British Rail Class 68

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British Rail Class 68
Norton Fitzwarren - DRS 68008 rear of down Pullman.JPG
68 008 passing Norton Fitzwarren in 2016
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder Vossloh
Model Vossloh UKLight[1]
Build date 2013–present
Total produced 25 (plus 9 on order)
Specifications
Configuration:
 • Whyte Bo-Bo
 • UIC 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[citation needed]
Alternator ABB WCqx560pb6
Traction motors Four ABB 4FRA6063 (600 kW)[citation needed]
MU working 68 001-68 007 and 68 016-68 034: Within class only.[3] 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
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 68 001–027 (delivered)
68 028–034 (on order)
Official name UKLight
Nicknames Warskips, Cats, Turtles, Diggers
Axle load class RA 7[3]
Delivered 2014
First run 2014
Current owner Beacon Rail
Sources: Technical parameters.[4] (except where noted)

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

The second batch of Class 68s - also for Direct Rail Services - completed delivery in April 2016.[5]

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 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.[6][7] The value of the contract has been estimated at £45 million.[3] An option for ten further UKLights was confirmed to have been taken up in September 2014.[8] Further to this, on 28 July 2015 Vossloh España announced an order for a further 7 locomotives from DRS.[9] In January 2017 a further two locomotives were added to the order.

The locomotives have been given TOPS class 68,[10] Vossloh's product name for the design is UKLight.[11]

The Class 68 complies with Stage III A of the European emission standards.[12]

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 unit in the class, numbered 68 002, was the first to arrive in the UK in January 2014.[13][14][15][16]

Operations[edit]

A Class 68 operating a Chiltern Railways passenger service

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, but that they will not be used on nuclear flask trains, however they have been used on these numerous times.[17]

The first passenger trains hauled by Class 68s were DRS special services for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.[18]

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 and Birmingham.[19][20][21] These are painted in Chiltern mainline silver 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.[22]

TransPennine Express[edit]

TransPennine Express will sub-lease Class 68 locomotives from Direct Rail Services from 2018 for initial use on the Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle route, and then on the Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough service from 2019. These will haul five car rakes of Mark 5A coaches, with a driving trailer at the opposite end.[23][24]

Fleet[edit]

68007 Valiant in ScotRail livery.

As of April 2016, there are 25 Class 68 locomotives in service, with a further nine on order.

Class Operator Sub-leased to No. Built Year Built Loco nos.
Class 68 Direct Rail Services Direct Rail Services 17 2013–5 68001–68005
68008–68009
68016–68025
Abellio ScotRail 2 68006–68007
Chiltern Railways 6 68010–68015
TransPennine Express 9 2017 68026–68034[24]

Named locomotives[edit]

Before delivery each of the first nine locomotives was named. All of the other Class 68 locomotives (except 68011–68015) have also been named. 68010 was named on 12 December 2016, in celebration of Chiltern Railways' new London-Oxford services.

  • 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

Incidents[edit]

A Class 68 caught fire near Saunderton on 8 January 2016.[25][26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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. ^ a b c Johnson, Marc (1 April 2014), "Sleek lines", www.therailengineer.com 
  4. ^ UK LIGHT Diesel-Electric Locomotive (PDF), Vossloh Rail Vehicles, archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2014 
  5. ^ http://www.mainlinediesels.net/index.php?nav=1000178&lang=en&id=8745&action=shownews#.VwajtyaVvQo
  6. ^ Direct Rail Services orders 15 Vossloh EuroLight UK locomotives, Railway Gazette International, 5 January 2012 
  7. ^ Barrow, Keith (12 September 2013), "DRS confirms order for Vossloh electro-diesels", www.railjournal.com, International Railway Journal 
  8. ^ Barrow, Keith (12 September 2014), "DRS orders more Vossloh locomotives", www.railjournal.com 
  9. ^ "UK and Italian operators order Vossloh locomotives". 27 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Direct Rail Services reveals Class 68 design". Railway Gazette International. 1 February 2013. 
  11. ^ The diesel-electric EUROLIGHT picks up speed toward the UK and Asia, Vossloh, retrieved 2012-09  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Rail Express (217): 9, June 2014, ISSN 1362-234X  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Vossloh 2680". MainlineDiesels.net. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  14. ^ Gary Baldwin - Mercury Stone (10 December 2013). "Exclusive: Class 68 in new DRS livery". Direct Rail Services. 
  15. ^ "DRS unveils new Class 68 diesel in Crewe". Railnews. 12 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "BRL Home". Beaconrail.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  17. ^ Pritchard, Robert (May 2014). "DRS showcases first Class 68". Today's Railways. Platform 5 Publishing (149): 62–63. 
  18. ^ Direct Rail Services, Ryder Cup 2014
  19. ^ "Chiltern to lease six Class 68 locomotives from DRS". Railway Herald. 10 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Chiltern leases six Class 68 locos for Mainline services in £15m deal", www.railtechnologymagazine.com, 15 Apr 2014 
  21. ^ "[GB] Chiltern Railways chooses Class 68 in favour of Class 67", mainlinediesels.net, 10 Apr 2014 
  22. ^ 68s equipped with push-pull Rail issue 754 6 August 2014 page 33
  23. ^ "CAF to supply trains to TransPennine Express". International Railway Journal. 23 May 2016. 
  24. ^ a b New-build DRS Class 68s to operate TPE’s Mk 5 rakes - PressReader.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  25. ^ http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2016-01-08/train-fire-causes-severe-disruption/
  26. ^ http://www.leamingtoncourier.co.uk/news/local-news/train-fire-delays-chiltern-railways-services-1-7151713
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2016-05-06. 

External links[edit]

Media related to British Rail Class 68 at Wikimedia Commons