Direct Rail Services Expands Fleet

Published 10th May 2012

More Heritage Traction for Main Line

Direct Rail Services, Britain’s leading Domestic Intermodal and Nuclear Fuel carrying freight company, has enlarged its fleet once more.

The company operates Class 20, 37, 47, 57 and 66 locomotives, with the former two being used widely on services from Britain’s nuclear power stations.

After winning several passenger contracts, such as the Northern Belle and Cruise Saver Express from competitors DB Schenker, Direct Rail Services has had a need for more Class 47 locomotives, which are capable of hauling services at 95mph and providing electric train supply..

The serviceable Class 20 fleet, with the return of locomotives from GB Railfreight, has expanded from 1 to 8. Nos. 20308, 20309 and 20312 have been returned to service by Crewe Gresty Bridge and Carlisle Kingmoor Depots, with 20301, 20302, 20304 and 20305 being handed back from a long term hire to GB Railfreight.

The available Class 37 fleet is also expanding, despite some locomotives being removed from service. Eleven Class 37/4s were purchased from DB Schenker, and are being returned to service. 37419 is nearing the end of maintenance at Harry Needle (Barrow Hill), as is 37425. 37038, 37059, 37069 and 37087 are expected to be withdrawn from service for spare part recycling. No. 37510 has also been withdrawn, and 37229 is expected to be withdrawn after a shunting collision.

The Class 47 fleet has seen the most rapid rise in numbers and usage over the past two years. 47501 is being withdrawn from service for cannibalisation in preparation for more overhauls to Class 47/8 locomotives. Examples of returnees include 47810, 47818, 47828 and 47841. 47805 and 47839 are expected to be returned shortly. On April 26th, however, both 47818 and 47841 suffered catastrophic failures on a Cruise Saver charter.

The Class 57 fleet is the final to swell, with 57302, 57304 and 57309 being acquired after their service with Virgin Trains. These locomotives are likely to be used on passenger services.

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