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Brand new locomotive unveiled by Direct Rail Services


The first complete Class 88 for Direct Rail Services has been unveiled by the operator.

Three of the dual-mode locomotives have so far been completed by Stadler at its Valencia factory in Spain, with ten on order.

Testing of the first locomotive (88001) has been completed at Velim in the Czech Republic, while the second locomotive (88002) will be the first delivered to the UK and is expected to arrive this month. The third (88003) will be displayed at the international trade fair Innotrans in Berlin on September 20-23, before being sent to the UK.

DRS said that the ‘88’ offers “superior traction equipment for UK operation, which will result in a step change for delivery of freight and passenger services”. The locomotives are a development of the Class 68 platform, and feature both 25kV and diesel operations. 

  • For more on the Class 88s, read RAIL 807, published on August 17. 

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  • FrankH - 05/08/2016 22:04

    I wonder what passenger services they have in mind. Freight wise they should take over some of the intermodel workings, can't see 10 covering all workings.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 07/08/2016 11:03

    These Class 88's could be ideal for freight movement between Felixstowe and Nuneaton as they are dual mode that can be powered on diesel and used on non electrified lines and powered on AC 25kv Overhead with pantograph raised onto the live overhead wires and could also be powered on DC 750v 3rd Rail with a DC conductor shoebox and converter motor that can be used on both AC 25kv overhead and DC 750v 3rd rail lines.

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    • FrankH - 07/08/2016 23:14

      They only have pantograph so 3rd rails out of it. The Caterpillar diesel is only 950 hp so not enough power to go across to Nuneaton. They could go via the north london line on 25 kc AC though as freightliner do. DRS mainly run Scotland - Daventry with some Tilbury runs as well. That's where I expect the freight use to be.

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  • Malcolm - 25/08/2016 18:54

    Some are likely to go to Trans Pennine Express to take over from 68s when that line is electrified. Before that expect to see some on Daventry - Mossend freights by next year.

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