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The future Beacon Rail / DRS 88003 heads for the Port of Sagunto on a low loader on February 15, 2017. Picture by Malcolm Wilton-Jones.

Recently, five Class 88 locomotives have embarked on a journey to the UK. Locomotives 88001, 88003, 88004, 88005 and 88008 gathered in the Port of Sagunto to await the start of their journey to UK where the will join loco 88002, which is already there for certification, static and dynamic testing. On February 23, loading of the locomotives onto the Eemslift Nelli took place, which is now on its way to the Port of Workington.

The future Beacon Rail / DRS 88005 is loaded onto the Eemslift Nelli on February 23, 2017. Picture by Malcolm Wilton-Jones.

The future Beacon Rail / DRS 88003 is loaded onto the Eemslift Nelli on February 23, 2017. Picture by Malcolm Wilton-Jones.

The future Beacon Rail / DRS 88004 is loaded onto the Eemslift Nelli on February 23, 2017. Picture by Malcolm Wilton-Jones.

The future Erdemir L 18 during a test run at Beroun in the Czech Republic on February 16, 2017. Picture by Martin Šarman.

CZ LOKO is to deliver two Class 744.7 locomotives to Turkey's Erdemir soon. Internally numbered L 18, loco 744 704-8 will be joined by a second locomotive in the near future, which will carry the number 744 705-5. The two locos combine the body design of a Class 741.7 diesel and the cab design of Class 723.6 diesel.

Update: 744 705-5 was out on test on a private freight line on February 21. The locomotive was captured on camera as it returned to the CZ LOKO works in Jihlava upon completion of the trials.

The future Erdemir L 19 during a test run at the Beroun shunting yard on February 21, 2017. Picture by Martin Šarman.

The future Erdemir L 19 during a test run at the Beroun shunting yard on February 21, 2017. Picture by Martin Šarman.

Related sections:
CZ LOKO744.7

IDOT Charger locomotive 4611 parked at King Street Station in Seattle. It will be on a series of test drives on Amtrak's Cascades route to certify them for national use. Picture by WSDOT.

In December 2016, Charger locomotive 4611 arrived in the state of Washington to take part in a series of national certification trials of the new Charger locomotives. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has been selected by the Federal Railroad Administration to conducts these tests. WSDOT is to receive eight Charger locomotives from Siemens, which are currently under construction in Sacramento at the Siemens USA works. Therefore, a Charger for the Illinois Department of Transporation (IDOT) is used for the trials instead.

The locomotive will travel up and down the Amtrak Cascades corridor several times in February. According to WSDOT, "The tests are essentially a large-scale test drive. The locomotive, attached to an Amtrak Cascades trainset, will travel various sections of our existing Vancouver, British Columbia to Eugene, Oregon corridor. No passengers will be on board, but Amtrak and Siemens staff will be on hand to test and monitor how the locomotive operates. Previous tests were conducted in a special closed-track facility in Colorado, but the Washington tests put the locomotive on active tracks for the first time."

Update: IDOT Charger locomotive 4611 on the first test run, returning north to Seattle in trailing position, in Salem (Oregon) on February 18. Picture by Colin Hakeman.

MRCE ER 20-007 with an ALEX passenger train near Hergatz on February 8, 2015. Picture by Giovanni Grasso.

That Mitsui Rail Capital Europe has the intention to restructure its fleet by selling its diesel locomotives and focusing on larger fleets of electrics is no secret. In many cases, the various types of diesel locomotives were also relatively small in number, creating a fragmented diesel fleet. In the second half of 2015, MRCE already sold its Class 66s and all but one ER20 to Beacon Rail Leasing. Also its portfolio of Vossloh-built locomotives has been reduced gradually over the last years.

Eurailpress now reports that talks have been held with an undisclosed potential buyer regarding the sale of the remaining diesels. This would concern an investor focused on diesel locomotives. Beside ER 20-007, MRCE still owns 4x G 1000 BB, 25x G 1206 and 4x G 2000-3 BB in various country configurations. The deal is expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2017, whether ER 20-007 is part of the deal is not clear for now.

MTR 8001 heads another MTR diesel locomotive while passing Ma Liu Shui, Hong Kong, on December 14, 2015. Picture by Train Tang.

We don't receive many images of these locomotives, which are perhaps the least known representatives of their type, but this time we received three at once from Hong Kong. Built in 2003, the locomotives are still going strong in the Far East.

MTR 8002 and an unidentified ER20 near Tai Wo, Hong Kong, on February 25, 2016. Picture by Train Tang.

MTR 8004 and an unidentified MTR diesel locomotive pass through Sheung Shui, Hong Kong, on March 14, 2016. Picture by Train Tang.

CZ LOKO 774 714-0 during a test run at Vác, Hungary on February 14, 2017. Picture by Márk Fekete.

CZ LOKO 774 714-0 is back in Hungary for a second round of approval runs. On February 3, it made its first appearance on Hungarian rails in light of certification of the EffiShunter 1600 in the country. Read more about this loco's first visit to Hungary here.

CZ LOKO 774 714-0 on trial in a white Vác on February 14, 2017. Picture by Márk Fekete.

CZ LOKO 774 714-0 at Rákospalota-Újpest station on February 14, 2017. Picture by Márk Fekete.

Rebuilt by Newag from a TEM2 diesel locomotive, ENEA 15D-031 awaits an entry into service at the Newag works in Nowy Sącz. Together with 15D-032, it received a paint based on renewable resources, supplied by Lankwitzer Lackfabrik of Berlin and developed in collaboration with Covestro. Picture by Covestro.

In the second half of 2016, Newag delivered two 15D diesel locomotives to ENEA S.A., rebuilt from old TEM2 diesels: 15D-031 and 15D-032. The two locos have been coated with a paint based on renewable resources. Lankwitzer Lackfabrik of Berlin supplied the coating, which it developed in close collaboration with Covestro using the biobased coating hardener Desmodur Eco N 7300. Mateusz Fedko, project manager at Newag, states: “If the coating offers added value on top of that, as is the case here with the renewable raw materials, it gives us a very good opportunity to set ourselves apart from the competition".

According to Covestro, the coating formulated with this product performs just as well as a conventional coating systems, but uses primarily renewable resources. “Seventy percent of the carbon in this polyurethane raw material comes from biomass”, says Julia Hellenbach of Covestro. The biobased clearcoat fulfills the specific demands of the rail vehicle industry. For example, it has a very good resistance to cleaning agents, particularly those used to remove graffiti. Tests confirm that graffiti can be removed easily and gently.

Related sections:

ÖBB 2016 006 passes Wien Haidestrasse with a passenger service from Slovakia on August 10, 2015. Picture by András Gál.

A tender has been issued by ÖBB for the acquisition of used EuroRunner locomotives. It concerns 19 used ER20s in total, for which 19 separate trenches have been created. This allows ÖBB to source the locomotives from different operators and leasing companies.

Currently, ÖBB operates a fleet of 100 EuroRunner designated as the Austrian Class 2016, which are used in both passenger and freight operations. Also, ÖBB has 5 ER 20s available through subsidiary Rail Cargo Carrier - PCT. If successful, the acquisition would increase the number of ER 20s within the group to 124, out of 181 locomotives ever built.

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