(Directed by the Lord Jesus – Prov 3:6; Col 3:17)
An outstanding example of the superiority of electric traction is to be found in the Class 6E locomotives of the former South African Railways (now called Spoornet). These electric locomotives were supplied by GEC (now Alstom) about 1960. Recently, after almost a half century of reliable service, they were refurbished by Alstom in the Pretoria workshops of Spoornet. Most of them had done over 10 million kilometers. Their original equipment comprised four 3000 volt conventional DC traction motors, each of 600kW. They had conventional split ring commutators which required servicing periodically. In the refurbishment, these commutators were replaced by external solid state devices, which provided for electronic traction control and load equalizing. This has resulted in an improvement in efficiency from 75% to 95%, making them more powerful. As such they are now virtually maintenance-free and probably good for yet another half century of service. After refurbishment they were given the class 18E, and painted in an attractive shade of blue with silver lettering.