DB Cargo has put its last five active Class 90 25kV AC electric locomotives into storage, citing increased charges for electricity as the reason for replacing them with Class 66s on West Coast Main Line intermodal trains.
It is also returning some of its dual-voltage Class 92s (currently only used on HS1) and modifying them for use on the WCML.
In a statement to staff on July 24, seen by RAIL, DB Cargo said the decision was due to the “continuing high cost of energy means it is no longer commercially viable to run Class 90s”, as it felt it could not ask its customers to “take on the extra financial burden”.
The company added: “In the current economic climate it simply does not make sense to incur the additional costs of running and maintaining Class 90s when we have an alternative fleet of Class 66s at our disposal.”
However, the statement does suggest that the move will not be at the expense of its strategy of decarbonisation, pointing to the fact that the company is “continuing to lobby for supporting bio and synthetic fuels for its diesel fleet”.
It concluded: “DBC must be economically and environmentally sustainable, and this means using our assets differently to how we have done so in the past. We will now look at our disposal options with a view to maximising their value either through scrappage or sale.”
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