 6,400 kW. The top speed was also set at 100 km/h.

As planned, the locomotives were mainly used to pull coal trains, which usually weighed around 4,000 tonnes. Later, train weights of 6,000 tonnes with one locomotive or 10,000 tonnes with two locomotives were tested. Although the power of the locomotives was sufficient, only the tests with 6,000 tonne trains were successful. With the heavier trains, it had been shown that the couplings were not up to the loads. Outside of their normal area of operation, the 8Ks were also used to haul passenger trains during the Chinese New Year celebrations, when passenger traffic was extremely high. The retirement took place between 2010 and 2015 due to the increasingly serious lack of spare parts. Four examples have been preserved for posterity, but not in working condition.

ManufacturerAlstom, Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Works
Axle configB-B+B-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length118 ft 10 5/16 in
Service weight405,650 lbs
Adhesive weight405,650 lbs
Axle load50,706 lbs
Power sourceelectric - AC
Electric system25,000 V 50 Hz
Continuous power8,583 hp (6,400 kW)
Top speed62 mph
Starting effort141,180 lbf
Power Plant
Calculated Values
electric locomotive
last changed: 03/2022

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