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
9:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014
MICKEY Lewis backed James Roberts to come back stronger than ever after Oxford United were boosted by the news the striker’s hamstring injury was not serious.
5:32pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
A SERIOUS crash has closed Oxford Road, Abingdon, both ways near Lodge Hill A34 junction.
5:00pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
4:21pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
A TEENAGER reported missing could be in Abingdon, Didcot, Wantage or Grove.
3:45pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
AN 11-week-old baby who died in suspicious circumstances last week has been named as Jayden Saxton.
11:47am Wednesday 26th November 2014
A LORRY has turned on its side on a roundabout in Kingston Bagpuize, blocking traffic on the A420 and A415.