The 41x units from this series are built by the Škoda factory in Pilsen (Czechoslovakia) between 1961 and 1962.
The first 6x units, registered E41-01 - 06, cross the Danube bridge near Ruse on April 13th, 1962, and a day later they are already in the new depot for electric locomotives in Poduyane.
After performing the acceptance tests, some trains are serviced on the first electrified railway line Sofia - Plovdiv, which was officially opened on April 27, 1963 .
All units are delivered by the end of 1962.
The firs 10x units are delivered with a "semi-open" cabinet, ie on one side with a longitudinal blind and the other with four windows. The remaining 31x units are delivered with a closed cabinet, each with four windows in the side panel (1st and 4th window divided with the upper opening part), but supplemented in the lower part of the side panels with mounting holes with removable lids.
Towards the end of 1963 a part of the series is sent to the Gorna Oryahovitsa depot, where from April 1964 they took over the work on the second electrified section in Bulgaria: G. Oryahovitsa - Ruse.
The locomotives don't show satisfactory results and after only 3 years in service they are returned to the factory for a first modernisation process:
- the ignitron (mercury) rectifiers initially installed are replaced with silicon rectifiers;
- modernisation of the locomotive transformer;
- reinforcement of the bogie frames;
- modifications to the traction motors;
- the 1800 kW rheostatic braking system is removed as it is inefficient.
39x units are modernised by 1967. Units E41-21 and E41-38 are not modernised and, after several consecutive fires, are scrapped in 1965.
The same year the letter "E" is removed from the designation of the series and units 41-40 and 41-41 are renumbered after the modernisation process 41-21 and 41-38 respectively.
Between 1982 and 1984, at the electric locomotive depot in Poduyane, 3 locomotives are rebuilt after suffering accidents or fires and receive anniversary numbers:
- in 1982 unit 41-100 is restored from 41-22;
- in 1983 unit 41-60 is restored on the basis of 41-03 locomotive frame and components from Class 43 and Class 43P and receives a fundamentally new appearance ;
- in 1984 unit 41-40 is restored from 41-36.
In 1983, a new modernisation process is planned in order to increase their reliability in operation. In the following years, 12x units are modernised.
There is not a single modernisation concept and every modernised unit will be unique in itself, with different components and in some cases even some experimental technologies.
By 1990 and counting the 3x units rebuilt between 1982 and 1984, the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) have a total of 15x modernised units. These units will be registered as 41 1xx.x.
By 1988 there were only 31x units from this series in regular service.
By 1992 there were only 20x units from this series in regular service.
All units are removed from regular service by 1998.
Latest update on the 10th of August 2020 at 21:36
Contributor(s): Tudor C.