THE first of six new diesel locomotives to power Chiltern Railways expresses between Oxfordshire, London and the West Midlands has arrived in the UK.
Class 68 locomotive No 68010 was gently lifted on to tracks on a quayside at Liverpool docks on July 31 after arriving by ship from Spain, where it was built in Valencia by German company Vossloh.
It was followed off the ship by No 68011. The other four locomotives will arrive later this year.
Testing of the locomotives will start shortly, followed by training for Chiltern’s train drivers. The locomotives are expected to enter service between Birmingham, Banbury, Bicester and London Marylebone later this year, probably in December.
The 100mph, 3,750-horsepower locomotives are being sub-leased from freight train operator Direct Rail Services (DRS). They will be serviced at Chiltern’s Wembley and Stourbridge depots, with some heavy maintenance carried out at DRS depots in Crewe and Carlisle.
Speaking earlier this year, when the deal with DRS was agreed, Rob Brighouse, the managing director of Chiltern Railways said: “The introduction of new locomotives marks yet another key milestone as part of our investment in the Birmingham to London Marylebone route.”
The Class 68s will replace 12-year-old Class 67s hired from DB Schenker, which have been used since 2010 on the Mainline Silver express trains and “queue-buster” rush-hour commuter trains between Banbury and London.
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
11:10am Monday 22nd December 2014
A LORRY containing egg boxes has caught fire on the A40 near Witney.
9:00am Monday 22nd December 2014
THERE is no longer anywhere cheap to live in Oxford, leaving average earners priced out of the market house prices up to 19 times the media salary, new figures show.
UPDATE: Queues along Abingdon Road as Westgate shopping centre car park fills up with Christmas shoppers
4:35pm Monday 22nd December 2014
A RUSH of shoppers to the Westgate Shopping Centre has caused traffic to queue down Abingdon Road in Oxford.
1:19pm Monday 22nd December 2014
THE A4130 is partially blocked in both directions by a car crash between Didcot and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell.
12:10pm Monday 22nd December 2014
PEOPLE in Oxfordshire with cancer and rare diseases could get advanced diagnosis and treatment under a new genetics project.
6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014
December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?