GBRf Move London Underground “Battery Locos” Across Town

The curious battery powered London Underground yellow locomotives were hauled by Class 66 motive power in response to network constraints.

A Curious Movement of Assets

GB Railfreight, one of Britain’s largest freight operating companies, continued to work with London Underground in delivering an innovative and somewhat curious movement of “assets” from one depot to another on Friday, January 6th.

The “assets” were Battery Locomotives L9 and L16, with some associated on track plant and wagons used on the London Underground network for maintenance.

The movement was allocated the train running headcode 8M99, and operated via a circuitous route from West Ruislip Depot to Stonebridge Park Depot. The train, limited to 25mph, ran via Greenford, Acton, Willesden Junction, Camden Road, Stratford, South Tottenham and Willesden Junction before running on the “Watford DC” route for the final leg of its journey.

The GBRF locomotive No. 66701 hauled the train, and in the event was able to run around 15 minutes early thanks to intelligent regulation and confidence from the signallers at various locations.

The reason the battery locomotives could not operate via the network of connections, chords and lines of the Underground was because of recently commissioned Jubilee line signalling, which the battery locomotives are not compatible with.


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