British Rail Class 68

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British Rail Class 68
68005 and 68 number 018 Leeds to Canterbury West 1Z68 The Retro Canterbury Belle (28192732875).jpg
Direct Rail Services 68005 leads a Charter Train towards Canterbury West
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder Vossloh España (2013–2015)
Stadler Rail (2016–2017)
Model Stadler UKLight[1]
Build date 2013–2017
Total produced 34
Specifications
Configuration:
 • UIC Bo'Bo'
 • Commonwealth Bo-Bo
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Wheel diameter 1,100 mm (3 ft 7.3 in)
Loco weight approximately 85 tonnes[2]
Fuel type diesel
Fuel capacity 5,000 L (1,100 imp gal; 1,300 US gal)
Prime mover Caterpillar C175-16[3]
Alternator ABB WCqx560pb6
Traction motors Four ABB 4FRA6063 (600 kW)
MU working 68 001-68 007 and 68 016-68 034: Within class only.[4] 68 008-68 015: AAR System, compatible with Classes 59, 66, 67, and 70 plus AAR fitted Mk3 coaches and DVTs.
Train heating Electric,
HEP inverter up to 500 kW (ETH index 96[5])
Loco brake Blended: Rheostatic braking (2100kW); electropneumatic.[2]
Performance figures
Maximum speed 100 mph (160 km/h)
Power output 3,800 hp (2,800 kW)
at 1,740 rpm
Tractive effort 317 kN (71,000 lbf)
Career
Operators
Numbers 68 001–034
Official name UKLight
Axle load class RA 7[4]
Delivered 2014
First run 2014
Current owner Beacon Rail
Sources: Technical parameters.[6] (except where noted)

The Class 68 is a type of mainline mixed traffic diesel-electric locomotive manufactured by Stadler Rail (and previously by Vossloh España) for Direct Rail Services in the United Kingdom. The design is derived from the Stadler Eurolight, and Stadler's product name for this variant is the UKLight.

The second batch of Class 68s - also for Direct Rail Services, and the first to be built by Stadler - completed delivery in April 2016.[7]

The third batch of Class 68s - completed delivery in July 2017.

Background[edit]

On 5 January 2012, Direct Rail Services announced it had placed an order for fifteen 160-kilometre-per-hour (100 mph) Vossloh Eurolight locomotives from Vossloh España for intermodal and passenger work with a 16-cylinder 2.8 MW (3,800 hp) C175-16 engine from Caterpillar Inc. to be delivered from late 2013; these would be hired from Beacon Rail Leasing.[8][9] The value of the contract has been estimated at £45 million.[4] An option for ten further UKLights was confirmed to have been taken up in September 2014.[10] Further to this, on 28 July 2015 Vossloh España announced an order for a further 7 locomotives from DRS.[11]

The locomotives have been given TOPS class 68,[12] Stadler's product name for the design is UKLight.[13]

The Class 68 complies with Stage III A of the European emission standards.[14]

Delivery[edit]

The first locomotive spent several months being tested at Velim Test Centre in the Czech Republic prior to being shipped to the UK. The second locomotive in the class, numbered 68002, was the first to arrive in the UK in January 2014.[15][16][17][18]

Operations[edit]

Direct Rail Services[edit]

The Class 68 is a mixed-traffic locomotive intended for use on both passenger and freight trains. DRS has a contract with VSOE to provide locomotives for its Northern Belle service. DRS has indicated that the locomotives will likely be used on container traffic, and on Network Rail trains for which it is contracted to operate.[19] They are now routinely used on nuclear flask trains.

The first passenger trains hauled by Class 68s were DRS special services for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.[20]

Abellio ScotRail[edit]

Abellio ScotRail have sub-leased two Class 68s to haul sets of six Mark 2 coaches on peak hour services on the Fife Circle Line.

Chiltern Railways[edit]

Chiltern Railways have sub-leased six Class 68s from December 2014, which have replaced Class 67s on its Chiltern Main Line services between London Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill.[21][22][23] These are painted in Chiltern's silver Mainline livery and are fitted with Association of American Railroads (AAR) push-pull equipment to allow them to operate with Mark 3 coaching stock sets. Two DRS-liveried locomotives (68 008 and 68 009) have also been fitted with AAR push-pull equipment.[24]

TransPennine Express[edit]

TransPennine Express (TPE) will sub-lease fourteen Class 68 locomotives from Direct Rail Services from 2018 for initial use on the Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle route, before transferring them to the Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough service in 2019. These will haul five-car rakes of Mark 5A coaches, with a driving trailer at the opposite end.[25][26] 68019 Brutus and 68021 Tireless were the first locomotives to be vinyled into the TransPennine Express livery at Gresty Bridge; by September 2018, the remaining 12 dedicated TPE locomotives (68020, 68022-032) were also revinyled. 68033 & 68034, to be used as "standby" locomotives , retain DRS "Compass" livery. The TPE vinyled locomotives do not feature yellow front ends, following a change to the regulations.[27]

In November 2017, 68021 Tireless was moved from Gresty Bridge to Southampton Docks and ultimately transported to the Velim Test Track in the Czech Republic for testing with the new Mark 5A coaches. Testing included brake-force tests and door-interlock testing before the locomotive was returned to Great Britain in July 2018.

Fleet[edit]

As of July 2017, there are 34 Class 68 locomotives in service.

Class Operator Sub-leased to No. Built Year Built Loco nos.
Class 68 Direct Rail Services Direct Rail Services 12 2013–17 68001–005, 68008–009, 68016–018, 68033–034
Abellio ScotRail 2 68006–007
Chiltern Railways 6 68010–015
TransPennine Express 14 68019–032[26]

Named locomotives[edit]

Avenger 68008

Before delivery each of the first nine locomotives was named. All of the other Class 68 locomotives (except 68011–68015) have also been named; 68026, 68027 & 68029-034 are yet to be named (with the provisional names listed below) but, as of 8th September 2018, they are still nameless. 68010 was named on 12 December 2016, in celebration of Chiltern Railways' new London-Oxford services. 68028 was named "Lord President" in August 2018, without ceremony at Crewe Gresty Bridge Depot.

  • 68001 - Evolution
  • 68002 - Intrepid
  • 68003 - Astute
  • 68004 - Rapid
  • 68005 - Defiant
  • 68006 - Daring
  • 68007 - Valiant
  • 68008 - Avenger
  • 68009 - Titan
  • 68010 - Oxford Flyer
  • 68016 - Fearless
  • 68017 - Hornet
  • 68018 - Vigilant
  • 68019 - Brutus
  • 68020 - Reliance
  • 68021 - Tireless
  • 68022 - Resolution
  • 68023 - Achilles
  • 68024 - Centaur
  • 68025 - Superb
  • 68026 - to be named Nautilus
  • 68027 - to be named Endeavour
  • 68028 - Lord President
  • 68029 - to be named Destroyer
  • 68030 - to be named Enterprise
  • 68031 - to be named Excelsior
  • 68032 - to be named Patriot
  • 68033 - to be named Courageous
  • 68034 - to be named Victorious

Incidents[edit]

68015 caught fire near High Wycombe on 23 October 2015.[28][29]

68011 caught fire near Saunderton on 8 January 2016.[30][31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2016-05-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Vossloh España unveils Direct Rail Services Class 68", www.railwaygazette.com, 16 Dec 2013 
  3. ^ https://www.directrailservices.com/resize/NE%204%20Brochures/DRS%20Class%2068%20Pres%20Final%20s.pdf
  4. ^ a b c Johnson, Marc (1 April 2014), "Sleek lines", www.therailengineer.com 
  5. ^ Pritchard, Robert; Hall, Peter (2018). British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock 2018. Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-909431-44-7. 
  6. ^ UK LIGHT Diesel-Electric Locomotive (PDF), Vossloh Rail Vehicles, archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2014 
  7. ^ http://www.mainlinediesels.net/index.php?nav=1000178&lang=en&id=8745&action=shownews#.VwajtyaVvQo
  8. ^ Direct Rail Services orders 15 Vossloh EuroLight UK locomotives, Railway Gazette International, 5 January 2012 
  9. ^ Barrow, Keith (12 September 2013), "DRS confirms order for Vossloh electro-diesels", www.railjournal.com, International Railway Journal 
  10. ^ Barrow, Keith (12 September 2014), "DRS orders more Vossloh locomotives", www.railjournal.com 
  11. ^ "UK and Italian operators order Vossloh locomotives". 27 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Direct Rail Services reveals Class 68 design". Railway Gazette International. 1 February 2013. 
  13. ^ The diesel-electric EUROLIGHT picks up speed toward the UK and Asia, Vossloh, retrieved 2012-09  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Rail Express (217): 9, June 2014, ISSN 1362-234X  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "Vossloh 2680". MainlineDiesels.net. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  16. ^ Gary Baldwin - Mercury Stone (10 December 2013). "Exclusive: Class 68 in new DRS livery". Direct Rail Services. 
  17. ^ "DRS unveils new Class 68 diesel in Crewe". Railnews. 12 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "BRL Home". Beaconrail.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  19. ^ Pritchard, Robert (May 2014). "DRS showcases first Class 68". Today's Railways. Platform 5 Publishing (149): 62–63. 
  20. ^ Direct Rail Services, Ryder Cup 2014
  21. ^ "Chiltern to lease six Class 68 locomotives from DRS". Railway Herald. Scunthorpe. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  22. ^ "Chiltern leases six Class 68 locos for Mainline services in £15m deal". Rail Technology Magazine. Manchester: Cognitive Publishing. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  23. ^ "Chiltern Railways chooses Class 68 in favour of Class 67". mainlinediesels.net. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  24. ^ "68s equipped with push-pull". Rail. No. 754. Peterborough: Bauer Media Group. 6 August 2014. p. 33. 
  25. ^ Briginshaw, David (23 May 2016). "CAF to supply trains to TransPennine Express". International Railway Journal. Falmouth: Simmons-Boardman Publishing. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  26. ^ a b Clinnick, Richard (1 March 2017). "New-build DRS Class 68s to operate TPE's Mk 5 rakes". Rail. Peterborough: Bauer Media Group. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  27. ^ "Yellow front ends become optional". Railway Gazette International. Sutton: DVV Media Group. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  28. ^ http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/13892175.PICTURES__Delays_after_fire_breaks_out_on_train_at_High_Wycombe_Station/
  29. ^ https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/train-fire-at-high-wycombe.122301/
  30. ^ http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2016-01-08/train-fire-causes-severe-disruption/
  31. ^ http://www.leamingtoncourier.co.uk/news/local-news/train-fire-delays-chiltern-railways-services-1-7151713

External links[edit]