GB Railfreight has confirmed that it has temporarily withdrawn its entire fleet of Class 69 locomotives, in order to investigate faults being reported by drivers.
RAIL understands that these technical issues include water egress and louder-than-usual engine noise.
It is not believed that hairline cracks have been discovered on any part of the vehicles, as had earlier been speculated on social media.
GBRf currently has six ‘69s’ in service. The diesel locomotives have been converted from Class 56s (including being fitted with engines identical to those installed on Class 66s) by Progress Rail at its workshop in Longport, near Stoke-on-Trent.
An initial contract was for ten locomotives with an option for six more. A GBRf spokesman told RAIL that the withdrawal was not expected to affect the scheduled introduction of the remaining four.
He added: “We have embarked upon a repower programme with Progress Rail to convert our Class 56s to the new EMD Class 69. During their first months of operation, we have become aware of issues with the six locomotives we currently operate.
“In consultation with our maintenance partner, we have decided to withdraw the fleet from service for eight weeks to allow for improvements. The fleet is expected to return to active service in April.”
To read the full story, see RAIL 977
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