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New toys in the box at work


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As a contrast to the venerable steam locos I find when I'm on my travels the scene at work is ultra modern. We've just taken delivery of some more of the fleet of new Class 88 25Kv AC/Diesel hybrids


Built by Stadler in Spain (Formerly known as Vossloh) these are at the cutting edge of loco development in the U.K being one of Vossloh's Eurolite designs shrunk down to fit the british loading gauge


First to arrive was 88 002 Prometheus


The design uses the same basic bodyshell as our Class 68 diesels but packs 5,400 HP of electric traction with a 'last mile' Cat C27 diesel pumping out a respectable 950 HP. Changeover on traction can be done 'On the fly'

Photobucket is running really badly tonight so I'll jump straight of a short video of 88 002 running light engine on a test run down the West coast main line. Although not in service yet, shortly after this was taken, it was called on to rescue a failed freight train and haul it back into the loop at Tebay. sadly, by this time, I was in the middle of a training course and missed it! after that is a shot of the already established Class 68s in action on a northbound intermodal train at Lockerbie in Scotland.



More soon



Edited by cteno4
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Interesting, so is the diesel for "get home power" in the event of a power failure, or for regular use on lighter trains? 

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I think the idea of the last mile diesel is that the locomotive can run on AC electric when under the wires but can switch to the diesel motor to access any non electrified sections of track.


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Davo Dentetsu

To avoid any delay of needing to switch to a dedicated diesel.  UK has a very patchy record with the leccy systems needed.  :)

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88 003 'Genesis' waits for commissioning. The brake discs won't stay rusty for long once it is in traffic but main braking is regenerative with it blending with the air brakes




88 006 'Juno'




88 009 'Diana'




The names, as you can see, are based on Greek Mythology and the keen eyed will spot that some of these names were previously used on the Woodhead line 1500V DC EM2 electrics

  • 88001 – Revolution
  • 88002 – Prometheus
  • 88003 – Genesis
  • 88004 – Pandora
  • 88005 – Minerva
  • 88006 – Juno
  • 88007 – Electra
  • 88008 – Ariadne
  • 88009 – Diana
  • 88010 – Aurora

The similarities between the Class 68 Bo-Bo Diesel electrics and the 88s can be seen here with 68 027 (as yet unamed) flanked by 88 010 'Aurora' and 88 007 'Electra'





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Very cool locos! Do they have just the one pantograph? The other end being taken up with exhaust hear by the looks?


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Yes. Just the one pantograph. There is surprisingly quite a lot of room inside them compared to the 68s which are full of Cat engine, turbos, fan room and a lot of electronics!




At present we only have the one colour scheme for the ACs but the 68s have now appeared in three liveries


The standard colour scheme seen on a pair stood at Crewe Gresty Bridge depot with a rather tatty class 57 behind




We also lease some out to Chiltern rail for use on their passenger trains out of London Marylebone to the West Midlands. These are finished in an unbranded silver scheme






We also supply Class 68s to Scotrail to support their 'Fife Circle' passenger train services around Edinburgh finished with their branding




Named so far

  • 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


Edited by kevsmiththai
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