Five new '68s' on display as DRS open day raises £24,000

More than £24,000 was raised for charity at the Direct Rail Services open day at Crewe Gresty Bridge on July 19.

This year’s event was headlined by five new Class 68s on display, with 68002/004/006-008 on site. In total there are only seven ‘68s’ in the UK, with 68003 at Motherwell and 68005 at Carlisle Kingmoor. 

The annual DRS charity event was staged at the Cheshire depot this year, having been staged at Carlisle Kingmoor in 2013. The open days alternate between depots. 

DRS had 25 locomotives on display, with examples of Classes 20, 37, 47, 57, 66, 68 and 90 on show. The Class 90 was 90034, which is owned by DB Schenker, but hired to DRS. Painted in DRS colours, it is used to haul Virgin Trains’ Mk 3 ‘Pretendolino’, although that deal is due to end on November 9 at the latest (RAIL 753).

Also on site were 57306 and 57312 Peter Henderson, two of six former Network Rail Class 57/3s that have transferred to DRS for new contracts. They are leased from Porterbrook.

Two Class 20s were on show (20308/309), while six Class 37s were also at the depot. 

The new DRS corporate look was shown by 47810 Peter Bath MBE 1927-2006, while two classmates (47818/841) were also displayed.

Four Class 57/0s were on site, and DRS 57008/009 hauled Pathfinder’s ‘The Caterpillar Cat’ charter from Eastleigh on July 19. This was booked to be the first Class 68-hauled train, but none was passed to work the train in time, and so the ‘57s’ stood in. One ‘57/3’ in DRS livery was on site, along with the former NR examples.

One Class 66/4 was also displayed, with the rest in traffic. 



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