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Class 68s on the Cumbrian Coast passenger trains
kevsmiththai posted a topic in Worldwide RailIn an effort to improve the reliabilty of the loco hauled passenger trains on the Cumbrian Coast line in England, Northern rail and DRS agreed to substitute new class 68s to replace one of the Class 37/4s that have been struggling. The 68s and DBSOs don't talk to each other electronically so this meant reforming the train so that instead of a DBSO driving car, three TSO standard carriages and a Class 37/4 working push-pull there was to be a class 68 at either end working top and tail with the DBSO buried in the formation and just two TSOs. This kept the train the same length for platform and 'loco stop' board reasons. As Northern drivers are not passed out on 68s, DRS drivers are handling this set, the other set retaining Class 37 power. The first day of the revamped service was marred by awful weather and I managed to get a shot of the first Carlisle to Lancaster service just after daybreak at Sellafield. 68 018 'Vigilance' was on the lead with 68 017 'Hornet' at the rear. These two locos would handle the train for the first week. After work I headed to Kirkby in Furness to catch the return northbound trip. This part of the Duddon estuary is very exposed and the weather had not improved with 3,850 HP these locos make light work of a short train like this and easily manage the timings required With blended brakes ( a mix of dynamic and air brakes) most station stops use the dynamic brakes mainly. 68 017 eases to a halt on the steep downhill gradient at Dalton in Furness on the Lancaster to Barrow trip more in a minute Kev