The final locomotive of the third batch (68032) and the two locos of the fourth batch (68033-034) ordered by Direct Rail Services through Beacon Rail Leasing have been released from the Stadler Rail Valencia works in Albuixech. In the meantime, the locos have made it onto the Eemslift Ellen after being moved to the port of Sagunto.
At the time of writing, the Eemslift Ellen was sailing the Irish Sea, being only hours away from its destination: the Port of Workington. The ship's journey can be tracked here: link.
Slowly but steadily, DB Cargo UK is repainting its fleet of Class 66 locomotives into company colors. Both DB Cargo UK's 66018 and 66230 have lost their EWS livery, which is currently being replaced by a DB red one.
During a charity tour run by GB Railfreight on 15 July 2017, 66778 was named 'Darius Cheskin' at Cleethorpes station. GB Railfreight about the story behind 66778's new name:
A few months ago we auctioned off the opportunity to choose a name for one of our locomotives, with the proceeds being donated to our nominated charities. The auction winner was Mike Cheskin, a life long rail enthusiast from Charfield, Gloucestershire. Mike sadly lost one of his sons Darius in 2004 to a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. Mikes other son has since named his 7 year old grandson after him and Darius Junior is also an avid rail fan.
So when our staff charter train arrived in Cleethorpes on Saturday with Mike and his grandson on board, Darius was asked to uncover the nameplates on 66778, and was somewhat surprised at what he found underneath! Mike and Darius Cheskin are pictured here shortly after the unveiling and we're very grateful to Mike for a very generous donation to our charity fund:
On 19 July 2017, CZ LOKO announced that it had released Fenniarail's fourth EffiShunter 1600 locomotive from its works and that it had started its journey to Finland.
On July 14th, Captrain Class 66 loco 6603 was used to transport EMU 220.902, the last remaining 'Benelux' Hondekop, to the Netherlands. Having retrieved the unit in Leuven, Belgium, it was transported to Roosendaal in the Netherlands, where it will be restored by the Stichting Hondekop. 220.902 is planned to be restored to running order, allowing it to be run on both Belgian and Dutch rails once again.
Netherlands based rail freight operator Rotterdam Rail Feeding has applied the full orange and black Rail Feeding livery to three Class 66 locomotives. Leased from Beacon Rail Leasing, loco 561-05 is the latest loco to sport this color scheme. Earlier, it was applied to 561-03 and 561-04.
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GB Railfreight has named another of its Class 66 locomotives. On July 11, a naming ceremony took place at Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport where the loco's new name HMS Argyll and 'new number' F231 were unveiled by the ship's commander Toby Shaughnessy and GBRf Managing Director John Smith.
F231 HMS Argyll, a British Type 23 frigate, took part in a 4-day exercise in the English Channel a few months back and, according to GB Railfreight, a few GBRf employees were given the special privilege of joining the ship during these 4 days. "After their excellent hospitality, a close friendship was formed, and as a result of that, it was decided we would name a locomotive after their ship."
Earlier, we reported about LINEAS France having restyled its 75036 into full company colours. Now, also loco 75110 has been given the new livery.
Germany's e.g.o.o. Eisenbahngesellschaft Ostfriesland-Oldenburg mbH is currently operating Siemens Vectron DE loco 247 905. Until recently, the locomotive was on trial with Mindener Kreisbahnen (MKB).
Again some news about DB Cargo UK locomotives with updated color schemes. Class 67 locos 67013 and 67015 have received promotional slogans similar to 67010 and 67028. 67013 received the slogan 'First choice for rail freight in the UK', whilst 67015 now carries the slogan 'Leading the next generation of rail freight' (link).
DRS 88006 has entered service. On 2 July 2017, the loco operated the 4M48 from Mossend to Daventry. On the 3rd, 88006 'Juno' worked the 4S43 Daventry to Mossend return service.
In December 2016, Fennia Rail announced an order for a further two EffiShunter 1600 diesel locomotives from CZ LOKO. The designated (Dr 18) 104 and 105 are currently nearing completion in the Czech Republic, where CZ LOKO internally numbers them 774 715 and 716, in line with the previously delivered Class 774.7 locomotives. An overview:
774 711 - Fennia Rail 101
774 712 - Fennia Rail 102
774 713 - Fennia Rail 103
774 714 - CER Cargo (ex-CZ LOKO)
774 715 - Fennia Rail 104
774 716 - Fennia Rail 105
A picture of the future Fennia Rail 104 can be found here: link.
DB Cargo UK 67010 was painted red earlier, but has now been given large DB logos and the promotional text "First choice for rail freight in the UK". DB Cargo 67028 has been repainted in red more recently and now carries a similar livery with the text "Leading the next generation of rail freight.
Dutch rail freight operator Rotterdam Rail Feeding has re-liveried anoter Class 66 locomotive in the orange/black Genessee and Wyoming company colour scheme. The loco in question, Beacon Rail 561-04, is the second of its type to receive the livery. Loco 561-03 received the new livery back in July 2016.
Another two GB Railfreight Class 66 locomotives have been named. 66776 and 777 now carry the names Joanne and Annette respectively.
On 21-22 June, the latest four additions to the Beacon Rail Leasing > Direct Rail Services Class 68 fleet were released into traffic. The designated 68029-031 made their debut on the 21st, 68028 on the 22nd.
The date of last revision (here the 'Abnahme') and subsequent extensions listed on ECR 77017. Picture by Thierry Mazoyer.
The German Bundesverkehrsministerium wants to change the German system for revisions of rolling stock, including locomotives, as it is non-compliant with EU legislation. At this moment, it is obligatory to subject every locomotive to a general main overhaul ("Hauptuntersuchung") every six years. However, if the locomotive's condition allows it, this term can be extended ("Verlängerung" oder Verl.) by one year at a time, to a maximum of eight years.
European law states that the entity responsible for the overhaul can decide on its own when a main overhaul is needed, taking the number of service hours and mileage into account.
MLD: 'condition based maintenance' is slowly becoming the new standard. New technologies and ongoing digitalization have considerably improved the way manufacturer, owner and operator monitor the condition of their trains. This is now possible in real-time if required. Also, it is now possible to predict failure of key components, so they can be replaced before they break down. And, parts that are not due for overhaul nor replacement can stay longer.
On 24 June, GBRf 66756 was named at the Swanage Railway. In Swanage, the loco's 'Royal Corps of Signals' nameplates were unveiled to the public.
For all those who lost track of all the different TRAXX locomotive types, we made a new overview, visual, colorful; This is the new TRAXX family three. Click the image to visit the dedicated web page. We have also included an overview that will help to quickly find the features that let you identify the right TRAXX type.
Railvolution reports that Stadler's EURO DUAL prototype locomotive arrived at the Romanian test ring in Făurei on 25 May. Currently, the locomotive is undergoing a wide variety of tests, which are scheduled to be completed in mid-August. The locomotive carries the incorrect EVN-number 98 27 0006 001-7 F-STAVA, which should be 92 87 0006 001-7 F-STAVA.
Meanwhile in Portugal, all four Alpha Trains EURO 4000 locomotives for Medway Logistics have arrived. The locos all carry the black and yellow Medway livery, Medway service numbers and names:
This video from Youtube by Fernando Liberato shows all four locomotives running together in Medway livery:
After loco 88003 had its debut with the 4S43 Daventry - Mossend 'Tesco Express' on 12 June 2017, 88004 performed the return working (4M48) from Schotland overnight. In the morning of 13 June, 88004 took the 4S43 to Schotland again.
DRS 88004 passes Lichfield Trent Valley with the 4S43 Daventry - Mossend 'Tesco Express' on 13 June 2017. Video by Jack Meakin-Sawyer.
On June 5, Metrolink began testing its EMD F125 passenger diesels on its network. Performed during day daytime hours, Metrolink aims to mitigate the negative effects of the testing programme as much as possible. The tests will be carried out through June at various locations, including Pomona, San Dimas, La Verne, Azusa and Irwindale, as well as the Antelope Valley and Orange County lines.
Testing schemes like this are mandatory to introduce new locos on the network. As soon as testing is successfully concluded, Metrolink will be allowed to operate the locos in revenue service. In total, Metrolink has 40 of the 200 km/h passenger diesels on order from Progress Rail, with the bodies being built by Stadler Rail Valencia in Spain.
Meanwhile in the USA, Siemens has out-shopped a further two IDOT Chargers. Numbered 4612 and 4613, the locos were sent to the Colorado testing facility on June 1.
Youtube video by MobileRailSpotterRxR of Chargers 4612 and 4613 on the first part of their journey to the Colorado test centre.
After having performed some charter workings in May, DRS 88003 'Genesis' has now performed its first revenue earning service, hauling the 4S43 Daventry - Mossend 'Tesco Express'.
DRS 88003 hauls the 4S43 'Tesco Express' from Daventry to Mossend while passing Lichfield Trent Valley Station. Video by Jack Meakin-Sawyer.
More livery news from the UK, where several Class 66 locomotives and one Class 67 locomotive have been given new liveries. The following locos have exchanged their EWS livery for a DB red one:
On 31 May 2017, Stadler officially delivered six new EURO 4000 locomotives to Alpha Trains. Four locos (335 033-036) will go on long-term hire to Portugal's Medway Logistics, the other two (335 037-038) will be leased to Ibercargo Rail, a joint venture between Comsa Rail Transport and Takargo. All six are equipped with the specific systems required for operations on the rail networks of both Spain and Portugal, enabling both operators to improve their services on cross-border connections.
For Alpha Trains, the delivery sees its fleet of EURO 4000 locomotives grow from 24 to 30. The first 24 were delivered to the operator between 2008 and 2009, and are all in operation on the Iberian peninsula. Carlos Vasconcelos, MEDWAY’s President of the Board, adds: "Expanding and updating our fleet with these 4 new interoperable locomotives represents a huge step towards our business goals: it will officially mean the entrance in the Spanish market, through a focus on innovation, sustainability and modernization, which will surely be key for us on our way to turn MEDWAY into the leading freight operator in the Iberian Peninsula"
Short livery news from the United Kingdom where DRS 66428 has been repainted into the basic DRS livery. It was the last of its Class still sporting the original DRS livery.
On 1 June 2017, the first day of the month and the first day of the meteorological summer, Lineas 513-10 had its first outing in its new livery.
InfraLeuna's sole Vectron DE locomotive has been re-styled in the blue InfraLeuna color scheme and now carries internal number 251.
The CZ LOKO works in Jihlava have completed another two Class 741.7 diesel locomotives. The locos in question, 741 741-3 and 741 742-1, are to be delivered to Francesco Ventura Costruzioni Ferroviarie S.r.l. based in Paola, Italy. Delivery of the locomotives is scheduled to take place this month.
Update: Article now features images.
Graphic of Lineas 513-10 in full company colour scheme.
On 22 May 2017, the Eemslift Hendrika arrived in the Port of Workington with new Class 68 locomotives for Beacon Rail Leasing > DRS on board. In the morning of 23 May, locos 68028-031 were unloaded.
WSDOT Charger locomotive 1403 at Seattle King Street Station on 21 May 2017. Picture by Siemens.
On 21 May 2017, the new Siemens Charger SC-44 locomotives to be operated on Amtrak's Cascades service were unveiled to the public at Seattle King Street Station. The 200 km/h locomotives comply with Tier 4 emission standards and are significantly more fuel-efficient than the locomotives currently in operation. Currently undergoing extensive testing, the locomotives are scheduled to enter service this summer.
STRABAG Rail 741 702-5 with an engineering train in Sokolov on 21 May 2015. Picture by Aleš Bílek.
Ordered in 2010 by predecessor Viamont DSP, the four Class 741.7 locomotives currently in STRABAG Rail's fleet have been put up for sale. It concerns locos 741.702-705, which were built between 2010 and 2011.
Recently delivered DRS 68027 sports a basic but temporary DRS livery in anticipation of receiving the Transpennine Express livery. Here it is seen passing Nottingham-Stapleford on 15 May 2017. Picture by John Whittingham.
In an interview with Rail Technology Magazine, Robin Davis, head of new feet at Transpennine Express (TPE), gave an update about the status of the new fleet for the operator. Amongst other topics, also the Class 68 locomotives were discussed, which are to be provided by Direct Rail Services (DRS) for use with CAF Mark 5A push-pull sets. Both the Class 68s and the coaches are owned by Beacon Rail Leasing.
It is stated that the first Class 68 would become available to TPE in late-May. When available, the loco would be modified to enable them to operate in push-pull mode with the CAF coaches. The modifications will be performed by Stadler at the DRS workshop in Crewe. In June, a second locomotive will follow and when the modifications to both locos are complete, they will be sent to the VUZ Velim test centre in the Czech Republic for dynamic trials with the first Mark 5A push-pull set. The coaches are expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2017.
Structurally, 14 locomotives will be in use by TPE. In an article in Rail (UK) from 8 October 2016, it is mentioned that a total of 19 locomotives will be made available for TPE services, indicating that 5 locos will be used as 'spares'. A first entry into service is expected to take place in the summer of 2018.
The title says it all. EURO 4000 locomotive 335 033-0 has been given the black and yellow Medway livery. Note that the loco also has an internal service number now (E 5033) and a name: Matilde.
In a deal closed in 2016, Ibercargo Rail and Alpha Trains have agreed upon the delivery of another two EURO 4000 locomotives that are to be leased for a five-year period. The joint venture between Comsa Rail Transport and Takargo will receive two brand new locomotives, designated 335 037-1 and 335 038-9. The two are currently nearing completion.
The two EURO 4000 locomotives further boost Alpha Trains' fleet of the type. Currently, the company is also receiving four locomotives that are to be leased to Portugal's Medway Logistics (the former CP Carga). With the 6 additional locos, the Alpha Trains EURO 4000 fleet is increased from 24 to 30.
Severn Valley Railway Spring Diesel Festival: DRS 88003 at the rear of 16.06 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster, having worked the 13.47 from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth as its passenger debut on 18 May 2017. Picture by Patrick Perry.
DRS' Class 88 locomotives are slowly making their debut on British rails, as they have been approved for general running on the network after a period of trials. Two of the locos, 88002 and 88003, have starred on rail tours and at special occasions. The former had its debut on the Northern Bell on 9 May, while the latter attended the Severn Valley Railway Spring Diesel Gala on 18-20 May.
A short impression of 88002 from Youtube:
Some short livery news from the UK again, where Class 66 locomotive 66020 has been painted red at the DB Cargo UK workshop in Toton.
CZ LOKO has sold its Class 774.7 diesel locomotive to Hungary's CER Cargo. The designated 774 714-0 is configured for services in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. It will be delivered to the operator in late-May after some preparations are completed. Meanwhile, the locomotives has been given the blue-yellow CER Cargo livery: link.
Some short livery new from Austria. Just like LTE's 2016 922, EuroRunner 2016 909 now has flaming Rock'N'Roll vinyls on its flanks.
At the outdoor exhibition, various freight wagons were presented to the public, but they were not alone. They were accompanied by three locomotives, including:
- Alstom H3 locomotive 301 of InfraLeuna
- Bombardier Class 186 electric 186 268 for Rhenus Rail Logistics
- Siemens Vectron DE loco 247 902, hired to DB Cargo
Closely resembling the new EURO DUAL locomotives, the EURO 4001 essentially looks like a version without pantographs. Note this is not the official design, but a photo-shopped version of the original EURO 4001 graphic by Stadler Rail.
At the Transport Logistic trade fair in Munich, we learned that a successor to the six-axle EURO 4000 diesel locomotive has been designed: the EURO 4001. Despite its success, the EURO 4000 will no longer be available soon, as its EMD 710 series engine complies with Stage IIIa emission legislation and there is no direct alternative available. The EURO 4001 follows the EURO DUAL design and can be seen as a diesel-only version.
Technically, the EURO 4001 combines various components of the EURO 4000 and EUROLIGHT diesel locomotives, updated to current standards. With a maximum speed of 160 km/h, the locomotive is suitable for both passenger and freight operations. Rather than the EMD 710 series engine used in the EURO 4000, the EURO 4001 will house a C175-16 Caterpillar engine with a power output of up to 3000 kW.
Another DB Cargo UK Class 66 locomotive has been restyled into DB company colour scheme. This time it was loco 66085 that underwent the repaint that an ever increasing amount of class members already experienced.
DB Cargo UK 66206 has been repainted in DB red at DB Cargo's workshop in Toton and has re-entered service meanwhile.
On 3 May 2017, Lineas (the former B Logistics) presented the first locomotive in its fleet to have received the company colour scheme at Antwerpen-Noord. Railpool TRAXX 186 293-7 will not be the sole loco in this livery. Soon, a further five locomotives will travel on European rails in the new colour scheme, including three diesel locomotives. It concerns one D-B-F TRAXX electric, one HLE13 electric, two HLD77 diesels and, interesting for us, one Class 66 locomotive. Diesel loco 7789 is currently being re-liveried and will enter service soon.
Also to be leased to Portugal's Medway Logistics, Alpha Trains 335 034 heads back to the Stadler Rail works in Albuixech while passing through Almassora (Castellón) after test runs on 19 April 2017. Picture by Jose Miralles.
At its Carlisle Kingmoor Depot, Direct Rail Services is preparing its brand new 68026 and 68027 for their entry into revenue service. Just like the locos of the second batch, the two have been delivered from Spain in a base blue livery. However, unlike the second batch, they haven't been stickered completely into DRS Compass livery. Instead, smaller logos have been applied on the base blue body similar, which reminds of the basic DRS Class 66 livery, possibly as a temporary measure in anticipation of a future livery change.
Proposed technical design of the 19D locomotive. Graphic by IPS Tabor.
Polish rail vehicle institute IPS Tabor has been working on the development of a modernized version of the Polish type SM48 diesel locomotive. The project is jointly performed with PESA Bydgoszcz and co-financed by the Polish National Research and Development Center. The six-axle loco has been given the type designation 19D and, according to IPS Tabor, the concept would have to meet the following general requirements:
- modern diesel engine(s) meeting Stage IIIB emission legislation
- modern generators
- electric circuit meeting the requirements for interference and noise
- drives supporting the use of alternating current motors
- a modern brake system with pneumatic parking brake
- microprocessor control system and diagnostics of the drive and the entire locomotive
- modern cabins with new acoustic and thermal insulation, and modern air conditioner (or cooler) and other sanitary facilities for improved ease of use
- upgraded bogies improving running characteristics, improving the tightness of the transmission, improving the durability of the rim (as a result of flange lubrication systems) and improving the durability of the traction motors (change of insulation)
- modern detection systems, alarms and fire extinguishing for all systems
Meanwhile, the project has left the drawing board and is executed at the Pesa works in Bydgoszcz, where a first prototype locomotive has reached an advanced stage of construction.
Mitsui Rail Capital Europe (MRCE) has sold its fleet of 32 Vossloh diesel locomotives to Ireland's RIVE Rail Leasing Ltd (RRL). The deal was jointly arranged by Paribus Capital GmbH and Paris-based RIVE Private Investment. KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH structured and provided the senior debt.
RRL is a joint venture between a group of investors, advised by RIVE Private Investment, northrail and French wagon lessor Millet Waggons. northrail has taken over asset-management of 26 locomotives, adding 3x G 1000 BB, 19x G 1206 and 4x G 2000-3 BB to its portfolio. Millet has added 6x G 1206 to its portfolio, which concerns the six locos configured for services in France and Germany.
The transaction does not mark the end of the diesel era at MRCE, which completed the sale of 10 Siemens EuroRunner and 17 Class 66 locomotives to Beacon Rail Leasing in 2015. The company still has a single EuroRunner in its fleet: ER 20-007.
Learn more about the Vossloh diesels on Loks-aus-Kiel.de (German-only).
On 27 April 2017, B Logistics officially presented its new, more international, brand identity and name: Lineas. The new name marks a new beginning, leaving its financially struggling past behind it. In the last eight years, B Logistics was successfully reformed by CEO Geert Pauwels and his team, but this has not been an easy task given the staggering operational loss of €115 million in 2009. At the time, the company was a virtually bankrupt department of NMBS/SNCB. Only few stakeholders believed the company still had a future.
But, the hard work and passion put in by all Lineas employees has paid off. After a thorough transformation, the company has become one of the largest and financially most healthy private rail freight operators in Europa. The new name further boosts Lineas to face the future with confidence and ambition. It aims to realize sustainable growth in Europe, whilst having a positive impact on mobility, environment and the competitiveness of the industry. To achieve this, Lineas focuses on offering a product to its clients that convinces them to shift their transport flows from road to rail.
The Green Xpress Network has been set up to be the main driver of this growth, combining competitive pricing with high quality, high frequencies, low transshipment times and ease of use. It offers direct links between economic hubs in Europe and bundles different cargoes (from steel and chemicals to palletized cargo and containers) in an innovative way to efficiently transport them over (medium-)long distances. In the past years, B Logistics set up a network servicing 10 destinations. Another 20 to 30 connections are in the pipeline for the period until 2020. Some of the connections under consideration are fully outside Belgium, in line with Lineas' ambitions to become a European player in rail freight and logistics.
Innovations play an important role in improving the company's efficiency, but also to create a product more competitive with road transport. Since 2012, all drivers have tablets to reduce paperwork and process times. In case defects are discovered on rolling stock, a picture is made and directly sent to the responsible workshop in anticipation of repairs. Sensors have been introduced for constant monitoring of rolling stock. E-learning has been incorporated in line studies, resulting in improved training and allowing drivers to study during downtime. Geert Pauwels underlined that innovations within Lineas may not be attributed to the management alone. In many cases it was operational personnel that came up with new ideas, for example an energy-efficient driving scheme and a system detecting jammed brakes by measuring track vibrations. Pauwels added that all innovations at Lineas are completely developed in-house and that personnel is actively supported in bringing up new initiatives.
Lineas is headquartered in Brussels, but is also represented in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany. In France, the company is active through OSR France, which will be re-branded as Lineas France. Currently, the group operates a fleet of more than 200 locomotives, including TRAXX MS2e and HLE 13 electrics, and HLD 77 and Class 66 diesel locomotives, as well as over 7000 wagons. In the coming period, the new identity will start to appear on several vehicles. Not all locomotives will be fully re-styled, but a select number will get the full Lineas livery for now. On May 3, the first re-branded locomotive will be presented. We will keep you posted.
DB Cargo UK has reached agreements with the four trade unions that represent most of its workforce. This means that it will launch its new business model on 2 July 2017, as planned.
ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite have been in discussions since October 2016 with the country’s largest rail freight operator, when the company announced proposals to cut 893 jobs (almost a third of its workforce) in a restructure triggered by the rapid decline in the core market of coal. The working arrangements of employees will also be updated and modernised.
Hans-Georg Werner, CEO of DB Cargo UK, said: “I would like to thank ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite for their continued dialogue with us. Under the pressures of the market we were able to find agreements acceptable to all parties and avoid industrial action. We regret that some colleagues will be leaving us but treating our people fairly to secure a business that will be successful in the future has been at the heart of our discussions.
“We will now move forward with our plans to lead the next generation of rail freight which includes key investments such as new wagons, terminal enhancements and combining our core function of delivering goods by rail with bespoke in-house IT solutions, to give our customers the best service and make it easy for them to do business with us.”
As the coal sector for rail freight reduces, other markets including aggregates and steel remain buoyant.
Hans-Georg Werner added: “There is a strong future for rail freight in the UK because it offers benefits that its competitors – mainly road – cannot. It’s efficient, it’s quick and it removes congestion from our roads because a train can carry much more volume than a truck. We are making sure rail freight provides solutions for customers now and in the future.”
Furthermore, Railway Gazette International reports: "DB Cargo is investing in Astra Rail MMA wagons and developing its Anubis customer order IT system. Digital remote conditioning monitoring is being fitted to 97 Class 66 and 28 Class 67 locomotives to identify and prevent mechanical problems up to two weeks before a failure might have occurred."
A 'Lastprobefahrt' last week with Siemens 247 905 gave us the opportunity to have a little peak into the future of the Siemens Vectron production. Siemens decided to use a batch of new Vectron electric units to serve as 'ballast weight' during the test runs. All machines are new and did not yet leave the factory gates.
- three new 'stock' locomotives with works number 22163, 22215 and 22251
- new MRCE multisystem locos no. 193 655 and 193 656, so the production of the two batches of these locomotives is well on its way (the designated 193 640-650 and 651-660).
- Alpha Trains 193 556 and 557 are finished. This means that the optional locomotives have been built right away after the first order was completed. First batch is Alpha Trains 193 550-555, four more will come.
- The three Vectron for Polish PKP Cargo that were still missing are ready-to-go too. Unlike the twelve first machines, now in service, the designated 193 513 / 514 / 515 (or 5370 025-027) are additionally equipped for the Netherlands.
Update: 247 905 has been handed over to InfraLeuna as a temporary replacement of 247 907, because Siemens will perform some finishing touches on the latter.
DB 245 026-0 outside Bombardier's Kassel plant on 10 February 2017. Picture by Christian Klotz.
Between September 2015 and June 2016, Bombardier delivered seven Class 245 TRAXX Multi Engine locomotives to DB Fernverkehr for use on its Sylt Shuttle services to and from Westerland (Sylt). All seven locos were equipped with a standard 2,720 liter fuel tank, similar to other locos of the class as delivered to DB Regio. Meanwhile, it has been decided to upgrade the seven locos with larger tanks, increasing the fuel capacity to 4,230 liter. One by one, the locos are being modified by Bombardier in Kassel.
A short update from Spain, where the brand new VFLI E4051 has left the Stadler works in Albuixech. Last week, it had already made its way to Barcelona from where it will go to France.
Meanwhile, the first homologation runs with three new EURO 4000 locomotives for Alpha Trains have commenced between Albuixech and Oropesa/Benicassim. Locos 335 033-035 are part of a batch of four locos ordered by Portugal's Medway Logistics through Alpha Trains.
Beacon Rail T66K 714 has arrived in Denmark. The loco will be hired by Captrain Denmark ApS, according to this picture in our Facebook group. Previously, the locomotive was operated by the now defunct operator Cargolink A/S from Norway.
DB Cargo UK 66136 passes Otford Junction on 15 April 2017. Picture by Howard Lewsey.
Various DB Cargo UK Class 66 locomotives have had their liveries updated recently:
- 66156 has been repainted in red by Marcroft in Stoke-on-Trent
- 66016 has been repainted in red at DB Cargo's workshop in Toton
- 66060 has received cab window repairs and has seen the area around the windows repainted in red
- 66136 has received extra vinyls on its cabs for the first return trip of the Yiwu (China)-London container train
BBC News covered the loading of the final container and the departure of DB Cargo UK 66136 with the first London-Yiwu container train on 10 April 2017.
In the early morning of 18 April, the Atlantic Cartier arrived at Liverpool Seaforth Docks. On board, the vessel carried the final four PowerHaul locomotives of an order for seven of the type: 70814-817. 70812 was the first locomotive to arrive in the UK, followed by 70811 and 70813. The seven locos raise the Colas Rail PowerHaul fleet to seventeen and the total number of locos in the UK to 36.
CDTX 2105 at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento on 18 April 2017. Picture by Siemens USA.
On April 18, Siemens announced that it would start a testing scheme with Caltrans to evaluate the performance of the SC-44 Charger in revenue service. To do so, the locomotives is to be tested on California's Capital Corridor passenger service. Testing is due to begin in late-April.
The announcement was made at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, located only miles from the Siemens production facility. There, Caltrans Director, Malcolm Dougherty staid: “Not only will they make for a more sustainable transportation system, but are also expected to improve reliability and help efforts to double current statewide ridership of 5.4 million passengers by 2040.” Siemens Rolling Stock President Michael Cahill added: “Unveiling the first of these locomotives built in California, for California, is a testament to the hard working employees in Sacramento who designed, engineered and manufactured these state-of-the-art rail vehicles. We’re proud to bring the latest technologies to life for Capitol Corridor riders and help usher in the next generation of clean, smart and efficient rail travel in California.”
CDTX 2106 in an advanced state of production in mid-March 2017. Picture by Simon Wijnakker.
Bombardier is currently building a new batch of Multi Engine diesel locomotives for Deutsche Bahn. On 30 March 2017, the designated 245 035 made a first test run, followed by the 245 036 on 20 April. Both locomotives will be dispatched to Ulm, as they carry the allocation markings "DB ZugBus Regionalverkehr Alb-Bodensee GmbH (RAB) Werk Ulm". We expect Ulm will get three new machines.
Currently, Deutsche Bahn has nine TRAXX DE ME locomotives on order, which will raise the fleet to 36:
- 3x for DB Regio to expand the fleet in South Germany
- 5x for DB Fernverkehr as ICE rescue locomotives
- 1x for DB Fernverkehr for the IC service Erfurt - Gera
Two new Brightline trainsets, consisting of Siemens Chargers locomotives and Viaggio Comfort USA coaches, are soon to arrive in Florida. The two trainsets - BrightGreen and BrightOrange - are to be transported from Sacramento together. A first, as the previous two trainsets - BrightBlue and BrightPink - were delivered separately, in January and March 2017 respectively.
Of the two new trainsets, BrightGreen has been completed by Siemens. Currently, the finishing touches are being done on BrightOrange. The arrival of the two sets implicitly marks the arrival of four further Charger locomotives, raising the fleet to eight. The fifth trainset will bring the number of locomotives in the fleet to ten.
Left: BrightGreen inside the manufacturing facility in Sacramento, California. Right: A first glimpse of BrightOrange at the same location. Pictures by Brightline / All Aboard Florida.
Having performed their delivery run on April 6, the brand new 70811 and 70813 performed their first revenue earning service on April 8. Together, they powered the 6C26, an engineering train operating between Oxford and Bristol.
Bloomberg.com reports: "Siemens AG and Bombardier Inc. are in talks to combine their train operations, people familiar with the matter said, potentially creating a business that could better withstand rising competition from China.
The proposed joint venture, which could be worth at least 10 billion euros ($10.6 billion), would merge the firms’ train-making and signaling activities, according to anonymous sources. It has been indicated that a deal could come by the middle of the year.
No final decisions have been made and any combination would require clearance from antitrust authorities and face potential opposition from unions, they said. Representatives for Siemens and Bombardier declined to comment."
In 2015, Pamplona Capital Management acquired Beacon Rail Leasing for 450 million dollar. Now it is selling the leasing company to an infrastructure fund managed by US Bank JP Morgan, a deal worth about 1 billion euros.
Currently, Beacon Rail has a variety of locomotives, freight wagons and passenger trains in its portfolio. This includes 27 Class 66 and EuroRunner locomotives bought from MRCE in 2015 and the vehicle portfolio sourced from Ascendos Rail Leasing when it was acquired by Beacon Rail Leasing in 2016. An overview of the current loco fleet:
- EMD Class 66 diesels
- Siemens EuroRunner diesels
- Vossloh/Stadler Rail EURO 4000 diesels
- Vossloh/Stadler Class 68 diesels
- Vossloh/Stadler Class 88 electro-diesels
- ASEA Rc3 electrics - Bombardier Traxx electrics
CZ LOKO 744 101-7 and 741 710-8 after a second test drive from Česká Třebová to Skalice nad Svitavou on 13 January 2017. Picture by Jirka Štembírek.
CZ LOKO has been awarded a first order for its Class 744.1 EffiShunter 1000 diesel locomotive. On 5 April 2017, the company signed a contract for the delivery of five locomotives to SerFer, with options for five more, after successfully taking part in a tender issued by the Italian operator. The fully TSI-compliant diesels will be equipped with Caterpillar C32 engines, delivering 895 kW. The locos will have a maximum speed of 100 km/h and will be equipped with the Italian train protection system BL3, enabling their use on shunting and mainline operations. Deliveries are scheduled to commence in February 2018.
As the last of DRS' Class 66/3s, 66304 has been restyled into the basic DRS livery.
Meanwhile, DB Cargo's 66044 has left Stoke after a repaint into DB red.
In an effort to renew its locomotive fleet, Orlen Group is to modernize and purchase a total of 22 locomotives, operated by group member Orlen KolTrans and Euronaft Trzebinia. The fleet renewal programme is split up in different stages and will take place until 2020. The total investment may be as high as PLN 300 million.
As part of the investment, Orlen KolTrans and Euronaft Trzebinia have ordered the modernization of two SM48/TEM2 locomotives according to the 15D design from Newag. In the process, the locos will be re-equiped with Caterpillar 3512C engines with a power output of 1550kW and meeting Stage IIIa emission legislation. A third locomotive will be modernized according to the 6Dg design and will feature a 708kW engine. The locos will be used at the PKN Orlen refineries in Plock and Trzebinia. Total worth of these contracts is PLN 13 million.
On 30 March 2017, the MV Atlantic was unloaded at the Port of Workington. The first loco to touch down on British soil was 68026, followed by 88007, 68027, 88010, 88009 and 88006 in that order. DRS 66421 subsequently transported the locos to the DRS depot at Carlisle Kingmoor. Here, the two Class 68s will receive their decals and all will be prepared to enter service.
DRS was not the only operator to receive new locomotives. A day earlier, Colas Rail 70811 and 70813 were unloaded from the Atlantic Star onto the docks at Liverpool Seaforth. On the 30th, the two PowerHaul locos were lifted of their transit trailers onto the tracks. The recently delivered 70812 has entered service in the mean time, whilst 70814-817 have started their journey to the UK.
DRS 88002 passes through Wigan, North Western Station on March 28, 2017. Picture by Mark Barber.
The first tests under British overhead power lines have taken place with Beacon Rail > DRS 88002 'Prometheus'. The second batch of Class 88 locomotives and Class 68 locos 68026-027 still await shipment to the UK at the Port of Sagunto. 88001-005 and 008 are already in the UK.
On 3 April 2017, DRS 88002 and 68025 pass Brock with the 6Z88 Carlisle North Yard - Crewe Gresty Green. Picture by Geraint Jones.
Update: On April 3, the first loaded test run took place, when the loco pulled the 6Z88 Carlisle North Yard - Crewe Gresty Green. DRS 68025 was taken along for insurance.
It's got its pan up! 88002 takes the juice at last! pic.twitter.com/4LczdK8BF6— Pip Dunn (rail info) (@50039implacable) 23 maart 2017
Beacon Rail 653-09 in Freightliner livery at Hamburg Süd on 25 March 2017. Picture by Dominik Becker.
Beacon Rail's 653-09, operated by Freightliner DE since 2015, has been restyled into Freightliner livery.
On 15.03.2017, 245 002 of DB Regio Kempten was on a test run pulling IC 2012 / 2013 from Immenstadt to Stuttgart. The video shows the 2013 service near Bad Grönenbach. Video by Mĺnuel Sĺttlerssřn
DB Regio currently has three new TRAXX DE Multi-Engine locomotives on order for operation in the south of Germany.
On the first day of March, InfraLeuna took delivery of the Vectron DE locomotive it had on order from Siemens. Meanwhile, the loco has entered service. For now, the loco is still in its plain white Siemens livery.
ÖBB has cancelled its tender for the delivery of 19 used EuroRunner locomotives to further expand its fleet of Class 2016 diesels. As no bids were received, the tender was closed without result.
Update: A new tender has been launched, largely similar to the previous one, and compries: 19 diesel locomotives in separate trenches, used, of the same type. The specific requirement for EuroRunner locomotives has been dropped.
Approximately one month ago, on 23 February 2017, 88003 'Genesis' is lifted onto the Eemslift Nelli. Soon the six Class 88s already in the UK will be joined by the remaining four. Picture by Malcolm Wilton-Jones.
Some short news from Spain regarding the delivery of Class 68 and 88 locomotives to Beacon Rail and DRS. Locomotives 88006 'Juno', 88007 'Electra, 88009 'Diana' and 88010 'Aurora' have been transported to the Port of Sagunto, from where they will be shipped to the United Kingdom. When the locos arrive on British soil, all ten Class 88s will have been delivered to the UK. None have entered service yet, pending certification and dynamic testing.
Not only Class 88s have made it to Sagunto. Among the four bi-modes, there were also two Class 68 locomotives: 68026 and 68027. Both are still in a basic blue livery.
The future Caltrans 2106 at the Siemens works in Sacramento. Picture by Simon Wijnakker.
Siemens USA is currently occupied with several Charger orders. In total, 81 locomotives have been ordered. Of these 81 locos, Caltrans will receive 22 and the first locos are currently being finished. At Siemens' Sacramento plant, a nearly finished 2106 was witnessed outside.
The future Caltrans 2106 at the Siemens works in Sacramento. Picture by Simon Wijnakker.
Artist impression of a EURO DUAL locomotive in HVLE colour scheme. Picture by Stadler Rail.
Stadler Rail Valencia has bagged a first order for EURODUAL locomotives. German rail freight operator Havelländische Eisenbahn (HVLE) has awarded Stadler a contract for the supply of ten six-axle EURO DUAL locomotives for use in Germany. The locos combine 15kV and 25kV electric with diesel power. In electric mode, a power output of 5.2MW is available, whilst the diesel engine is rated at 2.8MW. Ludolf Kerkeling of HVLE comments: “The demand for six-axle locomotives will grow because of the increasing length and weight of trains.” Martin Wischner of HVLE added: “We need diesel power for the first/last mile but the environmental and economic advantages of electric power are very important for us.”
The deal includes a full service maintenance agreement and is financed by Deutsche Anlagen-Leasing with a tailor-made, asset-based leasing structure. With the order, HVLE becomes the launch customer of the new generation of six-axle bi-mode locomotives developed by Stadler for the European market. The EURO DUAL is available in different configurations and for different gauges and voltage systems. Designed as a highly modular platform, it can be equipped with diesel engines of various power ratings to meet the requirements of individual customers. Furthermore, the EURO DUAL is suitable for both passenger and freight applications at speeds up to 160 km/h.
Raildox 264 002-7 in new colours at Kiel-Meimersdorf. Picture by Stefan Motz.
Raildox Maxima 40 CC locomotive 264 002-7 was subjected to a main overhaul (Hauptuntersuchung) at the Voith works in Kiel. There, the loco was given a new appearance as well.
Freshly delivered WSDOT Charger locomotive 1400 outside the Siemens works in Sacramento on March 6, 2017. Picture by WSDOT.
On March 6, the first Charger SC-44 locomotive for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) left the Siemens works in Sacramento with one of its sister locomotives. The locomotives will be used on Amtrak Cascades services, starting in the summer of 2017. According to the operator, the two locos will first be subjected to 500 miles of acceptance runs to get their engines run in before being delivered to Seattle in late March or early April.
WSDOT ordered eight Charger passenger diesels from Siemens in 2014 as part of a joint locomotive procurement programme together with the transportation departments of Illinois, California, Michigan and Missouri. The locomotive will enable WSDOT to cope with increased travel demand and to introduce two additional round trips between Seattle and Portland.
Graphic of DB Cargo UK 66019 in DB red.
DB Cargo UK's 66019 has been restyled into DB red by Marcroft Engineering in Stoke-on-Trent (see graphic). 66009 preceeded 66019 and was released from Stoke in mid-February.
Beacon Rail / DRS 66303 has been restyled in the basic DRS Class 66 livery by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh Works. 66304 is undergoing the same treatment now in Eastleigh as the last 66/3 still in its original DRS livery.
At the DB Cargo UK workshops in Toton, Colas Rail 67023 and 67027 have been out-shopped in Colas livery. Colas Rail shows some pictures of the final result:
As the first of seven additional Class 70 PowerHaul locomotives ordered from GE Transportation by Colas Rail, 70812 was unloaded from the Atlantic Sail at Liverpool Seaforth docks on February 25, 2017. Two days later, on February 27, it was moved from its road trailer onto British rails in anticipation of moving it out of the port.
SD-KD 753 602-2 passes Opatov during its first test run after the completion of repairs on February 27, 2017. Picture by Jirka Štembírek.
SD - Kolejová doprava will soon have locomotive 753 602-2 available for service again. In August 2016, the loco suffered fire damage and it has been out of service ever since. Today, on February 27, 2017, 753 602 made a test run from Česká Třebová to Svitavy after CZ LOKO completed repairs on the loco.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seen in Götzenhof yesterday: Siemens 247 902 and 903, together on their way to Leipzig. Soon they will join 247 904 and 906 and start pulling various freight trains for DB Cargo around Halle. The quartet is now complete.
DRS 68001 heads a freight train at Stenson Junction on May 26, 2016. Picture by Ian Kinear.
Leased from Beacon Rail, Direct Rail Services currently operates a fleet of 25 Class 68 locomotives. The first 15 locomotives were ordered by the British operator in 2012, followed by a further 10 in 2014. Being a mixed-duty diesel locomotive, the locomotives see use in both passenger service (e.g. AbellioScotrail, Chiltern Railways) and freight service.
In mid-2015, DRS opted to order seven additional locos, to be numbered 68026-032 in line with the locomotives delivered earlier, for use with CAF-built push-pull sets on TransPennine Express passenger services. These services are set to commence in spring 2018, initially running on the Liverpool-Newcastle route. Later that year, services to and from Scarborough are to be added. The first locomotives of this batch are currently nearing completion. Meanwhile, it has been indicated that a further two Class 68 locomotives have been registered, carrying the numbers 68033 and 034. This means that another two locomotives have been ordered from Stadler Rail Valencia.
Chiltern Railways liveried 68014 has just crossed Culloden Viaduct with the 4D47 Inverness Freight Sidings to Mossend Up Yard intermodal on September 24, 2014. Picture by Keith Long.
Direct Rail Services also still has 10 Class 88 electro-diesels on order, also known under the type name UK DUAL. Production of these locomotives in Valencia is currently in its final stages and the first locomotive has already been shipped to the UK for testing, familiarization and certification purposes in anticipation of further deliveries in mid-spring. This commissioning programme is to take between six and eight weeks, and will be performed jointly with Stadler Rail Valencia. On January 22, locomotive 88002 was the first to touch down on British soil after arriving on board of Ro-Ro ship Autostar.
Loco 88001 was named 'Revolution' as the first of the class, in a similar fashion to the first Class 68 named 'Evolution'. However, more mythic names have been chosen for at least the four subsequent locomotives. Some are a revival of names applied to British Railways Class 76 and 77 electrics. The following names are currently known:
88001 - Revolution
88002 - Prometheus
88003 - Genesis
88004 - Pandora
88005 - Minerva
88006 - Juno
88007 - ?
88008 - Ariadne
88009 - ?
88010 - ?
CZ LOKO 774 714-0 during a test run at the Hungarian town of Komárom, Hungary on February 3, 2017. Picture by Márk Fekete.
On February 3, CZ LOKO 774 714-0 was captured on camera on its first day of dynamic approval runs in Hungary. The locomotive is configured for operations on Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian and Polish rails, but to our information it had not run in other countries than the Czech Republic and Slovakia up until now.
CZ LOKO 774 714-0 during a test run at the Hungarian town of Komárom, Hungary on February 3, 2017. Picture by Márk Fekete.
Prior to being sent to Hungaria for approval runs, 774 714-0 was in service for Rail Cargo Carrier Slovakia, which had used Class 2016 locomotives up until that point. RCC -Slovakia used the locomotive predominantly to shuttle container trains within Bratislava, to and from the Rail Cargo Operator Container Terminal Bratislava. Being part of CZ LOKO's rental pool, the loco has also been in service for LTE Logistik a Transport Slovakia, PSŽ and SD - Kolejová doprava. With 774 714-0 now in Hungary, EffiShunter 1000 locomotive 744 001-9 is operated by RCC - Slovakia instead.
On 02.02.2017, Siemens 247 904 and 906 arrived at Leipzig-Engelsdorf together. The two machines, soon to be hired to DB Cargo, came from München-Allach. In the next weeks, they will be available for test runs and staff training. DB Cargo will hire the locomotives for at least a one-year period from Siemens for freight services in the Halle area.
DB Cargo 66136, freshly repainted in red with special 'Yiwu-London Train' vinyls at the Barking Rail Freight Terminal on January 18, 2017. Picture by Adam McMillan.
Two weeks after departing the Chinese port city of Yiwu, the first cargo to travel from China to the UK through the Channel Tunnel arrived in London. The containers traveled almost 12,000 kilometres before arriving at the Barking Rail Freight Terminal. During the journey, which started on January 1, they passed through a large number of countries, including China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France. As a result of the different track gauges used in some of the countries, transshipment of containers onto other wagons took place twice.
Close-up of DB Cargo 66136, freshly repainted in red with special 'Yiwu-London Train' vinyls at the Barking Rail Freight Terminal on January 18, 2017. Picture by Adam McMillan.
Running as a weekly service, the new train service between China and the UK carries a mix of consumer goods such as clothing and household accessories. With the new service, London is now the 15th destination in Europe for a freight service originating in China with another 20 destination still in the pipeline. Targeted are those shippers that prefer to ship freight between China and Europe at lower rates than in air cargo, whilst cutting the transshipment times of sea transport.
Graphic of DB Cargo UK 66136 in DB red with special 'Yiwu-London Train' vinyls.
The first 7 of 55 GE ES43ACi diesel locomotives were officially delivered to Pakistan Railways on January 23 in Karachi. Built in Erie in the USA, the 1676mm gauge locomotives will be delivered until mid-2017. The locomotives are designated by Pakistan Railways as the GEU-40 Class. The first locomotives are expected to enter service on coal trains between Port Qasim in Karachi and a coal-powered power plant at Sahiwal.
The ES43ACi for Pakistan Railways houses a GEVO12 12-cylinder diesel engine with a power output of 3400 kW, features a 8000-litre fuel tank and has a maximum speed of 120 km/h. The six-axle design supports a weight 137 tonnes.
Future DRS dual-mode locomotive no. 88002 has arrived in the United Kingdom. On board of a vessel named 'Autostar', it came from Spain and to the harbour of Southhampton, where it was disembarked. Here you can see a first image of the locomotive, named 'Prometheus', on its way to Carlisle Kingmoor (by road transport). - BG/BH
On December 23, 2016, Fenniarail reported that it was given an early Christmas gift. A day earlier, cross border transport between Finland and Russia was opened to competition. Fenniarail will take the opportunity to increase its presence in the market and will expand its fleet with a further two locomotives to increase transport capacity. “Finnish rail market is becoming market driven. The new situation in Russian transport has increased customers’ interest towards us. Fenniarail’s new investment improves company’s competitive position”, says Petri Lempiäinen, the chairman of the board of Fenniarail.
Prior to delivery, the future Fenniarail 102 heads past the town of Hradec nad Svitavou while performing a test run on August 22, 2015. Picture by Jiří Štembírek.
The two additional locomotives will be delivered by CZ LOKO again and will be similar to the three Stage IIIa compliant 774.7F locomotives currently in operation. Kimmo Rahkamo, Managing Director of Fennirail says: "“The experience from current locomotives is positive. The user experience and environmental properties are aligned with expectations. The locomotives are operable in the demanding Finnish climate”. Delivery of the locomotives is scheduled for late 2017.
Soon, DB Cargo Deutschland will commence operations with four Vectron DE locomotives on long-term hire from Siemens. It has been indicated that the locomotives involved are 247 902-904 and 906, and that all four will enter service in the well-known DB 'Verkehrsrot' livery.
On January 11, loco 247 906 was already out and about, but not yet in service for DB Cargo. Thomas Stenzel was so friendly to let us publish his pictures, as published in this post.
CZ LOKO has booked even more successes in Italy with its Class 741.7 shunting locomotive. Earlier, the Czech rolling stock manufacturer provided two Class 741.7 locomotives to Dinazzano Po and now it is to provide two of the class to Terminali Italia S.r.l.. Terminali Italia will use them for shunting at its terminal in Verona.
A third Class 741.7 is not to be delivered to Terminali Italia as previously reported. This locomotive is to be delivered to Serfer – Servizi Ferroviari S.r.l., which provides shunting services within the Trenitalia group. It is planned to be stationed in Livorno. It has been indicated that this concerns loco 741 710-8.
A fourth and fifth loco were ordered by rail construction company Costruzioni Ferroviarie Ventura S.r.l. in December 2016. These locomotives are scheduled for delivery in May 2017. When delivered, the number of Class 741.7 in operation in Italy will have risen from two to seven.
On August 4, 2014, DB Schenker liveried 67027 halts at Leamington Spa while working a Chiltern Railways passenger service. Picture by Peter Lovell.
In October 2016, DB Cargo UK released a notice in which it stated that it would offer two Class 67 locomotives for sale. The locos involved were 67023 (EWS livery) and 67027 (DB Schenker red livery). It has now become apparent that the two diesel locomotives have found a new owner in Colas Rail.
With the acquisition, Colas Rail further expands its locomotive fleet, as it will also take delivery of seven new Class 70 locomotives from GE Transportation this year. 67023 and 67027 are currently receiving maintenance and are expected to be repainted into the well-known orange-yellow-black color scheme. With their high maximum speed of 125mph (200km/h) the locomotives will predominantly be used to provide traction for fast measurement trains.
Built in 2000, the two Class 67s were delivered to English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS), which leased them from Angel Trains. After an approximate 15 years, ownership of the locomotives transferred to DB Schenker Rail UK (now DB Cargo UK) that had taken over EWS in the meantime.
Colas Rail is set to expand its fleet with a further seven type PH37ACmi PowerHaul locomotives. On December 16, 2016, locos 70811 and 70812 (both in an advanced stage of completion) were out on test at the GE Transportation production facility in Erie. Delivery of all seven locomotives is scheduled to take place this year.
Video of the future Colas Rail 70811 and 70812 on test in Erie on December 16, 2016.
With the seven new locomotives, Colas Rail raises the number of PowerHaul locomotives in its fleet to 17. The first ten locomotives in the fleet were delivered to the UK-based operator in 2014. Other than locomotive 70801, the designated 70802-70810 were built and assembled in Erie by GE Transportation. The former was the first PowerHaul locomotive to be assembled by Turkey's Tülomsaş as demonstrator locomotive DE 37001 / 70099.
In 2011, SD - Kolejová doprava (SD-KD) received a first Class 741.7 diesel locomotive from CZ LOKO. After five years, the designated 741 706-6 is no longer the sole representative of its type in SD-KD's fleet. Between October and December 2016, the loco was joined by a further three 741.7 diesels, namely:
Due to moving to a new and much faster server, MainlineDiesels.net may be updated less frequently with images in the first week of the new year. We expect everything to run normally from January 7 onward. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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Yes, a new year! So many trains to write about, to draw, to take pictures of! We wish you all the best for 2017, and have fun, lots of fun!