British Rail Class 68
|British Rail Class 68|
Direct Rail Services 68005 leads a Charter Train towards Canterbury West
|Sources: Technical parameters. (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 third batch of Class 68s - completed delivery in July 2017.
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. The value of the contract has been estimated at £45 million. An option for ten further UKLights was confirmed to have been taken up in September 2014. Further to this, on 28 July 2015 Vossloh España announced an order for a further 7 locomotives from DRS.
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.
Direct Rail Services
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. They are now routinely used on nuclear flask trains.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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|
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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
- Stadler Euro Dual, the electro-diesel variant based on the Class 68 ordered by DRS as the Class 88.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
- "Vossloh España unveils Direct Rail Services Class 68", www.railwaygazette.com, 16 Dec 2013
- Johnson, Marc (1 April 2014), "Sleek lines", www.therailengineer.com
- Pritchard, Robert; Hall, Peter (2018). British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock 2018. Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-909431-44-7.
- UK LIGHT Diesel-Electric Locomotive (PDF), Vossloh Rail Vehicles, archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2014
- Direct Rail Services orders 15 Vossloh EuroLight UK locomotives, Railway Gazette International, 5 January 2012
- Barrow, Keith (12 September 2013), "DRS confirms order for Vossloh electro-diesels", www.railjournal.com, International Railway Journal
- Barrow, Keith (12 September 2014), "DRS orders more Vossloh locomotives", www.railjournal.com
- "UK and Italian operators order Vossloh locomotives". 27 July 2015.
- "Direct Rail Services reveals Class 68 design". Railway Gazette International. 1 February 2013.
- 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]
- Rail Express (217): 9, June 2014, ISSN 1362-234X Missing or empty
- "Vossloh 2680". MainlineDiesels.net. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- Gary Baldwin - Mercury Stone (10 December 2013). "Exclusive: Class 68 in new DRS livery". Direct Rail Services.
- "DRS unveils new Class 68 diesel in Crewe". Railnews. 12 March 2014.
- "BRL Home". Beaconrail.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- Pritchard, Robert (May 2014). "DRS showcases first Class 68". Today's Railways. Platform 5 Publishing (149): 62–63.
- Direct Rail Services, Ryder Cup 2014
- "Chiltern to lease six Class 68 locomotives from DRS". Railway Herald. Scunthorpe. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "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.
- "Chiltern Railways chooses Class 68 in favour of Class 67". mainlinediesels.net. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "68s equipped with push-pull". Rail. No. 754. Peterborough: Bauer Media Group. 6 August 2014. p. 33.
- Briginshaw, David (23 May 2016). "CAF to supply trains to TransPennine Express". International Railway Journal. Falmouth: Simmons-Boardman Publishing. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- 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.
- "Yellow front ends become optional". Railway Gazette International. Sutton: DVV Media Group. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to British Rail Class 68.|
- DRS Class 68 Next Generation Diesel-Electric Locomotive (PDF) (Brochure) (version 4), DRS