Vossloh Eurolight

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Vossloh Eurolight
Norton Fitzwarren - DRS 68008 rear of down Pullman.JPG
Locomotive 68008 of the Direct Rail Services fleet in the UK
Type and origin
Power type Diesel
Builder Vossloh España (after 2016 Stadler Rail Valencia)
 • UIC Bo'Bo'
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Wheel diameter 1100 mm
Minimum curve 80 m
Length 20.32 m
Height 4.260 m
Axle load ‡ RA7 [1]
Loco weight 77.5 t (2/3rd full) 16-cylinder
75.5 t (2/3 full) 12-cylinder
85 tons‡
Fuel capacity 4,000 L (880 imp gal; 1,100 US gal) l
5,000 L (1,100 imp gal; 1,300 US gal) ‡
Electric system/s AC/AC transmission with four ABB Bordline CC1500 traction inverters
Engine type Caterpillar Inc. C175
Alternator ABB WGX560PB6 [2]
Traction motors Four ABB 4FRA6063 (600 kW)
Head end power 500 kW (passenger version)
Loco brake Disc brake, Electropneumatic, also Dynamic (electrical) 2.1 MW
Performance figures
Maximum speed 120 km/h (freight)
140–200 km/h (passenger)
160km/h ‡
Power output 2.8 MW @1800 rpm (16-cylinder engine) ‡
2.3 MW @1800 rpm (12-cylinder engine)
Tractive effort 300 kN (starting)
317 kN (starting)‡

Sources:[3][4][5] ‡ UKLight.[6]

  • Figures refer to european UIC 505-1 version unless noted

Eurolight is the brand name for a family of 4-axle Bo'Bo' mainline diesel-electric locomotives first manufactured in 2010 with sub-20-tonne axleloads for passenger and freight trains produced by Vossloh España.

Specific versions for the United Kingdom market, and a 6-axle Co'Co' machine for narrow gauge Asian markets have been designed, named UKLight and AsiaLight respectively.

Background and design[edit]

In 2009 Vossloh announced its intention to expand its diesel locomotive range to include further shunting/light mainline locomotives with either hydraulic or electric transmissions, and to produce a mainline diesel-electric locomotive (EURO Light) for markets where an axleload below 20 t is required.[7] The four-axle EuroLight was designed to have a low axle load for use on cross-border operations on non-electrified European secondary routes, enabling operators to bypass bottlenecks on main corridors.[8]

The locomotive used components from the 20–22 t axleload Vossloh Euro locomotive series, but with a C175 engine from Caterpillar Inc. (12- or 16-cylinder of 2.3 or 2.8 MW) and traction electronics from ABB Group. The CAT engines meet European Stage IIIA emission standards, and can be modified to meet 2012 IIIB emission standards by replacing the exhaust silencer with a diesel particulate filter.[3][4]

Mass reduction was achieved by switching to a lighter engine/alternator set, as well as using lighter weight auxiliary system components. The bogie is the design used in the RENFE Class 334 locomotive,[4] with coil spring primary and secondary suspension.[3]

The ABB traction system uses a 6-pole brushless WGX560 synchronous alternator directly coupled to the CAT engine.[9] The alternator supplies two traction packages (ABB Bordline CC1500 DE Compact Converters.[10] ), each with rectifier to create an intermediate DC supply, braking chopper, and drive electronics (AC800 PEC) with adhesion (anti slip) control controlling two traction inverters and one auxiliary inverter per package. There is one traction inverter per traction motor. The traction motors are rated at 600 kW at 4400 rpm.[5] Head end power (for passenger versions) is taken from the intermediate DC link.[10]

The first EuroLight was unveiled at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin in 2010.[11]

Modified versions for broad and narrow gauge railways, and a long distance 7000l fuel capacity version are also said to be buildable.[4]


European mainland - EuroLight[edit]

Two prototypes were built in 2010, 248.001,[12] and 248.002.[13] 248.002 was exhibited at Innotrans in 2010.[14] Homologation tests with 248.001 in Germany began in January 2011.[14]

Italian operator Dinazzano Po ordered one unit in 2015.[15]

United Kingdom - UKLight[edit]

On 5 January 2012 Direct Rail Services announced an order for fifteen 160 km/h (99 mph) EuroLight UK locos for intermodal and passenger work with a 2.8 MW (3,800 hp) C175-16 engine to be delivered in 2013, with options for more. Vossloh's product name for the design is UKLIGHT.[16] They will be designed to fit the small loading gauge in the UK, and will be manufactured at Vossloh España's plant in Valencia, Spain, with an expected delivery date of late 2013.[11][17] They are known in the United Kingdom as the class 68.[18] The value of the contract has been estimated at £45 million.[19]

The design and livery of the Direct Rail Services' class 68s was published in early 2013.[20][21] The first of the units was put under construction by May 2013, with testing at Velim test track and delivery to UK for certification initially expected for Sept./Oct. 2013;[22] By December 2013 number 68001 had begun tests at Velim,[23] and 68002 had been completed at Albuixech.[24]

The first, 68002 Intrepid, was shipped to Southampton and transported to Carlisle in January 2014,[25] trials commenced in February 2014, initially between Carlisle and Crewe.[26][27]

In September 2014 an option for ten further UKLights was confirmed to have been taken up by DRS/BeaconRail.[28] Seven more units were confirmed as ordered in July 2015.[15] As of April 2016 there are 25 Class 68 locomotives in service with the further 7 on order.

Asia - AsiaLight[edit]

A narrow gauge, 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in), six axle Co'Co' design has also been proposed. The locomotive weight would be 96 tons with an engine power of 1,800 to 2,800 kW (2,400 to 3,800 hp) at 1800 rpm, depending on engine installed (either 12 or 16 cylinder engines, either CAT, Cummins or MTU designs). Top speed would be 120 km/h (75 mph) and starting tractive effort 320 kN (72,000 lbf).[16][29]

See also[edit]

  • Vossloh Euro Dual, electro-diesel locomotive type, a version for DRS ordered as class 88


  1. ^ Johnson, Marc (1 April 2014), "Sleek Lines", www.therailengineer.com 
  2. ^ "Case Note: Compact traction generator puts the Eurolight locomotive on track" (PDF). www.abb.com. 
  3. ^ a b c "EUROLIGHT Mainline Diesel-Electric Locomotive" (PDF), www.vossloh-espana.com, Vossloh España, retrieved 5 January 2012 
  4. ^ a b c d Kevin Smith (Sep 2010), "EuroLight punches above its weight: Vossloh will officially unveil its new highly-modular yet lightweight locomotive at InnoTrans. Kevin Smith takes a closer look at EuroLight", International Railway Journal, 50 (9): 73–74  HTML text via findarticles.com
  5. ^ a b Sources:
  6. ^ UKLIGHT Diesel-Electric Locomotive For passenger and freight applications (PDF), Vossloh Rail Vehicles, archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2014 
  7. ^ "Vossloh - Position paper 2009" (PDF), www.vossloh.com, Vossloh, p. 17 
  8. ^ "Light and powerful". Railway Gazette International: 34. 1 July 2010. .. EuroLight is intended to meet the potential requirements of cross-border freight and passenger operators. According to the manufacturer, EuroLight will be 'light enough to operate on branch lines but powerful enough to keep up with main line traffic'. Vossloh sees an important market niche for a high-performance four-axle diesel loco for use on routes with UIC Class C or Class D track, which have an axleload limit of less than 20 tonnes 
  9. ^ "Case note : Compact traction generator puts the Eurolight locomotive on track" (PDF), www05.abb.com, ABB Group, 2010 
  10. ^ a b "BORDLINE CC1500 DE Propulsion and auxiliary converter for diesel-electric locomotives (Product Data Sheet)" (PDF), www05.abb.com, ABB Group 
  11. ^ a b "Direct Rail Services orders 15 Vossloh EuroLight UK locomotives". Railway Gazette International. 5 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Vossloh 2603", www.railcolor.net 
  13. ^ "Vossloh 2604", www.railcolor.net 
  14. ^ a b "RAILCOLOR.NET - modern locomotive power - VOSSLOH". www.railcolor.net. Vossloh EuroLight: introduction. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  15. ^ a b Barrow, Keith (28 July 2015), "DRS orders more class 68s from Vossloh", www.railjournal.com 
  16. ^ a b The diesel-electric EUROLIGHT picks up speed toward the UK and Asia, Vossloh, archived from the original on 2013-02-05, retrieved September 2012  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  17. ^ "Direct Rail Services confirms Vossloh EuroLight order", www.railjournal.com, International Railway Journal, 5 January 2012 
  18. ^ "Direct Rail Services reveals Class 68 design". Railway Gazette International. 1 February 2013. 
  19. ^ Johnson, Marc (1 April 2014), "Sleek lines", www.therailengineer.com 
  20. ^ "Direct Rail Services reveals Class 68 design". Railway Gazette International. 1 February 2013. 
  21. ^ "Direct Rail Services offers a glimpse of EuroLight UK". International Railway Journal. 1 February 2013. 
  22. ^ "Class 68 UKLight locomotives take shape", www.railwaygazette.com, 3 May 2013 
  23. ^ Barrow, Keith (13 December 2013), "Vossloh puts DRS class 68s through their paces", www.railjournal.com 
  24. ^ "Exclusive: Class 68 in new DRS livery", www.directrailservices.com (Press release), 10 December 2013 
  25. ^ "Portrait Vossloh 2680", www.mainlinediesels.net, retrieved 18 February 2014 
  26. ^ "Class 68 - a new face on the line", North Wales Coast Railway - Notice Board, 10 February 2014 
  27. ^ "Class 68 dynamic trials commence", www.mainlinediesels.net, 5 February 2014 
  28. ^ Barrow, Keith (12 September 2014), "DRS orders more Vossloh locomotives", www.railjournal.com 
  29. ^ ASIALight Diesel-Electric Locomotive For passenger and freight applications (PDF), Vossloh Rail Vehicles 

External links[edit]