British Rail Class 70 (diesel)
Freightliner 70017 working a container train out of the Port of Felixstowe in June 2012
|Sources: Except where given|
The Class 70 is a six axle Co-Co mainline freight GE PowerHaul locomotive series manufactured by General Electric in Erie, Pennsylvania. The orders in 2007 for 20 units, with an option for a further 10, for Freightliner for operations in the United Kingdom were the first orders for the PowerHaul type; General Electric's product code for the class of loco is PH37ACmi.
Background and specification
In November 2007, Freightliner UK announced Project Genesis (unrelated to GE's Genesis series built for Amtrak), a procurement plan for 30 freight locomotives from General Electric. The locomotives ordered were intended to match older types in terms of haulage capacity whilst at the same time being more fuel-efficient. The project was a collaborative effort between Freightliner and GE, with input from drivers on the cab design. The locomotives utilize a GE PowerHaul P616 diesel engine rated at 2,750 kW (3,690 hp). the locomotive meets EU Tier IIIa emission regulations. Freightliner expects that the locomotive's efficiency is 7% better than contemporary models, with a further 3% increase in efficiency whilst braking; regenerative braking is used to supply the energy to power auxiliary motors.
It was speculated that these locomotives would receive the TOPS classification Class 68, however the locomotives were given the Class 70 TOPS code, breaking the previous convention that class numbers in the 70s were used for DC electric locomotives.
The new locomotives are similar in appearance to a Class 58; a hood unit design with a narrow body typical of locomotive types in use in North America, the cabs are accessed from the rear via exterior walkways on the narrow part of the hood. The distinctive front end shape is due to crashworthiness features[n 2] It is also fitted with air conditioning and acoustic insulation to improve the crew's environment, making it an improvement over the Class 66.
Construction of the first two locomotives at GE's Erie, Pennsylvania plant was completed in July 2009, with both locomotives being tested during the same month. The original plan was for two months of testing, with the locomotives then spending a further three weeks being modified where necessary and prepared for transport to the United Kingdom.
The first two locomotives (nos. 70001 and 70002) arrived in Britain on 8 November 2009 at Newport Docks. The delivery gave GE its first locomotives in service on the British rail network. The first locomotive was given the name 'PowerHaul' at Leeds on 24 November 2009.
Four more locomotives were delivered to the UK on 2 December 2009. On operation tests, 70001 hauled a 30-wagon train consisting of 60 iso containers during December 2009. 70002 also hauled a 19 hopper 1300 tonne coal train in the same month.
On 19 and 20 December 2010, five Class 70 locomotives were loaded onto Beluga Endurance at Erie, Pennsylvania; on 5 January 2011, the ship docked at Newport Docks. Locomotives 70008 to 70011 were unloaded without any problems; locomotive 70012 was being unloaded when part of the lifting gear failed, causing the locomotive to fall back into the hold of the ship and being severely damaged.
In August 2012 it was announced that the demonstrator locomotive built in Turkey in 2011 was to be transferred to the UK and allocated the number 70099. The locomotive was to be allocated to the private owners pool for use as required. On 19 November 2012 it was announced that 70099 was to test trial with GBRf for coal and intermodal traffic trials,
In November 2013, Colas Rail announced it had agreed a deal to procure 10 Class 70 locomotives, with new builds to be assembled in Erie, Pennsylvania for entry into service in 2014; the order included the Turkish built demonstrator 70099, renumbered as 70801, and the remainder of Freightliner's original order option of 30 locos. Colas's locomotives have been allotted numbers in the 708xx range. 70802-70805 had already been constructed at the time of the order and are due to be shipped to the UK in January 2014, with the rest to be assembled and delivered later the same year. In 2015, Colas announced the purchase of an additional seven locomotives, to be delivered by 2017. Despite the number range, Colas Rail locomotives remain as Class 70/0 rather than 70/8.
Accidents and incidents
- On 5 January 2011, locomotive 70012 was being unloaded from Beluga Endurance when part of the lifting gear failed, causing the locomotive to fall approximately 13 to 20 ft (4 to 6 m) from the crane, back into the hold of the ship. The impact severely bent the locomotive's frame, rendering it unserviceable and resulting in its later being returned to the United States.
- On 5 April 2012, locomotive 70018 had an engine room fire requiring the attention of the fire brigade, whilst hauling a freight train on the line between Basingstoke and Winchester.
- On 27 February 2016, locomotive 70803 collided with an engineers train at Ivybridge, Devon and was derailed.
- On 30th October 2016, locomotive 70804 ran away and was derailled at Toton Sidings in Nottinghamshire. 
|Subclass||Operator||Total||Built||TOPS number range||Currently in UK||Notes|
|Intended for both heavy haul and intermodal trains.
70012 dropped while being unloaded at Newport; returned to manufacturers.
|Class 70/8||Colas Rail||1||2011||70801-70810||70801||Built as demonstrator for Turkish Railways. Transferred to UK in 2012 as 70099. Renumbered 2013.|
70812 is currently operating.
List of Class 70 locomotives
|Current Number||Previous Number||Current name||Current Livery||Operator||Status||Notes|
|70004||N/A||The Coal Industry Society||Operational|
|70012||N/A||N/A||Withdrawn||Dropped during unloading in Newport Docks.
Returned + repaired as GE test bed.
DE 37 001
|N/A||Colas Rail Freight||Colas Rail||Operational||Renumbered from Turkish demonstrator 70099.|
- GE CM20EMP, Indonesian twin-cab GE locomotive
- "Freightliner order 30 General Electric Genesis JS37ACi locomotives". TheRailwayCentre.com. 26 November 2007.
- PowerHaulTM locomotive specification sheet (Version 3). Freightliner details may not be final[dead link]
- "GE's PowerHaul® Series Locomotive", www.getransportation.com, GE Transportation, retrieved 8 January 2012
- "Freightliner PowerHaul loco design on show". Railway Gazette International. 8 September 2008.
- "Freightliner Group Orders 30 Locomotives from GE - Transportation for UK Market" (Press release). GE Transportation. 26 November 2007.
- "Freightliner Group Ltd has placed an order for 30 brand new locomotives". www.freightliner.co.uk (Press release). Freightliner (UK). 19 November 2007. Archived from the original on 26 September 2008.
- "PowerHaul brings Evolution technology to Europe". Railway Gazette International. 26 November 2009.
- "How Freightliner's new GE locos will look". The Railway Magazine. November 2008. p. 63.
- Rail Express: 5. October 2009. Missing or empty
- Railways Illustrated: 13. November 2009. Missing or empty
- "PowerHaul® locos ready for testing" (PDF). www.freightliner.co.uk (Press release). Freightliner Group Ltd. 10 July 2009.[dead link]
- "Freightliner PowerHaul locomotives ready for testing". Railway Gazette International. 10 July 2009.
- Haigh, Philip; Clinnick, Richard (2009). "Freightliner PowerHaul starts tests ready for autumn". Rail. No. 623. pp. 6–7.
- "PowerHaul arrival brings GE into European loco market". Railway Gazette International. 8 November 2009.
- "PowerHaul - Longer, Heavier Trains". www.freightline.co.uk. Freightliner Group.
Freightliner is pleased to announce that PowerHaul locomotive 70001 has successfully completed operational trials hauling, the first ever 30 wagon train to and from the Port of Felixstowe[dead link]
- "PowerHaul runs first loaded trial". www.agg-net.com. QMJ Publishing. 4 December 2009.
- Erie Shipping News (20 December 2010). "Beluga Endurance in the port of Erie".
- "New Class 70 dropped during unloading". RAIL. Bauer Consumer Media (662). 26 January 2011. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011.
- "Tülomsas rolls out Turkish PowerHaul". Railway Gazette. 1 March 2011.
- Coward, Andy (2012). "Demonstrator '70' set for UK use". Rail (701): 30.
- Coward, Andy (2012). "GBRf in the frame for Turkish '70'". Rail (702): 33.
- "Colas Rail orders 10 GE Transportation PowerHaul locomotives". Railway Gazette. 21 November 2013.
- "Colas Rail PowerHaul order now official [Updated 2013-11-22]". Mainline Diesels.net. 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013.
- "Colas Class 70 moves". Railways Illustrated. Eastfield Media: 11. January 2014.
- Pritchard, Robert (February 2016). "More 70s for Colas Rail". Today's Railways. Platform 5 (170): 58.
- TOPS enquiry.
- "Train fire causes "significant" delays to South West Train services", BBC News, 5 April 2012
- Melanie Adams (5 April 2012), "Fire on train at Micheldever causing delays on line between Hampshire and London", Southern Daily Echo
- Adrian Williams (5 April 2012), "70018 On fire near Wallers Ash Loop" (Image), www.flickr.com
- "Collision between two freight trains in a work site near Ivybridge, Devon, 27 February 2016". Rail Accidents Investigation Branch. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "Runaway of locomotive - News stories - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- "Macquarie Class 70/0". MainlineDiesels.net. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
- Dunn, Pip; Patston, John (December 2012). "Turkish Class 70 to run trials in UK". Modern Railways. pp. 14–15.
GE has confirmed … 70012 – which suffered a bent frame when it was dropped during unloading at Newport in 2010 – has been repaired but will remain in the USA as a test bed loco for major components.
- A. Samuel (11 February 2011). "Freightliner names PowerHaul 70004". www.rail.co. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012.
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