DB Cargo UK 66136 passes Otford Junction on 15 April 2017. Picture by Howard Lewsey.
Various DB Cargo UK Class 66 locomotives have had their liveries updated recently:
- 66156 has been repainted in red by Marcroft in Stoke-on-Trent
- 66016 has been repainted in red at DB Cargo's workshop in Toton
- 66060 has received cab window repairs and has seen the area around the windows repainted in red
- 66136 has received extra vinyls on its cabs for the first return trip of the Yiwu (China)-London container train
BBC News covered the loading of the final container and the departure of DB Cargo UK 66136 with the first London-Yiwu container train on 10 April 2017.
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Colas Rail 70812 on its maiden trip out on the British network, 0K70 Gladstone Dock to Crewe Basford Hall yard, photographed on the freight avoiding line behind Crewe station. Picture by David Moreton.
In the early morning of 18 April, the Atlantic Cartier arrived at Liverpool Seaforth Docks. On board, the vessel carried the final four PowerHaul locomotives of an order for seven of the type: 70814-817. 70812 was the first locomotive to arrive in the UK, followed by 70811 and 70813. The seven locos raise the Colas Rail PowerHaul fleet to seventeen and the total number of locos in the UK to 36.
CDTX 2105 at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento on 18 April 2017. Picture by Siemens USA.
On April 18, Siemens announced that it would start a testing scheme with Caltrans to evaluate the performance of the SC-44 Charger in revenue service. To do so, the locomotives is to be tested on California's Capital Corridor passenger service. Testing is due to begin in late-April.
The announcement was made at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, located only miles from the Siemens production facility. There, Caltrans Director, Malcolm Dougherty staid: “Not only will they make for a more sustainable transportation system, but are also expected to improve reliability and help efforts to double current statewide ridership of 5.4 million passengers by 2040.” Siemens Rolling Stock President Michael Cahill added: “Unveiling the first of these locomotives built in California, for California, is a testament to the hard working employees in Sacramento who designed, engineered and manufactured these state-of-the-art rail vehicles. We’re proud to bring the latest technologies to life for Capitol Corridor riders and help usher in the next generation of clean, smart and efficient rail travel in California.”
CDTX 2106 in an advanced state of production in mid-March 2017. Picture by Simon Wijnakker.
Bombardier is currently building a new batch of Multi Engine diesel locomotives for Deutsche Bahn. On 30 March 2017, the designated 245 035 made a first test run, followed by the 245 036 on 20 April. Both locomotives will be dispatched to Ulm, as they carry the allocation markings "DB ZugBus Regionalverkehr Alb-Bodensee GmbH (RAB) Werk Ulm". We expect Ulm will get three new machines.
Currently, Deutsche Bahn has nine TRAXX DE ME locomotives on order, which will raise the fleet to 36:
- 3x for DB Regio to expand the fleet in South Germany
- 5x for DB Fernverkehr as ICE rescue locomotives
- 1x for DB Fernverkehr for the IC service Erfurt - Gera
Two new Brightline trainsets, consisting of Siemens Chargers locomotives and Viaggio Comfort USA coaches, are soon to arrive in Florida. The two trainsets - BrightGreen and BrightOrange - are to be transported from Sacramento together. A first, as the previous two trainsets - BrightBlue and BrightPink - were delivered separately, in January and March 2017 respectively.
Of the two new trainsets, BrightGreen has been completed by Siemens. Currently, the finishing touches are being done on BrightOrange. The arrival of the two sets implicitly marks the arrival of four further Charger locomotives, raising the fleet to eight. The fifth trainset will bring the number of locomotives in the fleet to ten.
Left: BrightGreen inside the manufacturing facility in Sacramento, California. Right: A first glimpse of BrightOrange at the same location. Pictures by Brightline / All Aboard Florida.
Having performed their delivery run on April 6, the brand new 70811 and 70813 performed their first revenue earning service on April 8. Together, they powered the 6C26, an engineering train operating between Oxford and Bristol.
Bloomberg.com reports: "Siemens AG and Bombardier Inc. are in talks to combine their train operations, people familiar with the matter said, potentially creating a business that could better withstand rising competition from China.
The proposed joint venture, which could be worth at least 10 billion euros ($10.6 billion), would merge the firms’ train-making and signaling activities, according to anonymous sources. It has been indicated that a deal could come by the middle of the year.
No final decisions have been made and any combination would require clearance from antitrust authorities and face potential opposition from unions, they said. Representatives for Siemens and Bombardier declined to comment."
In 2015, Pamplona Capital Management acquired Beacon Rail Leasing for 450 million dollar. Now it is selling the leasing company to an infrastructure fund managed by US Bank JP Morgan, a deal worth about 1 billion euros.
Currently, Beacon Rail has a variety of locomotives, freight wagons and passenger trains in its portfolio. This includes 27 Class 66 and EuroRunner locomotives bought from MRCE in 2015 and the vehicle portfolio sourced from Ascendos Rail Leasing when it was acquired by Beacon Rail Leasing in 2016. An overview of the current loco fleet:
- EMD Class 66 diesels
- Siemens EuroRunner diesels
- Vossloh/Stadler Rail EURO 4000 diesels
- Vossloh/Stadler Class 68 diesels
- Vossloh/Stadler Class 88 electro-diesels
- ASEA Rc3 electrics - Bombardier Traxx electrics
CZ LOKO 744 101-7 and 741 710-8 after a second test drive from Česká Třebová to Skalice nad Svitavou on 13 January 2017. Picture by Jirka Štembírek.
CZ LOKO has been awarded a first order for its Class 744.1 EffiShunter 1000 diesel locomotive. On 5 April 2017, the company signed a contract for the delivery of five locomotives to SerFer, with options for five more, after successfully taking part in a tender issued by the Italian operator. The fully TSI-compliant diesels will be equipped with Caterpillar C32 engines, delivering 895 kW. The locos will have a maximum speed of 100 km/h and will be equipped with the Italian train protection system BL3, enabling their use on shunting and mainline operations. Deliveries are scheduled to commence in February 2018.
As the last of DRS' Class 66/3s, 66304 has been restyled into the basic DRS livery.
Meanwhile, DB Cargo's 66044 has left Stoke after a repaint into DB red.