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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.


31.03.2018 - [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.


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.


18.03.2018 - [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.


Hired from Europhoenix, Rail Operations Group oldie 37608 passes Lichfield Trent Valley Station with TPE-liveried 68019 and 68021 in tow on 9 March 2018. Picture by Jack Meakin-Sawyer.


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.


GBRf 66789 passes Tonbridge on 7 March 2018. Picture by Howard Lewsey.


No Class 66 locomotives has ever been owned by British Rail, nor did any wear the well-known BR blue and yellow livery. But to celebrate the 70th anniversary of British Railways, GB Railfreight has restyled loco 66789 (ex-DB Cargo 66250) into British Rail blue and yellow and named it 'British Rail 1948-1997'. The loco is currently undergoing a number of modifications to bring to GBRf 66/7 standards.


GBRf 66789 at Eastleigh on 5 March 2018. Picture by Nigel Caldicott.



Beacon Rail 513-02, which has been on lease to Freightliner PL for use in Germany since May 2017, has experienced a change of livery. The loco has exchanged its Beacon Rail blue guise for the Freightliner 'PowerHaul' livery.


It has taken a while, but February 2018 is the month that Dinazzano Po's EUROLIGHT locomotive 284 002 officially enters service. On February 17th, the loco made its debut on an intermodal service from Reggio Emilia to Minucciano. The loco was built in 2010 and served as a demonstrator/test-bed loco until 2015, when it was sold to Dinazzano Po.


DB Cargo UK 66115 has been repainted into the red DB Cargo livery at DB's workshop in Toton.


Siemens has completed the fourth and fifth Chargers locomotives for the Maryland Transit Administration. MARC 83 and 84 were seen as part of a transport with two SEPTA CitiesSprinters on February 20th, 2018. A total of eight Chargers have been ordered for MARC services by the Maryland Transit Administration.


Video by Youtube user BaltimoreAndOhioRR of the transport consisting MARC Chargers 83 and 84.


Three of the ten Class 66 locomotives acquired by GB Railfreight from DB Cargo UK have been repainted and renumbered now. After 66781 (ex-66016) and 66782 (ex-66046), there is now a 66788, which is the former DB 66238.



Impression of the new SALi locomotives for Bolivian rail operator Empresa Ferroviaria Andina S.A. (FCA) by Stadler Rail Valencia.


A first for Stadler and a first for a European manufacturer since decades: an order for locomotives from Bolivia. Bolivian rail operator FCA (Empresa Ferroviaria Andina S.A.) has ordered three SALi locomotives, which will be produced at the Stadler works in Valencia, Spain.


SALi stands for South American Light Loco, a type specifically designed for the Latin American market. It features an ultra-lightweight design and will be able to cope with operating on metre-gauge lines that reach an altitude of 5,000 meters above sea level.


The locos will be especially equipped for freight traffic and will have a maximum speed of 100 km/h. The acoustic and heat-insulated driver cabs are to create comfortable working conditions for the drivers under the extreme temperature conditions that may be encountered.


SALi is specifically designed as a benchmark locomotive for the Bioceanic Corridor, linking the Southern Pacific and Southern Atlantic oceans by using the Bioceanic Rail Integration Corridor. This new corridor, which crosses Bolivia, will link the Peruvian port of Ilo with the port of Santos in Brazil


753 608-9 in Česká Třebová on 16 February 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.


On February 16th, CZ LOKO officially delivered EffiLiner 1600 locomotive to Slovakian rail freight operator PSŽ at the manufacturer's Česká Třebová works. The locomotive, which will mainly be used in Slovakia and Hungary, was officially handed over by CZ LOKO's general director Josef Gulyás to PSŽ's CEO Ladislav Szuťányi.


CZ LOKO's general director Josef Gulyás hands over 753 608-9 to PSŽ's CEO Ladislav Szuťányi in Česká Třebová on 16 February 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.


2M62UM-0004 near the Latvian town of Ogre on 11 June 2017. Picture by André Grouillet.


Under CZ LOKO's supervision, the modernization of 14 2M62U twin-section diesel locomotives is currently taking place at the LDz's workshop in Riga. In May 2016, the first machine (2M62UM-0111) made its appearance. Since then, we have been able to identify a total of eight double locomotives that were either completed or in an advanced stage of production. Including 2M62UM-0111, we know of the following locomotives:


2M62UM-0004
2M62UM-0090
2M62UM-0094
2M62UM-0096
2M62UM-0100
2M62UM-0111
2M62UM-0116
2M62UM-0119


RheinCargo DE 61 looking as good as new again at the RheinCargo workshop in Brühl-Vochem on 4 February 2018. Picture by Howard Lewsey.


In a similar fashion as RheinCargo DE 62, DE 61 has been repainted into the silver RheinCargo livery at its Brühl workshop.


A further two DB Cargo UK Class 66 locomotives have been repainted into the DB red livery. It concerns 66137 and 66165.


Lovochemie 741 740-5 in Jihlava on 6 February 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.


Another 741.7 has been out-shopped by CZ LOKO. This time it concerns the second locomotive for Lovochemie a.s., a Czech fertilizer producer, which already operates sister locomotive 741 739-7. 741 740-5 was handed over to Lovochemie on February 15th.


Lovochemie 741 740-5 in Jihlava on 9 February 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.


DB Cargo UK's 66035 has been restyled into the DB red livery and has been named Resourceful. A picture of the loco in its new guise can be found here: link.


Previously carrying the DB red livery, 66781 (ex-DB Cargo 66016) awaits its re-entry into service in Eastleigh on 30 January 2018, while 66058 awaits a similar makeover to turn it into GBRf 66783. Picture by Barry Tempest.


On January 30th, 66781 (the former DB Cargo UK 66016) could be witnessed in Eastleigh in GB Railfreight livery. It is the second of the ten Class 66 locomotives acquired from DB Cargo UK by GB Railfreight to receive a new livery and service number. 66782, formerly known as 66046, was the first to undergo this treatment. 66238 and 66250 are currently inside the paint facility to be turned into 66788 and 66789 respectively.


RDC 247 908 'Debbie' near Archsum on 27 January 2018. Picture by Nahne Johannsen.


RDC Autozug Sylt has started using Vectron DE locomotive 247 908 in revenue service. Nahne Johannsen has sent us some impressions from Sylt.


RDC 247 908 'Debbie' near Tinnum on 27 January 2018. Picture by Nahne Johannsen.


Several Class 66 locomotives in the Freightliner PL fleet were originally delivered to the UK. For example: FPL 66015, which used to be known as loco 66412 in the United Kingdom. The EVN-number still reflects this. Picture by Howard Lewsey.


It has been indicated that Freightliner is to move another three Class 66 locomotives from the UK to Poland, where subsidiary Freightliner Poland is to operate them. The first locomotive that has been earmarked to go abroad is 66954. On January 27th, the loco was transported to Immingham, from where it will be shipped to Mainland Europe.


741 734-8 and 741 733-0 for Dinazzano Po at Česká Třebová on 5 January 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.


CZ LOKO has indicated that it handed over Class 741.7 locomotives 741 733-0 and 741 734-8 to Dinazzano Po on January 19th. The handover occurred in Reggio Emilia, where the two will enter service at local intermodal terminals.


"The first two 741.7 locomotives we received from CZ LOKO in 2014. Long-term satisfaction with the locomotives of this series led us to the decision to buy two more. The locomotive meets all of our operational expectations and its reliability is indeed high", said General Manager of Dinazzano Po.


"In Italy, we already have 7 type 741.7 locomotives running and by the end of 2018 we will deliver at least another 3", said Jan Kutálek, Sales Director of CZ LOKO.


GBRf 66782 passes Northfleet on 22 January 2018. Picture by Howard Lewsey.


Previously, it was part of the DB Cargo UK fleet numbered 66046, but since the acquisition of the locomotive by GB Railfreight, it has been restyled into the GB Railfreight livery. Now numbered 66782, it is the first of ten former DB Cargo UK Class 66 locomotives to receive the livery and to re-enter service. The loco carries additional markings promoting GBRf's Charity Railtours.



Czech railfreight operator ČD Cargo has launched a tender for the acquisition of up to 55 new locomotives. The operator eyes a framework contract that will include an initial firm order for ten multisystem electrics and three diesel locomotives. The full framework is to cover a maximum of 50 multisystem and 5 diesel locomotives, with the first locomotives to be delivered within fourteen months after finalizing the contract.


The multisystem electrics should be able to operate under 15kV and 25kV AC overhead power systems with a minimum power rating of 5.5 MW, as well as under 3kV DC overhead power systems with a minimum power rating of 5 MW. Base country package is to consist of DE-AT-CZ-SK, with the possibility to extend it with HU-PL and/or SI-HR. Besides national safety systems, ETCS Level 2 baseline 3 (v3.4.0) should be on board as well.


The diesels should have a power rating of at least 2.4 MW and should be Stage IIIb compliant. The base country package should include DE-AT-CZ-SK, with the possibility to extend it with HU. Again, ETCS Level 2 baseline 3 is requested.


Orlen KolTrans 15D-034 passes the Polish city of Brzeszcze on 21 January 2018. Picture by Lukasz Lacek.


Orlen KolTrans has added two type 15D locomotives to its fleet. Modernized by Newag from old type TEM2 (SM48) locomotives, the two machines (15D-034 and 035) were officially completed just before the end of 2017 (Mod. 29.12.2017).


The service numbers say it all. The two locos are the 34th and 35th of their type. Earlier, Thirty-three locos have been delivered by Newag to PKP Cargo as ST48-001 - 030, two to ENEA as 15D-031 - 032 and one to Bartex as 15D/A-033. Additionally, Newag delivered the broad gauge version of the 15D, which received the type designation 16D, to PKP LHS (7 locos) and P.U.K. Kolprem (2 locos).


PSŽ 753 608-9 in Česká Třebová on 5 January 2018. Picture by TomᚠVyplašil.


It was not until 20 December 2017 that CZ LOKO publicly announced that it had received an order from PSŽ for one EffiLiner 1600 'Bizon' locomotive. It was indicated by the Czech manufacturer that delivery would occur in early-2018. Already on 5 January 2018, the locomotive could be seen outside the CZ LOKO works in Česká Třebová.


741 734-8 and 741 733-0 for Dinazzano Po at Česká Třebová on 5 January 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.


When 741 733-0 was first seen in its orange Dinazzano Po livery in December 2017, we reported: "After deciding to extend the initial two-year hire contract of 741 701-7 and 707-4 by another two years and to purchase them from CZ LOKO afterwards, Dinazzano Po decided to expand its 741.7 fleet to four by ordering another two locomotives to be delivered in early-2018." Now, with special thanks to Dalibor Palko, we can present both 741 733-0 and 741 734-8 in portrait.


741 733-0 and 741 734-8 for Dinazzano Po at Česká Třebová on 5 January 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.