Published 9th October 2012
CARLISLE - More details and images have been released of the proposed new Class 68 diesel locomotive for Carlisle-based DRS. The data was released by manufacturer Vossloh at the international tradeshow InnoTrans held in Berlin in September.
This is the largest railway event in Europe and is the showcase for new locomotives and other rail products.
The loco features a pair of two-axle bogies, with all axles powered by frame-mounted traction motors driven by a 3,750 horsepower (2,800kW) Caterpillar C175 engine. It will weigh 85 tons, giving an axle loading of 21.4 tons each, and has a maximum speed of 100mph (160km/h).
Up to two locos will be able to work in multiple, and the type will be a mixed traffic design suitable for use on both passenger and freight duties. They are said to meet the latest emission standards and are claimed to set new standards for the driver's environment.
The main image released is an artist's impression of the finished loco showing a smart design resembling the Class 67s from which it is partly derived. There is a single driver's window on a slightly pointed cab front with a smooth bodyside broken by two sets of ventilation louvres.
The class 67s when introduced a decade ago were plagued with noise and vibration issues making them unpopular with drivers. They were also very heavy so far as track wear was concerned and had to be modified as a result of these issues.
The other image released is a line drawing showing the nearly central position of the engine plus the main generator and other equipment.
DRS ordered a batch of 15 locos in January 2012 with delivery due to commence late 2013. They will be built at Vossloh's plant in Valencia, Spain - the same one that built Class 67s in 1999 when it was part of the GEC-Alstom group.