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Class 73/9s begin Sleeper duties

GBRf 73968 at Oban on February 14. CHRIS WILLIAMS.

Class 73/9s have begun work with Caledonian Sleeper, hauling Sleeper trains in the Highlands.

The rebuilt locomotives’ debut came on February 13, when 73967 hauled the 2018 London Euston-Aberdeen/Inverness/Oban forward from Edinburgh Waverley, leaving the Scottish capital as the 0450 to Oban. Engineering works had forced the diversion from Fort William, to where the Sleeper usually runs.

On the rear was 73968, which was hauled dead in train to Oban, and which took the empty coaching stock to Polmadie.

The rebuilt ‘73s’ have been undergoing testing and commissioning in Scotland ahead of their entry into passenger traffic. Six are on order, with three so far delivered. They were needed for the Oban trains because of their Route Availability of 5 - this meant that unlike the Class 67s that had been hauling CS trains, they could run to the West Highland town. 

  • For more on the story, read RAIL 795, published on March 2.

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  • FrankH - 16/02/2016 21:35

    A lot of empty stock mileage, wouldn't the sidings at Oban take the train or have they been lifted or was it for cleaning and re stocking.

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  • Doug Carmichael Editor, West Highland News Plus magazine - 17/02/2016 11:44

    The reason for going to Polmadie was that there are not facilities for retention tanks' emptying and generators ; sidings are still in situ. Expect regular sleeper services to Oban dividing from FW train at Crianlarich from 2018

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  • Nick Ralph - 17/02/2016 22:41

    The sleepers have retention tank toilets which it would not be possible to empty at Oban.

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  • Carmichael - 18/02/2016 12:42

    Oban does not have facilities for emptying retention tanks or provide generators ; the sidings are still in situ. it is now highly likely, according to Peter Strachan that the sleeper will come north to Crianlarich -top-and-tailed, and divide for Fort William and Oban services when new stock arrives in 2018.

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    • FrankH - 18/02/2016 14:32

      T+T seems an odd idea, the rear loco is going to run round at Crianlarich then instead of just moving onto the Oban branch to let the Fort william portion go then reverse onto its stock. You can still run round at Oban then ?

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    • paul - 26/07/2016 14:38

      Shut up idiot nothing has been confirmed yet

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  • Peter W - 11/04/2016 19:54

    Just sampled the Caledonian Sleeper to/fro Fort William. Still heavy weight 67, 67011 on the front. Any up dates on 73/9's in Scotland, when and if they will haul any Cale Sleepers?

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