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ROG 47813 leads TPE-liveried 68019 and 68021 towards Dollands Moor in a second attempt to get the locos to the European mainland on 21 March 2018. Picture by Jack Meakin-Sawyer.

A month ago, we reported about Class 68 locomotives 68019 and 68021 being moved to the British entrance of the Channel Tunnel for further transfer to the VUZ Velim test ring in the Czech Republic:

"On March 6, Class 68 locos 68019 and 68021 were brought to the Dollands Moor Yard on the British side of the Channel Tunnel by the Rail Operations Group. Although further transfer through the tunnel did not go through (with the locos returning to the DRS depot at Crewe on the 9th), it shows that tests together with CAF Mark 5a stock at the Velim test ring are planned for the near future."

However, the move was not successful with the locos returning back to base from Dollands Moor fairly quickly. On March 21st, a second attempt was done with Rail Operations Group (ROG) bringing the locomotives to Dollands Moor, using Class 47 oldie 47813. The locos did make it to Frethun, on the French side of the tunnel, later on. Unfortunately, continuing issues regarding further transport through France resulted in the locomotives returning back to Dollands Moor.

Having a plan B in place, the locos were subsequently forwarded to Immingham for shipment to Cuxhaven, Germany, where they arrived on April 5th. From there, their journey to the Czech Republic will continue after they are put back on the rails from the transport trailers on which they arrived.

The future SerFer 744 101-7 at the VUZ Velim test ring in the Czech Republic on 15 January 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

On 5 April 2017, CZ LOKO and SerFer signed an agreement for the delivery of five EffiShunter 1000 locomotives to the Italian operator with an option for a further five. In October 2017, CZ LOKO presented the first locomotive for SerFer at the Expo Ferroviaria in Milan. It concerned former demonstrator loco 744 101-7, which had been restyled from its previous CZ LOKO livery to the red and white SerFer colour scheme. In January 2018, this loco could be witnessed at the VUZ Velim test ring for dynamic trials (see picture above).

In the meantime, the other four locomotives have been taken in production by the Czech manufacturer too. Quite recently, the fourth locomotive of the batch could be witnessed in Česká Třebová: SerFer 744 104-1. The loco flanked the freshly delivered 753 609-7, which was delivered to Hungary's CER Cargo Holding on 28 March 2018.

CER Cargo 753 609-7 is flanked by SerFer EffiShunter 744 104-1 at CZ LOKO's Česká Třebová plant on 28 March 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

CER Cargo's first 'Bizon' locomotive, numbered 753 609-7, at CZ LOKO's Česká Třebová plant on 28 March 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

CZ LOKO has delivered the first EffiLiner 1600 diesel locomotive to Hungary's CER Cargo Holding. The loco, numbered 753 609-7, was handed over to the Hungarian company on March 28th. It will be used by subsidiary CER Hungary.

Meanwhile, we have learned that a second 'Bizon' has been taken into production: 753 610-5. Negotiations for this second locomotive were still underway in late 2017 and have come to fruition in the meantime.

Again, a Class 66 locomotive has been repainted from its former EWS livery into DB red. This time DB Cargo 66117 was the lucky loco.

2018-03-31 - [Advertisement]

GBRf 66783 in Biffa livery at York Railway Station on 28 March 2018. Picture by Richard Gennis.

GB Railfreight 66783 (ex-DB Cargo UK 66058) has been out-shopped in a special livery. The loco has been painted red to mark the partnership between GB Railfreight and waste management company Biffa.

On March 28th, the loco was named “The Flying Dustman” at York Railway Station. The name was chosen following a naming competition amongst Biffa staff, who were keen to pay light-hearted homage to the historic passenger train service, “The Flying Scotsman”.

GBRf 66783 is named "The Flying Dustman" by John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight and Ian Wakelin, CEO of Biffa at York Railway Station on 28 March 2018. Picture by Richard Gennis.

In the night from 21 March to 22 March, HVLE Blue Tiger V 330.5 suffered fire damage near the German city of Potsdam. It has been indicated that the fire was the result of a technical issue.

Related sections:
BombardierBlue Tiger: hvle

MEG-operated 077 012-8, which has been running in its original white ECR base livery but with MEG logos, has now been restyled into a full red livery. An image can be found here: link.

RDC Autozug Sylt has shared some first images of its second Vectron DE locomotive, which is currently under construction at the Siemens works in Munich. Numbered 247 909, the loco is being completed in the blue Autozug Sylt livery.

On January 23rd, Stadler's EURO DUAL locomotive arrived at the Schaarbeek depot in Belgium. On 14 March 2018, it was seen in Namur. That day, and the following two days, test runs were made between Erquelinnes (BE) – Jeumont (FR) and Virton (BE) – Mont-Saint-Martin (FR) on the Athus-Meuse Line. All tests were in diesel mode only. A picture of the locomotive on test can be found on Railcolornews.com.

DB Cargo UK 66135 has been restyled into the red DB livery. A picture of it in its new guise can be found here: link.

2018-03-18 - [Advertisement]

CER 753 609-7 at Skalice nad Svitavou on 10 March 2018.

CZ LOKO has out-shopped an EffiLiner 1600 'Bizon' diesel locomotive for Hungary's CER Cargo Holding. The loco, numbered 753 609-7, will be used by subsidiary CER Hungary. In December 2017, we learned that CER Cargo Holding was in negotiation with CZ LOKO for a second 'Bizon', to be used by subsidiary CER Slovakia.

EffiShunter 500 locomotives 723 706-8 and 723 707-6 side by side. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

Škoda Auto has rejuvenized its shunter fleet with CZ LOKO's EffiShunter 500 being the locomotive of choice. On March 13, CZ LOKO handed over the two EffiShunters to its customer. Both 723 706-8 and 723 707-6 were constructed in Jihlava and have been delivered with semi-automatic couplers.

EffiShunter 500 locomotive 723 707-6 on 13 March 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.