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Not one, not two, but three DB Cargo UK Class 66 locomotives have been repainted into a full DB red livery: 66128, 66149 and 66150. 66128 and 150 have been repainted in Toton, 66149 at Marcroft in Stoke-on-Trent.

Irish Rail 230 'Abhainn na Bandan / River Bandon' at Dublin Connolly Station in happier times on October 4, 2010. Picture by Thierry Mazoyer.

On June 6, 2013, Irish Rail 230 suffered severe fire damage and the locomotive has been sidelined ever since. However, there have been some indications that Irish Rail is to repair the locomotive using parts from stored class member 211.

Related sections:
EMD / Progress RailJT42HCW

An unknown Prima DE43 C AC / AD43C diesel locomotive awaits delivery to Iran at Belfort, France on June 21, 2002. Picture by Vincent Torterotot.

Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC) has been awarded a contract by Islamic Republic of Iran Railways that will see two AD43C (also known as Prima DE43 C AC) diesel locomotives re-powered with ABC 12DZC diesel engines. The two locomotives will serve as prototype for a larger re-powering programme covering the entire fleet of 100 AD43C locomotives. Part of the programme are not only the supply of the engines, but also fitting them into the locomotives, installing modern air filters and monitoring the re-entry into service of the locos.

The 100 locomotives, of which 20 have been built by Alstom in Belfort, are currently powered Ruston 16K215 diesel engines. Where Ruston produced the first 20 diesel engines itself, the remaining 80 were produced in Iran by Desa under a technology transfer deal which also included the local production of a similar number of AD43C locomotives by Mapna. However, the locomotives, and especially the engines, are subjected to high temperatures and dust, which causes poor availability levels.

Related sections:
AlstomPrima DE43 C AC

An EMD GT42AC locomotive at an unknown location. Picture by Progress Rail.

By signing a contract at a ceremony attended by the Tunesian Minister of Transport and the Tunesian Secretary of State for Transport on December 5, the CEO of SNCFT and Progress Rail's regional director of international sales finalized a $69.4m contract for the delivery of 20 EMD GT42AC diesel locomotives. SNCFT will use these locomotives for predominantly to haul phosphate trains.

Production of the metre-gauge locomotives will take place at Progress Rail's Muncie facility in the United States. The first batch, consisting of 10 locomotives, will be delivered from Muncie in September 2018. The remaining 10 locomotives are scheduled to follow two months later, in November 2018.

Related sections:
EMD / Progress RailGT42AC

Hired to B Logistics, PB 04 heads a rake of steel wagons through the Belgian town of Gentbrugge on May 7, 2015. Picture by Stephen van den Brande.

On April 30, 2015, B Logistics became the new lessee of Class 66 locomotive PB 04. After a brief period of domestic operations with the locomotive, PB 04 was subhired to Heavy Haul Power International (HHPI) until February 2016. A few months later, between September and November, Crossrail Benelux hired the locomotive from B Logistics.

Now, the locomotive is back. It is used internationally on limestone trains between Hermalle-sous-Huy and Oberhausen. Previously, two HLD 77 diesel provided traction for these trains, but they proved to be too light for the job.

Class 66 locomotive PB 04 and HLD 7704 'Bamako', a locomotive of the type that is replaced on Hermalle-sous-Huy - Oberhausen limestone services, at Tractiewerkplaats Antwerpen-Noord on November 30, 2016. Picture by Harald S.

Graphic of B Logistics PB 04. Graphics of Ascendos Class 66 locomotives are also represented on our Class 66 poster.

With a week to go before the start of the 2017 timetable, 245 206-8 passes through a foggy Keitum with a rake of replacement coaches hired from DB Regio on December 3, 2016. Picture by Nahne Johannsen.

On December 11, the 2017 timetable came into force in Germany. With every new timetable, numerous changes occur, such as a change of operator for the Netz West concession in Schleswig-Holstein this year. Part of this concession are the regional trains between Hamburg-Altona and Westerland (Sylt), which have been operated by Nord-Ostsee-Bahn (NOB) since late 2005.

With effect from December 11, DB Regio is the new concession holder. As rolling stock ownership has been separated from the operating contract, DB Regio now also operates the 15 TRAXX DE Multi Engine locomotives (245 201-215). Addtionally, DB Regio hires three EuroRunner locomotives leased from Beacon Rail Leasing. It concerns ER 20-011 and 012, which were also operated by NOB at the time of the timetable change, and the blue ER 20-001, which replaces the 014.

Hired by DB Regio, Beacon Rail ER 20-001 arrives at Westerland (Sylt) with a rake of National Express replacement coaches on December 11, 2016. Picture by Nahne Johannsen.

CZ LOKO 741 711-6 is handed over to ArcelorMittal in Ostrava on January 28, 2016. Picture by CZ LOKO.

With the delivery of 741 730-6 in late October, CZ LOKO has completed the last Class 741.7 locomotive of a batch of 20 for ArcelorMittal Ostrava. In early 2015, the Czech rolling stock producer started the modernization of the first locomotives with the handover of the first machine on January 28, 2016.

Designated 741 711-730, the twenty are hired by the Czech steel manufacturer from CZ LOKO. The first ten locomotives were delivered in the well-known red and grey CZ LOKO colour scheme, the other locos in a livery that has seen the red replaced by ArcelorMittal orange.

Related sections:
CZ LOKO741.7

DB Cargo UK 66041 passing Grafton, south of Hereford, with a loaded stone train from Moreton-on-Lugg to Acton on December 16, 2016. Picture by Robert Lewis.

Some short news from the UK, where DB Cargo UK's 66041 has been repainted into the DB 'Verkehrsrot' livery.

Graphic of DB Cargo UK 66041.

68010 is named Oxford Flyer by David Penney (Chiltern Railways), Chris Grayling (Transport Secretary), Michael Portillo and Mark Carne (Network Rail). Picture by Network Rail.

As the first of six Class 68 locomotives hired by Chiltern Railways from Direct Rail Services to receive a name, locomotive 68010 was named Oxford Flyer at Oxford Station on December 12 . In contrast to other DRS Class 68 locomotives, 68010-68015 remained nameless after delivery.

The ceremony was held in light of the completion of the central Oxford-Marylebone route, which is the first new rail link between a major British city and London in more than 100 years. It sees central Oxford connected to Marylebone via successful new stations Oxford Parkway and Bicester Village. It has been just 12 months since the line opened from Oxford Parkway on the outskirts of Oxford in October 2015. The first year has seen over 1.5 million passengers using the line; this is expected to grow to with the extension into the city.

The new link is part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan and is an example of new, direct competition on Britain’s railways creating choice and flexibility for customers. It represents a £320m investment by Network Rail and Chiltern Railways which have jointly funded the project. The idea for the line was conceived by Chiltern Railways who invested £130million of the £320million total cost. Network Rail constructed the line on time and within budget as part of the wider East West Rail project, contributing £190m.

Awaiting its entry into service between various DB Cargo Class 6400 diesel locomotives, Rail Feeding 561-03 stands at the Waalhaven-Zuid yard in Rotterdam on September 24, 2016. Picture by Maarten Schoubben.

It has been a while since the locomotive was first seen in its new livery, but Beacon Rail 561-03 has entered service for Rail Feeding after a re-fit of its Bombardier ETCS system. The new equipment allows the locomotive to be operated on TBL1+ equipped routes in Belgium. For the moment, the locomotive will mainly be operated in and around Antwerp.

Beacon Rail 561-03 in its new G&W style Rail Feeding livery at the Stoom Stichting Nederland depot in Rotterdam on July 7, 2016. Picture by Ralf Aroksalasch.

Siemens employees celebrate as the first Brightline trainset is completed. Picture by Brightline / All Aboard Florida.

GoBrightline informs: The first Siemens-built Brightline trainset, comprised of two locomotives and four coaches adorned in Brightline Blue, is complete and has left the company’s manufacturing hub in Sacramento, California. Prior to its departure, hundreds of Siemens employees who worked on the trainset gathered alongside to commemorate the completion and say “bon voyage.”

“Having our first Brightline trainset completed and on its way to Florida is a major accomplishment and brings us one step closer to the introduction of our innovative new train service,” said Michael Reininger, president of Brightline. “Once in Florida, our operations team will begin the required testing as we ready to launch Brightline between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach next summer.”

The first trainset is approximately 489 feet long and is being transported across the country via rail, journeying 3,052 miles from Sacramento to Florida. Construction on the first car shell began in July 2015. Four additional trainsets for Brightline’s first phase are being built at Siemens. Brightline expects delivery of these additional trainsets in four additional bright hues: pink, red, orange and green by the end of March.

Bound for Florida, the first Brightline train is ready to depart Sacramento. Picture by Brightline / All Aboard Florida.

Brightline’s trains are built as integrated trainsets, comprised of two diesel-electric locomotives (MLD: Siemens Charger) and four high quality stainless steel coaches (MLD: type Viaggio Comfort USA). These clean diesel-electric locomotives will meet the highest emissions standards set by the federal government. The integration improves ride quality and makes for a much quieter ride. There is a bright yellow locomotive on each end, for high reliability and redundancy.

Brightline plans to begin express intercity services between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in mid-2017.

Vectron DE locomotives 247 903 and 247 904 nose to nose at Mönchengladbach Hauptbahnhof on May 25, 2016. Picture by Wolfgang Scheer.

Update: During the time the four locomotives will be operated by DB Cargo, they will have a red DB livery. The machines will get stickers. - EK 01/2017

Rail Business reports: As of February 2017, DB Cargo will hire four Vectron DE locomotives from Siemens. They will be used for freight services in and around the German city of Halle, replacing locomotives of the 232, 233 and 265 series that are currently in use in this area.

Related sections:
SiemensVectron DE

Still looking fresh: EffiShunter 500 locomotive 723 703-5 for the Třinecké Železárny steel works. Picture by CZ LOKO.

In November, Czech rolling stock manufacturer CZ LOKO completed a third EffiShunter 500 locomotive. Numbered 723 703-5, the locomotive is the second of its type to join the fleet of TŽ that also operates loco 723 701-9. Locomotive 723 702-7 was delivered by CZ LOKO to Naftna Industrija Srbije a.d. from Novi Sad, Serbia.

A second view of the fresh looking TŽ 723 703-5. Picture by CZ LOKO.

Vectron DE locomotive 247 901 passes the Austrian town of Obereggendorf during a test run on March 16, 2014. Picture by Stefan Rottensteiner.

Rail Business reports: Siemens has booked a first success with its Vectron DE locomotive. In late November, Infraleuna ordered one locomotive, making it launching customer of the type. Delivery of the new locomotive will take place in the first six months of 2017.

Related sections:
SiemensVectron DE

RTB CARGO V 271 and its new logos on November 29, 2016. Picture by Achim Scheil.

Two months ago, on September 5, Rurtalbahn Cargo GmbH officially re-branded as RTB CARGO GmbH. Also, a new logo was introduced which was first applied to some of electric locomotives in the company's fleet. Now, the logo is gradually spreading throughout the fleet and, of course, the operator's Class 66 locomotives are not forgotten.

Israel Railways 1401 arrives at Tel Aviv HaShalom Station on June 11, 2013. Picture by Neil Aitken.

It has been indicated that Israel Railways has received an additional EURO 4000 locomotive. Numbered 1415, the locomotive joins the 14 EURO 4000 and 24 EURO 3200 diesel locomotives which Israel Railways already operates.

Israel Railways 1409 awaits departure from Tel Aviv HaShalom Station on June 12, 2013. Picture by Neil Aitken.

The future DRS 88001 performs dynamic trials with a loaded freight train at VUZ Velim in the Czech Republic on May 5, 2016. Picture by Ludwig GS.

It has been indicated that production of the ten Class 88 electro-diesels ordered by DRS through Beacon Rail Leasing is progressing well. All locomotives are in an advanced stage of production and initial driver familiarisation has commenced in anticipation of the first loco arriving in the UK in the near future. Reports mention December 2016 or January 2017 for the debut of a Class 88 on British rails.

Cab view of DRS 88003, which was presented by Stadler Rail Valencia at the InnoTrans 2016 trade fair. Picture by Henk Zwoferink.

DB Cargo UK 67023 (then still DB Schenker Rail UK) operates a Chiltern Railways passenger service past King's Sutton on July 30, 2014. Picture by Peter Lovell.

In October, DB Cargo UK announced that it would launch a restructuring programme aimed at making the operator more competitive in a rapidly changing market. Besides 893 planned job cuts and a reduction of the number of operational sites, a rationalization of the company's wagon and locomotive fleet was announced.

Even though the company has been selling locomotives before, such as 10x Class 60 to Colas Rail and numerous Class 08 shunters, the first signs of DB Cargo UK's fleet rationalization are now starting to show. Two out of a fleet of thirty Class 67 locomotives have been made available for sale: 67023 and 67027. DB Cargo states that the "locomotives are offered for sale by means of competitive open tender...". More information can be found here: link.

DB Schenker liveried 67027 awaits departure from Leamington Spa with a Chiltern Railways passenger service on August 4, 2014. Picture by Peter Lovell.

Hired to LOCON, Beacon Rail ER 20-015 awaits its next duty at Krefeld Hauptbahnhof. Picture by Achim Scheil.

LOCON has hired EuroRunner locomotive ER 20-015 from Beacon Rail Leasing. Recently, the locomotive has been restyled into the Beacon Rail color scheme.

LOCON ER 20-015 hauls a container train through the town of Stadthagen. Picture by Thomas Wohlfarth.

Close-up of DB Regio 245 013, that carries a small sticker on its cab. The heart shaped vinyl says in southern dialect: -I mog die SOB-. Picture by Ernst Lauer.

DB Regio now has twenty TRAXX DE ME locomotives in its fleet (245 001-020) used for various services in Southern Germany. Three more are on order.

GB Railfreight 66718 and 66721 lined up at Wellingborough Yard before being attached to the last train of the ten-year London Underground Limited contract, which was the 6Z63 Wellingborough Yard to Barking on March 24, 2016. Picture by Richard Gennis.

On November 15, EQT Infrastructure II announced that it had completed the acquisition of GB Railfreight from Groupe EuroTunnel through an indirectly owned company within the Hector Rail group. Founded in 1999 by the current CEO John Smith, GB Railfreight is the third largest rail freight operator in the UK, and provides a wide range of rail transport solutions and rail services.

The Company’s team of 650 people operates over 1,000 trainloads a week, moving 15% of UK’s rail freight. GB Railfreight has a fleet of over 130 locomotives (including 1 Class 59 and 78 Class 66 locomotives) and 1,100 wagons, transporting goods for customers including Drax, Network Rail, EDF Energy, MSC UK, Aggregate Industries and Tarmac.

Bo Lerenius, Industrial Advisor to EQT and Chairman of the Hector Rail Group, says: “As one of the UK’s leading rail freight operators, GB Railfreight has proven its strength in the rail industry. The focus on innovation and delivery of outstanding customer service are two key factors that make us believe that GB Railfreight is an excellent fit with Hector Rail.”

Graphic of GBRf 66737 'Lesia'. This locomotive graphic and many more can also be found on our Class 66 Poster.

Not an everyday sight: NOB 245 208-4 and DB Regio passenger coaches passing Keitum (Sylt) on November 11, 2016. Picture by Nahne Johannsen.

Normally, Nord-Ostsee-Bahn (NOB) operates its passenger service between Hamburg-Altona and Westerland (Sylt) with Bombardier TRAXX DE Multi Engine locomotives and married-pair passenger coaches in push-pull formation. However, NOB now has to miss almost its entire fleet of passenger stock as its 90 married-pair coaches have been sidelined for inspection after a coupling broke on one of the wagon sets. Replacement stock has been made available with the help of DB Regio for NOB line 62 and buses have been hired in to operate replacement services on NOB line 6.

NOB 245 202-7 awaits departure from Westerland (Sylt) with a set of DB Regio passenger coaches and an unidentified Class 245 locomotive on the back on November 12, 2016. Picture by Nahne Johannsen.

On November 11, Freightliner named Class 66 locomotive 66418 'Patriot - In Memory Of Fallen Railway Employees' to honour those that lost their lives during the First World War. The naming ceremony was held at Freightliner's Basford Hall depot in Crewe together with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity - The National Charity of the British Army. Following the ceremony, the locomotive was publicly displayed at Crewe Station.

RailAdventure 103 222-6 passing Vellmar with Beacon Rail > DRS 88001 in tow on April 10, 2016. Picture by Christian Klotz.

Old electrics on MainlineDiesels.net? Yes, but only two: RailAdventure's 103 222 and 139 558.

More and more, Railcolor and Mainline Diesels receive pictures of modern locomotive transports to trade fairs, test centers, etc. that are pulled by RailAdventure locomotives. In some cases, the RailAdventure locomotive is the most prominent vehicle in the picture and the picture ends up in the 'wrong' vehicle profile.

For that reason, we now have the RailAdventure Special, so the pictures of these oldies are collected in the right place. Please be aware that we will only show pictures of the 103 and 139 in their RailAdventure period. Older pictures are also welcome, but will not appear online on Mainline Diesels or Railcolor.

RailAdventure 139 558 passes Owschlag on March 8, 2014. Picture by Jens Vollertsen.

Related sections:
Special: RailAdventure

Since the release of ER 20-015 in Beacon Rail blue, sister locomotive ER 20-010 has also been released in blue in Krefeld. The locomotive has been transferred to Slovenia, where it reportedly has entered service for SŽ that will operate it on the Bohinj railway line on the Avtovlak car train service.

(Marko Obid)

Beacon Rail ER 20-015 in its new blue livery at Krefeld Hauptbahnhof on November 6, 2016. Picture by Achim Scheil.

Beacon Rail ER 20-015 has been restyled into Beacon Rail blue in Krefeld Recently. Meanwhile, the locomotive has entered service for an operator still unknown to us. Who knows more?

Beacon Rail ER 20-015 in its new blue livery at Krefeld Hauptbahnhof on November 6, 2016. Picture by Achim Scheil.

According to this picture on Flickr, Pressnitztalbahn 246 049-2 has received promotional stickers stating: "Wir können mehr als nur Dampf machen! ...deine Ausbildung zum Lokführer bei uns! Zwei starke Partner für eine Region". Additionally, the logos of Pressnitztalbahn and Erzgebirgsbahn feature on the locomotive.

Close-up of the nameplates on Freightliner 66614 'Poppy'. The bottom plate states: "In memory of 15 brave lads from Buxton Lime Firms who gave their lives at the Battle of the Somme".

Freightliner 66614 has been named 'Poppy' at a naming ceremony at Tunstead Quarry on October 28. The Class 66 locomotive has been named in memory of 15 workers from Buxton Lime Firms (now Tarmac) who served and died in the Battle of the Somme.

Inspiration for the locomotive name was taken from a large copper poppy sculpture produced earlier this year by three Tarmac Buxton apprentices to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. An aluminium cast of the sculpture, which was made using 1916 manufacturing processes and features the name of the workers who lost their lives in the battle, has been fitted to the side of ”Poppy” as a lasting tribute.

Poppy is part of the Freightliner locomotive fleet delivering limestone products over a five-year contract for Tarmac awarded earlier this year.

Freightliner 66614 'Poppy' passes through Sheffield Station on November 14, 2016. Picture by Howard Lewsey.

Starkenberger Güterlogistik's new addition at the Nordhafen in Kiel-Wik on October 24. Picture by Jens Vollertsen.

On October 24, Voith Maxima 40 CC locomotive 264 005 was handed over to Starkenberger Güterlogistik after receiving a repaint into green and red in Kiel. Having been acquired now by Starkenberger Güterlogistik, the locomotive is well-known for having been in service with LOCON numbered 401 and carrying a white and orange livery.

Starkenberger Güterlogistik's new addition in Kiel-Suchsdorf on October 24. Picture by Jens Vollertsen.

Related sections:
Maxima 30/40CC

DRS 88007 has been seen in an advanced stage of construction.

DB Fernverkehr 245 022 at Rickelsbüller Koog with a Sylt Shuttle service on May 28, 2016. Picture by Jens Vollertsen.

In 2011, DB placed a framework order for up to 200 TRAXX Multi Engine diesel locomotives. The first 20 locomotives ordered under this agreement entered service for DB Regio in South Germany (stationed at Bw Mühldorf and Bw Kempten) and in the Frankfurt am Main area. Another seven were ordered for use on DB Fernverkehr's Sylt Shuttle between Niebüll and Westerland (Sylt).

Now the 27 existing locomotives will get some company, by eight additional machines to be precise, according to IRJ. Five will be used by DB Fernverkehr as ICE rescue locomotives throughout Germany replacing older Class 218 locomotives and three will be delivered to DB Regio to further expand its fleet in South Germany. Similar to the previous 27 machines, all locomotives will be built at Bombardier's Kassel plant.

Updated: A ninth loco has been ordered as well. DB Fernverkehr will use this it for IC trains on the Erfurt - Gera route.

66017 and 66001 are seen delivering a Rail Head Treatment Train (RHTT) as 6Z18 Toton to Acton on October 1, 2015. Picture by Richard Gennis.

On October 17, DB Cargo (UK) Ltd. announced plans to drastically restructure its operations. As an answer to rapid and unforeseen changes in the rail freight market (e.g. a dramatic decline in core markets such as coal and steel) the operator eyes a reduction of its working force with 893 jobs, a reduction of the number of operational sites and a rationalization of its wagon and locomotive fleets. It must be noted that all plans are still on the drawing board and that final decisions are yet to be made subject to collective and individual consultations.

Hans-Georg Werner, CEO of DB Cargo UK, said: “Responsible and successful businesses must evolve and reshape as their markets change and sometimes this means making tough decisions. Whilst this is a difficult time for all of us at DB Cargo UK, reshaping the company will enable us to build a business for the future and protect the majority of jobs. We are fully committed to supporting colleagues who may be at risk of redundancy."

"We firmly believe in the future of rail freight in the UK. Our motorways and roads are becoming more congested and rail offers fast and clean supply chain solutions. Our new business strategy will ensure we are a perfect logistics partner of choice for customers across all sectors, including construction, automotive and intermodal, long into the future.”

MLD: Currently, DB Cargo UK is preparing the transfer of five of its Class 66 locomotives to France for use with ECR. Read more at: 'DB Cargo sends five more Class 66s to France'

Graphic of DB Cargo UK 66081. This locomotive graphic and many more can also be found on our Class 66 Poster.

GB Railfreight 66766 stabled in Wellingborough Yard waiting for its next duty on February 18, 2016. Picture by Richard Gennis.

On October 18, the Eurotunnel Group (GET) announced that it has received a binding and irrevocable offer from EQT Infrastructure II, for the potential acquisition of its subsidiary, GB Railfreight (GBRf), the third largest rail freight operator in the UK.

The offer will shortly be presented to the Group’s staff representative bodies for consultation. The transaction would give a new direction to GBRf, which was created in 1999, based on the quality and commitment to development of the EQT group. EQT is a Swedish private equity investor and also owns a 95% share in Hector Rail. With the acquisition of GB Railfreight, the company further gives shape to its plans to create an independent rail freight operator operating on a European scale.

Acquired by the Eurotunnel Group in 2010 for £25 million, GBRf has more than doubled its activities, leading to forecast revenues of approximately £125 million whilst at the same time significantly improving its profitability.

Following the consultation and acceptance of the offer, the additional liquidity would open up new opportunities for GET to develop its core infrastructure and transport business, particularly through the delivery of the ElecLink electrical interconnector project, for which the construction works are now getting under way.

The Group’s French rail freight activities, managed by Europorte in France, are not included in the offer received. Europorte France will remain focused on its own development to deliver constantly improved customer service, with the goal of becoming the foremost private rail freight operator in France.

Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel SE, about the sale: “I am convinced that EQT is the right owner to take GB Railfreight to the next level, given their strong focus on growth and sustainable long term value creation. GBRf has been a great success, proving that significant value can be generated in this sector. On the strength of its results, the Group will continue to favour long term investments and shareholder return”.

Graphic of GBRf 66737 'Lesia'. This locomotive graphic and many more can also be found on our Class 66 Poster.

OHE Cargo 330094 passing Lengerich on July 4, 2013. Picture by Henk Zwoferink.

German rail freight operator hvle has acquired the last Blue Tiger locomotive that OHE Cargo still had in its fleet. It concerns locomotive 330094, the prototype Blue Tiger which could easily be recognized by having a different exterior design than its sister locomotives manufactured in series production (and the 'bullbar' for enhanced crash protection added later on).

Built in 1996 by Adtranz in Kassel, the locomotive has been evaluated by many different German operators, including Deutsche Bahn, HGK, BASF and RAG Bahn und Hafen (RBH). Between 2002 and 2004 ten additional locomotives were built in series production by Bombardier. With the sale of 330094, hvle owns nine locomotives out of eleven machines that were built for use in Germany. The remaining two are in operation for ITL Eisenbahn.

Modern history: the recently out-shopped Adtranz Blue Tiger prototype at Aachen West on September 21, 1997. Picture by Dietrich Bothe.

Related sections:
BombardierBlue Tiger: hvle

On October 15, the future ECR 66204 resides at Toton TMD. Picture by David Moreton.

DB Cargo (UK) Ltd. is sending an additional five Class 66 locomotives to France. The locos involved are 66193, 66201, 66204, 66213 and 66232. The five locos have all been prepared at DB Cargo's workshop in Toton, where they were not only adapted technically but also cosmetically (ECR logos, warning stripes, inscriptions etc.). On October 15, 66193 66201 and 66213 were waiting further transfer to France at Dollands Moor Yard. Two days later on the 17th, 66204 and 66232 were out on test prior to the start of their French adventure.

Also on October 15, 66193, 66201 and 66213 are already waiting at Dollands Moor for their trip to France. On October 16, the three were moved through the Channel Tunnel. Picture by Howard Lewsey.

Graphic of DB Cargo 66201 with ECR markings. Base drawing by Thierry Leleu.

In December 2016, DB Regio will take over the so-called 'Netz West' concession from NOB, which includes the TRAXX Multi Engine hauled (and pushed) trains between Hamburg-Altona and Westerland (Sylt) vv. Locomotive 245 204-3 has already been renumbered in preparation for December to 92 80 1245 204-3 D-DB. No doubt that more locos will follow in the coming weeks.

OSR France has hired two additional Prima diesel locomotives of the BB 75000 series from Akiem. It concerns locomotives 75017 and 75025. Both locomotives have been styled into the new OSR livery, which includes partly pink cabs going over into a pink beam along the roof, similar to the livery used on the electric Prima's used by the company. Loco 75019 has received the new livery too, but was already in service for OSR for a longer time.

(Antoine Morval)

Related sections:
AlstomBB 75000: Akiem & SNCF

Another DRS Class 66 has been restyled into the basic DRS livery and left Eastleigh works today (October 18). An image of DRS 66302 in its new livery can be found here: link.

Siemens and Iranian industrial group Mapna have signed an agreement which will see 50 'Safir' diesel locomotives being assembled at Mapna's Karaj plant. 'Safir' is the name given by Mapna to the ER 24 PC, which we know better as the single-cab 'IranRunner', part of the Siemens EuroRunner family.

In 2008, Siemens signed a deal with Mapna for 150 IranRunners, of which the first 30 were built in München-Allach and the remaining 120 in Iran. Thanks to the new agreement, the number of Safir diesels in service for RAI will increase to 200.

e.g.o.o. 223 141 has received a paint job into...almost the same Enercon livery it had before. The loco simply exchanged its stickers for paint.

...into Beacon Rail blue and has retained its 'ER 20' number, albeit on a different place (on the red beam). A picture of the locomotive can be found here: link.

In 2017, Stadler Rail Valencia wants to release its first dual mode locomotive for the continental European market. It will be the first locomotive design to be completed since the former Vossloh España factory was taken over by the Swiss company.

During InnoTrans 2016, a model was on display showing the locomotive design: a six-axle electric/diesel-electric locomotive with a top speed of 160km/h. Maximum duration power: 7MW (electric) and 3MW (diesel). The starting traction effort can be as high as 500kN. The machine will feature AC traction motors and IGBT convertors. It is possible to order the locomotive as AC, DC or multisystem locomotive. Narrow gauge, normal gauge, wide gauge, all options are open.

A first prototype locomotive for Europe is already under construction. We will follow this closely of course. Under the responsibility of Vossloh, the factory's previous owner, the site already created two other dual mode locomotive types, about which you can explore more here:

- The UK DUAL for Beacon Rail / Direct Rail Services from the UK
- The PRASA DUAL for PRASA from South Africa

(Picture: Henk Zwoferink)

Related sections:
Stadler Rail Valencia

On 06.10.2016, Pesa and PKP IC signed a memorandum of understanding for developing a dual mode locomotive (diesel and electric). The project is supported by the NCBiR (National Research and Development Centre) bringing 395.000 euro into the project. Pesa estimates to spend around 1.8 million euro on the project, that will take around 1.5-2 years to complete.

PKP IC is searching the market for new locomotives and is very much interested in innovative locomotive projects. It is an important, potential customer for Pesa's new dual mode.

One 4-axle prototype locomotive will be built, with 2.8MW power in electric mode and with a combustion engine of 1.8MW. Its maximum speed will be 160 kph.

Rynek-kolejowy.pl brings more information about the plans.

Related sections:

Previously in Caledonian blue livery, DB Cargo 67010 has been repainted into DB red.

In the French media and on railjournal.com:

France’s industry minister Mr Christophe Sirugue told a meeting of union representatives and elected officials in Belfort on October 4 that the French government will fund an order for 15 TGV Euroduplex trains and 20 locomotives to save Alstom’s plant in the town from closure.

Sirugue also confirmed that French National Railways (SNCF) will also order a batch of six TGVs for Paris - Lyon - Turin services. Power cars for all 21 trains will be built at Belfort, securing the medium-term future of the plant, which employs 480 staff.'

Railcolor: it is not an order yet, but a plan. Last September, Alstom announced to close the Belfort site as a manufacturing location and to reform it as service point. 400 of the 480 employees would be re-assigned to another Alstom factory in France. However, president Mr François Hollande intervened and blocked the plan. Not only does he care about the factory and its workforce, Hollande is also facing elections next year and closing yet another factory is bad news for his campaign.

But if this new 'save Belfort' plan will be executed is to be seen. It depends on whether or not this governmental intervention is regarded as (illegal) state aid or not. Next to that, Alstom was not planning to stop locomotive production, nor firing people. It was slimming down its production capacity as its order portfolio was not as full as envisaged. Alstom was planning on moving its locomotive production to Reichshoffen, what will happen there when Belfort stays open? And of course there is the more general question, what is to become of Belfort on the long term? The possible new order will only bring work for around 1,5-2 years. To be continued.

Update: Lok-report.de brings a summary (scroll down) of what has been communicated in the French press yesterday. Additionally, Philippe Jacqué is answering questions from readers. The extra TGVs can be ordered directly from existing frame contracts. Curious is that some of the new TGVs will be used on conventional intercity lines.

For SNCF, twenty support and rescue locomotives will be ordered (French: '20 locomotives diesel pour le remorquage de trains en panne).

Alstom will have to invest 40 million euro in Belfort, to be used for expanding it product portfolio (locomotives and electric busses), creating new jobs in the service department. 30 million euro will go into the 'development of new diesel or hybrid locomotives'.

Related sections:

As of December 2018, metronom Eisenbahngesellschaft will cease operating passenger services between Hamburg and Cuxhaven. Currently, it operates the services with Class 246 TRAXX diesel locomotives and double-deck push-pull trains, owned by LNVG (Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen). DB Regio has placed the best bid in terms of price and, therefore, will take over from metronom in two years from now.

Update: DB Regio will hire eight diesel locomotives and 38 double deck coaches from LNVG. Most likely, these eight locos are LNVG 246 002-009. Bombardier, currently holding the service and maintenance contracts for this rolling stock, will continue these activities when DB Regio takes over. Maintenance is done at Bremervörde.

Pressnitztalbahn is one of the latest operators to evaluate the Vectron DE. Currently, it operates locomotive 247 902.

(Stephan Kemnitz)

Related sections:
SiemensVectron DE

OHE Cargo 270081 has been restyled from OHE livery to SETG livery. The loco is now numbered ER20-01. Both 270081 and 270082 have been sold to the Austrian operator.

(Helmuth van Lier / Andreas Meier)

On October 1, Prima diesel locomotives in different liveries were lined up around the Longueau depot turn table. Special thanks to Pascal Sainson for the pictures.

Related sections:
AlstomBB 75000: Akiem & SNCF

Some time ago, Dutch railfreight operator Rotterdam Rail Feeding released some pictures of Beacon Rail Class 66 locomotive 561-03 receiving the Genesee & Wyoming livery with large Rail Feeding logos. Due to some issues with the on-board ETCS the loco's entry into service was delayed, but soon the locomotive will enter service in its new guise. Special thanks to Maarten Schoubben for contributing this great picture.

During a private ceremony, GBRf 66748 was named 'West Burton 50' at West Burton Power Station on September 13.

It has been indicated that Vectron DE locomotive 247 903 is currently used by LOCON on ballast trains. The result is very photogenic train consisting of a white locomotive and white GATX wagons.

(Andreas Meier)

Related sections:
SiemensVectron DE

(Thomas Wohlfarth)

DRS 66305 is the first of five Class 66/3 locomotives leased from Beacon Rail Leasing to have been repainted into the basic colour scheme we know from various Class 66/4 locomotives in service for the British operator now. Special thanks to Andrew Cameron for the image.

DB Cargo UK has repainted Class 66 locomotives 66055 and 66066 into what is called 'Verkehrsrot' in Germany (with large white DB logos) at its Toton works. Subsequently, the two locos were named Alain Thauvette and Geoff Spencer in Doncaster. Alain Thauvette is Head of DB Cargo’s Region West, which includes DB Cargo UK, ECR France and Spain, as well as Transfesa. He is also CEO of DB Cargo UK and President of Euro Cargo Rail France. Geoff Spencer is the current CEO of DB Cargo (UK) Ltd.

We are still looking for good images of these locos in their new liveries. Can you help us out? Curious what the locos look like? These images (link and link) give you a good impression.

(Christian Klotz / Thomas Wohlfarth)

GBRf 66727 has been repainted into Maritime livery by Arlington at Eastleigh Works. Maritime Transport is a provider of supply chain services, such as warehousing, railport services and container transport.

On September 20, the locomotives was named 'Maritime One' at the Birmingham Intermodal Freight Terminal, which is located at the Birch Coppice Business Park. The terminal is one of the terminals in the UK managed by Maritime.

(Richard Gennis / Pete Loveday / Adam Scoggins)

Beacon Rail and VFLI have welcomed a new locomotive to their respective fleets: E4047. The locomotive is the fifth of an order for six EURO 4000 locomotives (E4043-4048) leased by VFLI from Beacon Rail Leasing. Another three locomotives (E4049-E4051) have been ordered directly by VFLI from Stadler Rail Valencia.

Special thanks to Nicolas Villenave for the images.

A minor livery change for DB Cargo 66185, which was to be expected after the recent name change from DB Schenker Rail UK to DB Cargo UK. Of its former DB Schenker logos only the DB logos remain. An image of the loco can be found here: link.

CZ LOKO has built a new diesel locomotive: the EffiShunter 1000. Numbered 744 101 (an image can be found here), the locomotive is the prototype of a new generation of EffiShunter locomotives that follows on the 744.0 series locomotive, presented at InnoTrans 2012. In contrast to predecessor 744 001-9, the new EffiShunter 1000 is fully TSI approved and is available in both a 1435 mm and a 1520 mm version.

The new locomotive is equipped with a Caterpillar C32 engine, which delivers 895kW and complies with Stage IIIb emission rules. It was completed in the second half of August at the CZ LOKO works in Česká Třebová and subsequently tested around Velim. It has been indicated that the locomotive will also make its appearance at InnoTrans in Berlin.

On September 13, InnoTrans welcomed the first train on its outdoor exhibition grounds. The day before, the first true InnoTrans convoy could be sighted. Every edition, these special convoys consist of rail vehicles that we will probably never see again together. This convoy consisted of RailAdventure 139 558 and 103 222 top-and-tailing the convoy, with in between a Velaro for Turkey, a new metro train for Riyadh, a Desiro City for SWT and Class 88 locomotive 88003.

Today, we received this splendid image by Jiří Štembírek of CZ LOKO 774 714-0 in service for SD - Kolejová doprava a.s., while it passes Lužná u Rakovníka on September 12. Earlier, the locomotive has seen relatively short use by LTE and PSŽ.

Continuing its journey towards Berlin, DRS 88003 was seen in Oberhausen by Rolf Alberts today (September 12).

Special thanks to Tuukka Varjoranta, who has sent us these picture from the north of Europe. The images show Fenniarail freight train T7003 from Kouvola freight yard, arriving to final destination Riihimäki freight yard with CZ LOKO built type 774.7F locos 101 and 102. This freight continues to the north of Finland to Isokylä, Kemijärvi as train T7005 on Monday September 12.

On July 27, Fenniarail's first regular freight train was loaded in Kemijärvi as part of a contract with Lappi Timber Oy. Under the agreement, the Finnish private operator runs trains from Lappi Timber Oy's production plants in Kemijärvi to ports of Oulu and Kotka. Transport volumes are expected to increase throughout the remainder of 2016 and 2017, thanks to capacity increases at the Lappi Timber production facilities. Having received its operating license in March 2015, Fenniarail is the first private operator in Finland.

A long tradition comes to an end. In 2018 Alstom will close its locomotive manufacturing facilities in Belfort. The newest products from Belfort are new power cars for TGV high speed trains (SNCF and ONCF) and the electric locomotives for Kazakhstan.

It is not a secret Alstom has not been able to develop a competing locomotive platform for the European market, a type that could compete with Siemens' Vectron and Bombardier's TRAXX. With the PrimaII it was not possible to attract European customer until now. The production of its predecessor (Prima) ended in 2010 (electrics) and 2012 (diesels).

Does this mean Alstom will not produce locomotives anymore? Of course not. Soon it will start production of the 4-axle H4 machines with center-cab design for the SBB. More orders for this type are being rumored. SNCF Infra and RATP could be interested in these hybrids. Also, Alstom was able to fetch a large locomotive contract for the railways in India. The first units of this order will still come from Belfort, so was stated. And don't forget there is still Stendal in Germany, where small scale production takes place of H3 shunter locomotives.

But after 2018, locomotive production in France will take place at Alstom's in Reichshoffen (FR). Alstom says it is a strategic decision as it is experiencing a considerable drop in sales, forcing the company to reduce its production capacity in France. Reportedly, Reichshoffen is already underemployed, so it could use extra work. As of 2018, Belfort will focus solely on locomotive maintenance and servicing, which means 400 of 480 jobs will be lost. However, all employees will offered a new job at one of Alstom's other production facilities.

Related sections:

After a long period during which Crossrail Benelux provided traction for HSL freight trains into Belgium, HSL Logistik subsidiary HSL Belgium has now started operating these trains itself. The picture shows locomotive 653-07 (the former RheinCargo DE 685, leased from Beacon Rail), passing Glons with an empty car train from Zeebrugge to Aachen-West on September 8. Special thanks to Maarten Schoubben who made the image.

A variety of Polish diesel power, made by Henk Zwoferink.

In 2017, the first completed trainset consisting of two Siemens Charger locomotives and four Viaggio Comfort USA coaches will enter revenue service with Brightline in Florida. The US operator will first use it on express intercity services between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. A few days ago, on September 8, the first Brightline Charger to come off the production line completed its first dynamic tests under its own power: a milestone for both Siemens and Brightline. However, this was not the only milestone of the day. After completion of the tests, Brightline officially approved series production of the remaining locomotives it has on order.

In addition to running the diesel engine for the first time, approximately 45 areas were tested on the Brightline locomotive over a three-week period. These included: functional tests of the air and braking systems; software installation for all systems; locomotive doors; fire detection systems; audible warning devices; communication systems; interior and exterior lighting; as well as empty and fully loaded weight verification.

On September 8th, Terrence Labar was able to capture VFLI E4049 at the station of Bertrix in Belgium. The locomotive is in Belgium for ETCS trials. In contrast to other VFLI EURO 4000 locomotives, E4049-4051 will be delivered with the European Train Control System on board. In late August, the locomotive first started tests on the Athus-Meuse line.

The locomotive has received InfraLeuna logos on its noses and the text 'InfraLeuna' on its sides.

(Thomas Wohlfarth / Klaus Hentschel / Daniel Berg)

On September 1, Crossrail DE 6302 had an unfortunate encounter with a truck at a level crossing in the Waaslandhaven at the Port of Antwerp. After the collision the truck caught fire, but this was put out quickly. More details about the incident on hln.be: link. A picture of the re-railing of DE 6302 can be found here: link.

(Maxim Herman)

On September 3, Nicolas Beyaert captured ECR 77003 on camera while passing Hazebrouck with three former DB Cargo Nederland Class 6400 diesel locomotives in tow. The three locomotives have been acquired by EuroTunnel, increasing its fleet of MaK locomotives to 10. The locos in question are:

0008 – ex DB-Cargo 6450
0009 – ex DB-Cargo 6451
0010 – ex DB-Cargo 6447

Locomotives 0008 and 0009 have been repainted in the orange and grey livery we know from other EuroTunnel MaK locomotives, but 0010 has received the blue and silver Europorte livery. The latter will be used for shunting purposes at the shunting yard at Calais-Fréthun. In late 2010, EuroTunnel also acquired two DE6400 locomotives from DB Cargo Nederland (then still named DB Schenker Rail Nederland): the designated 6456 and 6457, which now runs as 0006 and 0007 respectively.

More images and info abouth these locos at Loks-aus-Kiel.de.

Hired to Colas Rail on an as-needed basis, GBRf 66723 passes Paddock Wood working a diverted 6Y42 Hoo Junction - Eastleigh Yard with Balfour Beatty Crane (DRK81602) in tow.

(Adam McMillan)

Another week, another new Thameslink Desiro City on transfer. On August 23, Europorte 4002 brought the brand new 700018 to Calais. It was delivered to the UK a day later.

(Nicolas Beyaert)

InnoTrans in Berlin is big, so a map is not a luxury. This year InnoTrans has published an interactive floor plan, on which you can already see the companies presenting themselves at the trade fair. More interesting to our visitors is, we think, the interactive map of the outdoor exhibition area. Which vehicles will be presented and where will they be? You can now find every train at InnoTrans 2016 here. (Note that there can be last-minute changes, surprises, etc...)

Our first conclusions: A lot of yellow: many construction vehicles, many rail inspection trains. No Bombardier indeed. More freight cars than before? And Skoda needs a lot of space for its 102 series locomotive... will there be a complete NIM express train? There will be something from CZ LOKO and Vossloh will present its G 6 and DE 18 again. Shunters of Schalke and Express Service will be there. Futhermore, we can see Alstom and its fuel-cell train, the ÖBB 1063 series hybrid, Gmeinder DE60C hybrid, Stadler's UK DUAL hybrid, Alstom's Metrans H3 hybrid, Finland Vectron Hybrid...

Related sections:
InnoTrans - 2016

The dynamic ETCS trials with VFLI EURO 4000 locomotive E4049 on the Belgian Athus-Meuse line have started. The image shows the locomotive passing Paliseul during one of the test runs on August

(Jean-François Polet)

After contracts for the modernization of ČME3 and 2M62U locomotives in recent years, CZ LOKO has now signed an agreement for the development of fuel cell locomotives with the Latvian railway company. The deal, which was signed on August 11, covers the rebuilding of a ČME3 shunting locomotive with fuel cells produced by Ballard Power Systems.

CZ LOKO will be responsible for both the design work and the provision of components, but the rebuilding process itself will take place at an LDz workshop. The result will be a locomotive without local exhaust emissions and reduced noise and vibration.

Related sections:

VFLI's brand new E4049 has arrived in Belgium for a series of trials on the Athus-Meuse line. The trials are being held to test the locomotive's ETCS equipment, which will also be on board of E4050 and E4051. The picture above shows the French Class eldest and youngest together in Roux, Belgium on August 12.

(Terrence Labar)

Croatia is booming. More and more railfreight operators are discovering the opportunities that the country can offer. Think of the Rail Cargo Group, PPD Transport and MMV from Hungary for example. As of early August, also the Croatian subsidiary of Austria based RAIL & SEA operates freight trains in the country.

To perform its Croatian operations, RAIL & SEA has hired Beacon Rail blue EuroRunner locomotive 223-003. The loco is currently employed on the calcite services Gospić - Zagreb - Dobova - Gospić. Together with RAIL & SEA, mgw and the Croatian authorities, Beacon Rail has worked hard to add Croatia to the country package of the ER20 locomotive. The video above shows the locomotive on the first train operated by RAIL & SEA in Croatia.

Rail&Sea is the first and only independent railway company operating on the Lika line, known because of steep ascents and small radius curves. Rail&Sea calcite trains are normally split in Oštarije into two lighter trains, enabling the single ER20 to haul them through Rudopolje to Gospić. The same operation is usual for the return trip.

(Toma Bacic)

On August 16, Europorte 4002 passed Morbecque with another Desiro City destined for service on the Thameslink route in the UK. The unit in question was 700 101, a twelve-car set.

(Nicolas Beyaert)

Siemens has commenced tests with its SC-44 Charger diesel locomotives at the Transportation Technology question has the number 4601 and is destined for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to which it will be delivered later this year. At Pueblo, a variety of tests and validation exercises are performed, including test runs up to 200km/h (125mph), acceleration and braking tests and testing of the overall performance capabilities. The tests are performed with four Kawasaki built MARC III double-deck coaches that are temporary on loan from MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter).

Related sections:
SiemensChargerCharger: IDOT

Another Direct Rail Services Class 66 has received a paint job. The image shows the fresh looking DRS 66425 at London Clapham Junction with 5Z68 Eastleigh - Willesden Brent. DRS 66428 is the only DRS operated Class 66/4 not carrying the new basic Class 66 livery now. Of the 66/3 subclass, DRS has five locomotives in operation: 66301-305. These locomotives have not been restyled either and still carry the old compass livery.

(Adam McMillan / Malcolm Fleming)

A new eight-car Thameslink train is on its way to the UK. On August 9, Europorte 4002 passes Morbecque bringing Desiro City 700014 from Forbach to Calais-Fréthun.

(Nicolas Beyaert)

Some time ago, GB Railfreight auctioned off the opportunity to name a locomotive for a year. The auction winner, who donated an extraordinary amount of money to GBRf's good causes, decided to name the locomotive after his father, a career train driver who celebrates his 60th birthday this year.

The winner was invited along on the company's Northern Staff Charter on July 30th from Doncaster to Blackpool and brought along his father who had no idea that a locomotive would be named after him: David Gordon Harris.

To replace a damaged DMU, DRS has provided traction in the form of two Class 68 locomotives (and a spare on standby) for Abellio Greater Anglia. Services started on July 11th and are expected to run Monday to Friday until the end of September. Although some additional work on an ad hoc basis has been occurring on a Saturday. Services are from Norwich to Yarmouth and from Norwich to Lowestoft. This extra train operates in addition to the Class 37-powered train also used on some of its Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Norwich to Lowestoft services.

(Julian Mandeville)

The Belmont Northern Belle with 68017 at the front of the train and 68008 on the back, operating as the 1Z54 Bristol TM to Newport (S.Wales) via Bath, Swindon and Gloucester.

(David Moreton)

This image by Nicolas Villenave shows the brand new E4046 for Beacon Rail Leasing > VFLI on French soil in Perpignan on July 26th.

VFLI is currently adding nine new EURO 4000 locomotives to its fleet. Six vehicles have been ordered through Beacon Rail Leasing (E4043-E4048) and three have been purchased outright by the French operator (E4049-E4051). At the moment of writing, E4043-E4046 and E4049 had already been delivered.

GBRf 66773 has performed its first workings. It has been active on overnight engineering trains. Of the latest batch (66773-66779), only 66776 has not made its debut in revenue service yet.

(Howard Lewsey)

Direct Rail Services has released an image showing the livery of the brand new 88002. The colour scheme of the Class 88s will be largely the same as that applied to the operator's Class 68 locomotives, but additionally sports red and blue grid of lines (MLD: reminding us of overhead power lines).

DRS states on its website: "Testing of 88001 in Velim has concluded, reporting on the testing Stadler said: “During UKDual test campaign in Velim, two main goals have been covered. First, we have focused to perform all test related to homologation purposes by using the capabilities of Velim test center (TSI track, catenary characteristics, braking distances.). As second goal, we have tested and adjusted locomotive performances as traction control in different conditions, diesel engine and electrical power management, by hauling a train of 1500Tons and an ER20 locomotive.

As our first dual locomotive, new functionalities of control software have been validated as dynamic mode changing between electrical operation to diesel operation (and viceversa) and fine tuning of automatic speed control.

Finally, Velim test site has been used as first scenario to show to DRS the behavior of the locomotive and let to our customer to feedback us with the first impressions about UKDual locomotive."

DRS also commented about the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin in September where Stadler and DRS will present a Class 88 locomotive. We now know that the locomotive in question will be 88003.

In contrast to previous editions, when Bombardier Transportation was well represented at the outdoor display area, the company has chosen not to present any rolling stock this time. At its inside booth, Bombardier will create a virtual reality lab to present its portfolio in a digital way.

Related sections:
BombardierInnoTrans - 2016

On July 17, Metrolink 905 was presented at the Union Station in Los Angeles as the first Tier 4 locomotive for Metrolink. The locomotive was joined by two older EMD passenger diesels (800 and 873) and the former Sante FE 3751, a passenger steam locomotive built in 1927.

(Philip Wormald)

Akiem 75019 is back in silver and now hired to OSR France.

(Pascal Sainson)

Related sections:
AlstomBB 75000: Akiem & SNCF

GBRf 66777 has been released into traffic today (July 13th).

(Howard Lewsey / Image: Jack Meakin-Sawyer)

Some older news from Israel: Israel Railways 709 was involved in an accident near Dimona, when it ran into three wagons on 15 March 2016. Six people suffered from light injuries due to leakages in the wagons.

(Malcolm Wilton-Jones)

Related sections:
Stadler Rail ValenciaJT42CW

Stadler Rail Valencia has delivered two new EURO 4000 locomotives to France. It concerns E4045 (leased from Beacon Rail Leasing) and E4049 (owned by VFLI). Both are configured for operations in Belgium and France, the latter is additionally equipped with ETCS. Soon, E4049 and its ETCS equipment will also be put to the test in Belgium together with E4045.

(Nicolas Villenave)

Netherlands based Rail Feeding has released a sneak peek on its LinkedIn page of Class 66 locomotive 561-03 in full Genesee & Wyoming style livery. Beacon Rail owned 561-03 is not the only locomotive to receive this livery. Sister locomotive 561-04, which is also owned by Beacon, will receive it as well.

Akiem 75036 has lost its yellow and blue TSO livery again. The loco has been returned by TSO to the French lessor, but is now in service again judging from the picture above. However, we're not quite sure which operator is now hiring this locomotive. Who can help us out?

Update: It has been indicated that the locomotive is currently being operated by Naviland Cargo.

(Thierry Mazoyer / Patrick Staehlé)

Related sections:
AlstomBB 75000: Akiem & SNCF

David Moreton sent us these pictures of GBRf 66743 and 66746, the dedicated locos for the Belmond Royal Scotsman. The images show the locos with Belmond Royal Scotsman stock during the Grand Tour of Great Britain. The train set is being taken to Bristol St. Phillips Marsh depot for cleaning, prior to resuming the tour from Bath.

Impressions of 245 021-027 by Nahne Johannsen, Jens Vollertsen and Henk Zwoferink.

Not only in Europe, but also in Australia it has been very quiet regarding GE's PowerHaul locomotive lately. Up until now. Through its local partner UGL, GE Transportation has been able to sell three PH37ACmai cape gauge PowerHaul locomotives. The locomotives will be delivered to Pacific National, together with an additional three Class 93 C44ACi locomotives.

In 2014, UGL already built three demonstrator locomotives numbered UGL 001-003. It is unclear whether the order by Pacific National concerns the acquisition of these three machines or if the operator will receive three newly built locomotives. A picture from 2014 of the then still unfinished UGL 003 can be found here: link.

CZ LOKO 742 703-2, operating together with sister locomotive 742 702-4, derailed at Všetaty. Images can be found here and here. Both locomotives are in service for Unipetrol Doprava.

Related sections:
CZ LOKO742.7

Nahne Johannsen just sent us the first image of DB Fernverkehr's 245 027 (REV FKR X 29.06.16) in use by its new owner. With 245 021-027 now all being delivered, the batch of 7 is complete. Remarkable: Unit 245 026-0 is the only of its series with a check digit on its fronts.

In just over two months, the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin will open its doors again. Stadler Rail will be present with a UK DUAL locomotive for Beacon Rail / DRS, better known as Class 88. Other Stadler rolling stock on display will be the EC250 EMU for SBB, a Flirt EMU for NS, a sleeping coach for Azerbaijan, a CityLink tram-train for Chemnitz and a Variobahn tram for Aarhus.

Bombardier has finished repairs on the damaged DB Regio 245 008 and released it from its Kassel works on July 4th. Subsequently, the loco headed back to the DB depot in Mühldorf.

The future Beacon Rail / DRS 88001 has left VUZ Velim in the Czech Republic again and arrived in Kassel on July 4th behind Beacon Rail ER 20-003. It has been indicated that the loco would be forwarded to Aachen from there. Most likely, its destination is the Port of Antwerp for further transport back to Spain.

According to the caption of this picture (link), the recently outshopped Chargers 4601 and 4602 will now be thorougly tested and evaluated.

Related sections:
SiemensChargerCharger: IDOT

HSL Belgium PGmbH now has Beacon Rail 653-2 in its fleet. The loco was previously with Lappwaldbahn (LWB) for a short period, after a longer adventure in France with ETF Services.

On June 16, Metrolink 905 arrived in Los Angeles as the first of its Class (903 and 904 are still being tested by EMD). The locomotive will not directly enter service with the US operator, but will first be subjected to a period of inspections and tests. 29 of the type have been ordered by Metrolink, but in future fleet plans a total fleet of 40 locomotives is foreseen.

By the way, did you know the bodies for these locomotives are built in Spain by Stadler Rail Valencia? Final assembly takes place in Muncie, IN, at the Progress Rail / EMD works.

This week, the newest TRAXX locomotive for DB Fernverkehr completed its maiden run. On 28.06.2016 the machine completed its first round.

(Christian Klotz)

On June 28, Brightline announced that the first of the ten Charger locomotives it has on order has been equipped with its Cummins QSK95 diesel engine. The 16-cylinder Cummins QSK95 engine weighs 31,000 pounds and is certified to meet the ultra-low emissions required by EPA Tier 4 standards. Installation took approximately six hours during which the engine was lowered into the locomotive by an overhead crane.

Built as integrated trainsets, Brightline’s trains are comprised of two locomotives and four high quality stainless steel passenger cars. The trains can be extended to include up to 10 passenger cars as the system and ridership grows. The first completed trainset is expected to be delivered to Brightline later this year.

DB Cargo 67005 Queen's Messenger and 67006 Royal Sovereign now have DB logos on their cabs and a DB-red stripe along their sides: link.

The Pomeranian Voivodeship plans to acquire new regional trains. Besides a total of 34 new electric multiple units, it also intends to purchase an undisclosed number of double deck push-pull sets powered by diesel locomotives. Additionally, the modernization of 15 Class EN57 and Class EN71 EMUs is foreseen.

DRS 66432 has been repainted into the 'basic' DRS colour scheme by Arlington at Eastleigh Works. The image by Adam McMillan shows 66432 at Clapham Junction running as train 0Z68 Eastleigh - Willesden Brent.

After having spent several weeks on display at the National Railway Museum in York, GBRf 66779 entered revenue service for the British operator on June 20. The image by Iain Wright shows 66779 at Langham with 6L15 Toton - Whitemoor.

We had not noticed it before, but ITL 250 007-2 has entered service again recently. The loco had been sidelined for repairs due to fire damage suffered on September 11, 2015. Read more about the fire incident here: "2015-09-12 - [DE] ITL 250 007 suffers fire damage [Updated]"

(Picture: Normann Gottberg)

Related sections:
BombardierBlue Tiger: ITL

An interesting look inside the Siemens factory in Sacramento where Charger SC-44 passenger diesels for various operators are being built at the moment.

Blue and yellow vs. blue and yellow: the freshly repainted Beacon Rail 561-03 took NS E 186 023 and E 186 024 from Kassel to Amsterdam Watergraafsmeer on June 19th.

(René Klink / Henk Zwoferink)

The first two Charger SC-44 diesel locomotives have left the Siemens works in Sacramento for testing. Locos 4601 and 4602 are destined for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

Related sections:
SiemensChargerCharger: IDOT

German competition authorities have given the go-ahead for the acquisition of Ascendos Rail Leasing by Beacon Rail Leasing, allowing the deal to be finalized. The result is a combined fleet of 225 locomotives, 1044 freight wagons, 55 multiple units and 67 double-deck coaches.

More information about the deal as announced on May 13 can be found here: "2016-05-13 - [EU] Beacon Rail Leasing to acquire Ascendos Rail Leasing"

At the 2016 edition of the Czech Raildays, CZ LOKO has presented an eighth type 774.7 locomotive. According to this link, loco 774 714-0 is equipped for services in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. More pictures of the loco on test at Velim and on display at the Czech Raildays in Ostrava can be found here: link and link.

Update: Thanks to Aleš Bílek we now have a photo of the locomotive.

After several years during which the loco was used by HTRS Nederland and ETF Services, Beacon Rail 561-2 is back with Freightliner PL and it has its old number again: 66012. However, that's not everything. The loco has also been reliveried into the Freightliner 'PowerHaul' colour sheme:

This image by Stuart Cronin shows GBRf 66779 "running under its own power on June the 9th working 0Z79 17:54 York NRM to Doncaster Down Decoy. She has since returned to the stored status at Roberts Road." After being named 'Evening Star' on May 10 at the National Railway Museum, the loco remained on display at the museum for several weeks.

Bombardier is currently working hard apply a solution for the overheating transformers of the Paribus-owned TRAXX Multi Engine locomotives currently operated by Nord-Ostsee-Bahn between Hamburg-Altona and Westerland (Sylt). Not only are operational locomotives monitored extra carefully, but additional locomotives have been hired as well to cover for TRAXX locomotives that are sidelined. The replacement locos are no strangers on the route, as it concerns Beacon Rail EuroRunners:

ER 20-001
ER 20-010
ER 20-011
ER 20-012
ER 20-014
ER 20-015

As an immediate stopgap solution, DE 2700 locomotives of RDC Autozug Sylt were hired in too. This solution was only temporary as RDC needs these locos itself for test runs prior to the launch of its new car shuttle services.

As it seems, the overheating problems that are haunting the NOB Class 245s have not been an issue for DB's TRAXX Multi Engine locomotives.

(Images: Nahne Johannsen)

GB Railfreight has sent two of its Class 66 locomotive out for a weekend visit to the North Northfolk Railway (66772) and the West Somerset Railway (66757).

(Howard Lewsey)

It seems RheinCargo DE 683 tried to get off the tracks at the Oberhausen West shunting yard on June 10: link.

USA Today comes with extensive media coverage on the production of the trains for America's first privately funded rail project: the 'Brightline' train services in Florida, to be operated by All Aboard Florida (AAF). They will soon get five trains, composed out of two high speed Siemens Charger locomotives and Siemens Viaggio Comfort coaches. Every train will have a specific color, combined with the yellow corporate color of the Brightline. Enjoy the video or take a look at this 40-picture news report.

An EMD GT46AC locomotive at an unknown location. Picture by EMD.

Progress Rail subsidiary EMD has delivered the first 10 of 30 GT46AC locomotives to Algeria's SNTF. The locos were shipped to the North African country on board of the Palmerton, a Lift-on/Lift-off (LoLo) ship.

Related sections:
EMD / Progress Rail

Some short news about Freightliner PL/DE 653-09. The loco now has small Freightliner logos on its fronts now. A close-up:

(Dominik Becker / Thomas Wohlfarth)

Production of Charger passenger diesels at Siemens' Sacramento is progressing very well judging by the picture in the tweet below. It shows a first locomotive in GoBrightline colour scheme as well as another Charger diesel locomotive under constuction, most likely for the joint order placed by the Departments of Transportation of Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, California and Washington in 2014.

The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway organized a "DB Cargo UK Class 66 Event" on June 4 and 5. DB Cargo 66185 had the honour to act as guest locomotive at the event.

(Howard Lewsey)

Bad news from North Germany. In a press release, Nord-Ostsee-Bahn (NOB) announces that due to technical problems with its TRAXX Multi Engine locomotives, delays and cancelled trains can be expected in the coming days. Meanwhile, the operator is working hard in conjunction with Bombardier to introduce not only a technical solution for the locomotives, but also to ensure the service between Hamburg-Altona and Westerland (Sylt) keeps running as good as possible.

It has been indicated that the locomotives tend to overheat due to unsufficient cooling capability. Currently, all locomotives are being monitored closely to be able to take measures if temperatures get too high to continue operations. It is unclear whether these problems also apply for DB Fernverkehr and DB Regio Class 245 locomotives or not.

On June 1, GBRf 66778 made its entry into revenue service by pulling an engineering train from Toton to Crewe Basford Hall.

A rare combination: a Class 88 electro-diesel built by Stadler Rail Valencia for the United Kingdom and a EuroRunner diesel locomotive built by Siemens for operations on the European mainland running together. Norman Gottberg captured Beacon Rail's 88001 and the freshly painted ER 20-003 on a trial run at VÚŽ Velim on June 2.

Fresh out of the paint shop! 66433 sits at Clapham Junction with 0Z68 Eastleigh Works - Willesden Brent.

(Adam McMillan)

Transportes em Revista reports that Portuguese railfreight operator Medlog (formerly known as CP Carga) has signed a contract for the delivery of four new EURO 4000 locomotives. The locomotives will be used to support the expansion of the company and have mainly been ordered for services between Portugal and Spain. With the four EURO 4000s, international services will no longer have to change locomotives at the border, saving time and improving the service to the customer.

The locomotives will not be owned outright by Medlog. Leasing company Alpha Trains will become owner of the vehicles and will then lease them to the Portuguese operator. With the deal, Alpha Trains increases its fleet of Iberian-gauged EURO 4000 locomotives to 28. Delivery is scheduled for 2017.

DRS 66305 made its appearance at the Wensleydale Railway in the weekend of 28-29 May, when the railway held its WensleyAle Festival (27-30 May).

(Howard Lewsey)

New in France: Europorte 4041. This means that we can soon expect loco 4042, the last EURO 4000 locomotive on order from Stadler, too.

RégioRail France has gained more traffic in the south of France, including paper traffic at Saint-Gaudens, talc from Luzenac and containers between Niort and Fos. Because the G 1206 locomotives the company hires are not ideal for long-distances, RégioRail eyes the lease of two Prima diesel locomotives from Akiem. Currently, the company evaluates Akiem 75106, which still carries the livery of previous lessee TSO.

(Thierry Leleu)

Related sections:
BB 75000: Akiem & SNCF

Some time ago, GB Railfreight 66746 was the first of the British operator's Class 66 fleet that was outshopped in Royal Scotsman livery. The locomotive will now be accompanied by GBRf 66743, which has been repainted in the same livery. Prior to 66743's first service on the Royal Scotsman luxury train on Friday June 10, the locomotive will receive some minor modifications in Doncaster.

During festivities in Latvia celebrating the 155-year anniversary of the first railway line in Latvia, the first 2M62U loco modernized by CZ LOKO was presented to the public. Of the old locomotives, the bogies and underframe have been re-used, reminding us that this double locomotives used to be a 2M62U. The rest of the locomotive was newly built by CZ LOKO at its Jihlava works in kit form and assembled at the LDz's service depot in Riga.

Next to a new body, the locomotives also received new engines. The 2M62UM is powered by two 16-cylinder MTU type 16V 4000 R43 engines, delivering a total power output of 4.4MW. With the new engines, the locomotive complies with EU 97/68 Stage IIIa emission legislation.

Related sections:

(Christian Klotz)

This image by Yannick Hauser shows that the recently delivered Europorte 4040 has meanwhile entered revenue service.

On May 24, an Vectron convoy consisting of two electrics and two diesels arrived at Mönchengladbach Hauptbahnhof, most likely for further transport to the Siemens test centre at Wegberg-Wildenrath. The transport comprised of Vectron DE locos 247 903 and 247 904, as well as Vectron AC 193 930 (with diesel module) and Vectron MS 193 902. The sighting of 247 904 means there are now at least four of type.

(Dr. Günther Barths / Wolfgang Scheer)

Related sections:
SiemensVectron DE

Beacon Rail Leasing's freshly repainted 513-09 is now on hire to Berlin-based rail freight operator CTL Logistics GmbH. Note that the loco has kept its former MRCE service numbers 513-9, but now with an extra 0. Images of the loco in service for CTL Logistics can be found here: link.

This morning: Maiden run of the new 245 026 for DB Fernverkehr's Sylt Shuttle services. One more to go to complete the batch of 7 (245 021-027) for DB Fernverkehr.

(Christian Klotz)

British passenger train operator TransPennine Express (TPE) has closed an agreement with CAF for the supply of thirteen sets of five-car locomotive-hauled coaches. The coaches will be financed by Beacon Rail Leasing and powered by Class 68 diesel locomotives which will be hired by TPE from Direct Rail Services (and which are also owned by Beacon Rail Leasing). Most of the locomotives that will be used are already built.

Delivery of the coaches will commence in 2018. Subsequently the loco-hauled sets will enter service on the route connecting Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle, where they will replaced Class 185 DMUs. The order is part of a larger order for new passenger trains. Additionally, CAF will supply twelve five-car Civity UK InterCity EMUs, financed by Eversholt Rail Group.

(Image: Paul Hayes)

DRS 68025, the latest addition to DRS' fleet of Class 68 locomotives, visited the Severn Valley Railway for the Spring Diesel Festival, which took place on May 19-21.

(Howard Lewsey / Jack Meakin)

On May 20, GBRf 66763 not only debuted on its first passenger service at the Severn Valley Railway Spring Diesel Festival, it was also officially named after the heritage railway.

(Howard Lewsey / Jack Meakin)

Beacon Rail Leasing has entered into an agreement with Ascendos Rail Leasing to acquire the latter. Pending approval from regulatory authorities, the deal is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2016. It is clear that Beacon Rail Leasing is rapidly expanding its portfolio. Earlier it had already taken over 27 diesel locomotives from MRCE (ER20 & Class 66).

With the acquisition of Ascendos again Class 66s (24) and EuroRunners (3) will be added to the fleet, as well as Class 145 (5) and Class 185 (3) electrics. Headquartered in Luxembourg, with additional offices in London and Munich, Ascendos’ current portfolio includes a total of 35 locomotives and 100 freight wagons on lease in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, 35 passenger train units on lease in Germany, and 67 double decker coaches on lease in Denmark.

Beacon owns and manages a modern fleet of 190 locomotives, 944 freight wagons and 20 passenger train units. Beacon’s customers include many of the top freight operators in the UK (GB Railfreight, Freightliner and DRS) and leading locomotive and rolling stock operators throughout Europe and Scandinavia.

Commenting on the transaction, Ted Gaffney, CEO of Beacon, said: “The acquisition of Ascendos allows us to continue to build our portfolio of locomotives and is in line with our strategy and commitment to being a leader in this segment of the market. Ascendos’ portfolio of rolling stock nicely complements our existing fleet of locomotives and allows us to expand our presence into the European passenger train market. Overall, we believe that the portfolio and staff of Ascendos is a great fit for Beacon and is additive to our existing platform.”

Pamplona Capital Management (“Pamplona”) acquired Beacon in May 2014 through Pamplona Capital Partners III, LP, a 2011 vehicle with $2.7 billion of committed capital. Since closing, Beacon has been an active acquirer of assets through portfolio acquisitions, the placement of new build orders and the closing of sale / leaseback transactions with various freight and passenger operators, significantly increasing the scale of the portfolio and diversifying both the lessee and asset base.

Some short livery news from the UK: DRS 66424 has been repainted in the 'basic' DRS livery, while DRS 66433 has arrived at Eastleigh Works to take the place of 66424 and to undergo the same process.

On May 10, the brand new Beacon Rail > DRS 68025 performed its first working on British tracks.

On May 10, GB Railfreight organized a charter train as part of the naming festivities of 66779 at the National Railway Museum in York. One of the two locos on the train was 66737 Lesia, which was named after the wife of GB Railfreight's Managing Director John Smith on 7th May 2011 in Kettering. To celebrate her birthday, the loco has recently been fitted with red wheels and red plates by GBRf. Happy birthday!

(Howard Lewsey)

GB Railfreight's 66779 has officially been named Evening Star at the National Railway Museum, where it will stay for two weeks. A selection from the statement by GB Railfreight:

Today (10th May), during a ceremony at the National Railway Museum in York, GB Railfreight unveiled the name and livery of locomotive 66779, the last Class 66 to be built for the UK and European markets. GBRf has named locomotive 66779 “Evening Star” and it has been liveried in lined passenger express ‘brunswick green’, in commemoration of the last steam locomotive of the same name to have been built by Swindon Works for British Railways in 1960 (Mainline Diesels: 92220 (link)).

This is a significant moment for the industry. The Class 66s have made a major contribution to UK rail freight, transforming reliability since their introduction in 1998. In recognition of these achievements, GBRf has promised to donate 66779 to the National Railway Museum National Heritage Committee at the end of its working life, to be preserved for the benefit of the public.

66779 is the last of seven locomotives (66773 – 66779) that were procured from EMD and that arrived in the UK in February of this year. In addition to the 21 Class 66s that arrived in the UK last year, they bring the operator’s Class 66 fleet to 78 locomotives. Given their heavy freight capabilities, the 28 locomotives will be used to support operations across various GBRf market portfolios.

(GB Railfreight / Pictures: Richard Gennis & John Whittingham)

GBRf 66779, the last Class 66 locomotive ever built, was transported to the National Railway Museum on May 9. The covers had already been removed, only the nameplates carrying the name "Evening Star" were still covered for the official naming event today (May 10). Some nice images of the loco can be found here and here.

The brand new Beacon Rail > VFLI E4044 has touched down on French tracks. Special thanks to Nicolas Villenave who sent us these images of E4044 at Perpignan on May 9. In the early morning of May 11, the loco officially entered service after being accepted by Beacon Rail Leasing and VFLI.

Ludwig GS a.k.a. Trainspotter GS just delivered these images of Class 88 no. 88001 pulling its first freight trains on the test circuit of VUZ Velim in the Czech Republic.

After GBRf 66775 on May 4, now also GBRf 66774 has entered service. Its first service was on May 6.

Recently, NAH.SH 245 213-4's front panel has been repaired. The loco looks a bit different now as it service numbers has not been applied again.

(Martin Priebs / Henk Zwoferink)

On May 4, DB Fernverkehr 245 025 made its delivery run from Kassel to Niebüll. Jens Vollertsen and Henk Zwoferink were able to capture the locomotive on camera in Niebüll on May 5.

In February, a final batch of seven Class 66 locomotives for GB Railfreight was delivered. On May 4, GBRf 66775 was the first of 66773-779 to enter service.

Update: Mistakenly, we wrote March 4 instead of May 4.

This picture (link) shows DB Fernverkehr 245 025 heading towards Hannover near Salzderheiden on May 3. Most likely, the loco was on delivery run, but we're still looking for confirmation on this.

(Thierry Leleu)

Today (May 3), Beacon Rail > DRS 68023 and 68024 have been released into service.

(Howard Lewsey)

The brand new Beacon Rail > VFLI E4044 was captured on camera travelling on the back of a low loader in Albuixech today (May 3). The loco had left the factory and just started its journey to France.

(Malcolm Wilton-Jones)

Stadler Rail Valencia has delivered EURO 4000 locomotive E4043 to France, where the loco is subjected to a series of tests before it is handed over to VFLI. The loco is the first of six locos that VFLI ordered through Beacon Rail Leasing in January 2015. E4043 has been out-shopped in a promotional livery to attract new personnel. This new livery will also be applied to E4044-E4048 that will be delivered later this year. Special thanks to Nicolas Villenave for the pictures.

After tests in diesel mode, trial runs with Class 88 locomotive 88001 in electric mode have also commenced. A nice image report of the loco testing the electrical equipment can be found here: link.

(Norman Gottberg)

Also the last Class 68 locomotive of the second batch has a name now: Superb.

GBRf 66748 is the last of the three grey Class 66 locomotives in the operator's fleet (66747-749) to have been repainted in GB Railfreight livery.

The image above shows the loco still in its grey livery at Wellingborough on April 6, 2015.

(Howard Lewsey / Picture: Richard Gennis)

This image on Flickr shows the brand new Europorte 4041 on the back of a low loader in Sagunto, Spain. So we can soon expect this loco in France.

The latest ex-MRCE diesel to have been restyled in Beacon Rail blue is 513-9. An image of the locomotive can be found here: link.

Stadler Rail has delivered EURO 4000 locomotive 4040 to Europorte. These images by Thierry Leleu show the locomotive at the Saint-Jory shunting yard on April 24. Note that the locomotive still has Vossloh work plates, something which is not the case for UK DUAL locomotive 88001 anymore. It will be interesting to see what plates will be fitted to Europorte 4041 and 4042.

It has been indicated that DRS 68021 has entered service on April 20.

Today (April 20), DRS 68022 Resolution entered service.

(Howard Lewsey)

DRS 66423 has been released from Eastleigh Works after a repaint. The image shows the loco passing through Clapham Junction in its new livery. Meanwhile, DRS 66424 has arrived in Eastleigh to undergo a paint job too.

(Howard Lewsey)

CargoNet 312 001 has been damaged when it derailed after hitting a single piece of rock that had come down the adjacent slope. If we understand this news item (with picture) correctly, the incident happened on April 18.

Today DRS 68020 made its first appearance in revenue earning traffic on the Fife Circle trains in Scotland.

(Howard Lewsey)

One of the visitors at the Bluebell Railway Diesel Gala from 15-17 April: GBRf 66770.

(Dave Wilson)

Another two locomotives of the second batch of Beacon Rail > DRS Class 68 locomotives have received their names. DRS 68023 now carries the name Achilles, 68024 the name Centaur. We expect 68025, the last loco of the second batch, to be named soon.

(Nicolas Beyaert / Peter Lovell)

Related sections:
AlstomBB 75000: Akiem & SNCF

DRS 68022 has been named Resolution.

On April 14, the future Beacon Rail/DRS 88001 was captured on camera behind Rail Adventure 103 222 travelling through Germany. The loco is on a journey to Velim (CZ), where it will be subjected to dynamic tests on the Velim test ring.

(Norman Gottberg / Alex Huber / Christian Klotz / Marcus Schrödter)

In the night of March 24, the final engineering train as part of GB Railfreight's ten-year London Underground contract was prepared at Wellingborough Yard. The image above shows GBRf 66718 at work with special headboard at Barking Flyover on March 25. The image below shows the locomotive without headboard after it had returned to Wellingborough Yard with the final train on March 29. Special thanks go out to Richard Gennis for these pictures.

The recently delivered DRS 68020 and 68021 have been named. 68020 carries the name 'Reliance', 68021 the name 'Tireless'

Class 88 loco 88001, a mainline hybrid (D+E) locomotive for Direct Rail Services from the UK, is on its way from Spain to Germany. Most likely the journey will then continue to VUZ Velim in the Czech Republic. Here we see the machine behind Crossrail's PB03, on its way from Antwerpen-Waaslandhaven to Aachen-West, in Deurne (BE). Thanks John Liekens.

The TRAXX in brown is no more. Since May 2015, Macquarie Rail's 285 103-8 had a brown livery for HSL Logistik. Now the machine has been seen in Pirna, in new light paint again and without registration numbers. A unique TRAXX design is no more. DSO

Big news from Spain today: While Stadler Rail Valencia is still working hard on an order placed by VFLI (via Beacon Rail Leasing) for six EURO 4000 locomotives, of which the delivery will commence very soon, it announces that VFLI has ordered a further three EURO 4000 diesels. The locomotives will be equipped for services in France and Belgium, and will be delivered in the spring of 2017. This order will raise the number of EURO 4000 locomotives in VFLI's fleet to 17 and the number of EURO 4000s for French operators to 51.

An overview:
E4017-E4022: 6 locomotives, delivered in 2013, leased from Beacon Rail Leasing
E4027-E4028: 2 locomotives, delivered in 2015, owned by VFLI
E4043-E4048: 6 locomotives, to be delivered in 2016, leased from Beacon Rail Leasing
E40xx-E40xx: 3 locomotives, to be delivered in 2017, owned by VFLI

A special thanks goes out to Richard Gennis, who captured this small but special line-up on camera on March 24. GBRf 66718 and 66721 were lined up before being attached to the last service of a ten-year contract between GB Railfreight and London Underground Limited (LUL), which was 6Z63 Wellingborough Yard to Barking.

According to GB Railfreight this marked "the end of a highly successful 10-year contract with London Underground where we've been busy on many weekends providing engineering trains to work on LU Infrastructure BTRs (Ballasted Track Renewals). Since 2006, each weekend where our services have been used we've run anything between two and eight trains bringing sleepers, rails, ballast and materials from Wellinborough and Ferme Park over special connections onto the District or Metropolitan lines, and we have then taken away spoil and life expired track panels."

GB Railfreight has taken over the contract to operate the Belmond Royal Scotsman from West Coast Railways and has repainted one of its Class 66 locomotives in a corresponding livery.

The image shows 66746 at Basingstoke on the 11th of April working 0E66 09:35 Eastleigh Works to Doncaster Roberts Road. Many thanks to Stuart Cronin who sent us the picture.

Belgian railfreight operator Railtraxx operates the former Lappwaldbahn (LWB) DE 6607 on a temporary basis. The loco replaces Railtraxx 266 118-9 for approximately five weeks.

Meanwhile, Lappwaldbahn has also received something new in exchange for DE 6607. The German operator is now operating Beacon Rail Leasing's 653-2.

(Marvin Fries / Martin Priebs)

Siemens and GoBrightline have given a sneakpeek of the Charger locomotives for All Aboard Florida under construction. All Aboard Florida will receive five sets consisting of five coaches each and Charger locomotives on each end. Note that the front design of these locos differs from that of the recently presented locomotive: link. It seems that the 10 AAF locos have longer noses attached to the original cab design for better streamlining.

The Siemens trains for the Brightline in Florida get a custom made design. Siemens has meanwhile completed the first...

Geplaatst door MainlineDiesels.net op donderdag 7 april 2016

Akiem > ETF 75024 has been decorated with special stickers promoting the 10th edition of the Somme Bay Steam Festival (Le Fête de la Vapeur en Baie de Somme), which will be held on April 15-17.

(Nicolas Beyaert)

Related sections:
AlstomBB 75000: Akiem & SNCF

Pressnitztalbahn 253 014-9 can be seen on German rails again. Ever since its accident in Anger-Rogätz on June 27, 2014, the locomotive had been out of service awaiting repairs.

Back in service after its accident in mid-2014: Pressnitztalbahn 253 014

Geplaatst door MainlineDiesels.net op dinsdag 5 april 2016

Railtraxx has applied logos and numbers to Class 66 locomotive RL001, which it hires from Ascendos Rail Leasing. The loco now sports German style numbers in the form of 266 031-4.

(Jannick Falk)

Today (April 5), Dutch general cargo vessel Eendracht arrived at the Port of Workington with three new Class 68 locomotives on board: 68023, 024 and 025. With the arrival of the locos in the UK, the entire second batch of the type (68016-025) has now been completed by Stadler Rail Valencia. The three will be transported by rail to Carlisle Kingmoor tomorrow. Later this year, delivery of a third batch will commence, consisting of seven locomotives: 68026-032.

Similar to other locomotives of the second batch, 68023-025 have been delivered in a base blue livery. DRS vinyls will be applied by the operator itself. Of the recently delivered 68020-022, two locos have recenlty been brought into the DRS livery by the British operator. It concerns 68020 and 68022. 68021 will follow soon.

(Brian Garvin / Howard Lewsey / Malcolm Wilton-Jones)

GB Railfreight 66746 is currently being repainted by Arlington at Eastleigh Works: link. This loco has been carrying the current GB Railfreight livery for some time already (see image), so we expect the loco will be outshopped in a bit more special colour scheme soon.

Updated: It has been confirmed that 66746 is being repainted in a Royal Scotsman livery because GB Railfreight has taken over the contract to run this train.

(Howard Lewsey)

DRS 66423 arrived at Eastleigh Works on March 30. Here the locomotive will be repainted into the new basic DRS livery as applied to other class members. An image of the locomotive being prepared can be found here: link.

(Howard Lewsey)

New in the fleet of DB Fernverkehr: 245 024 with REV 22.03.2016. On 01.04.2016 the machine left the Bombardier factory in Kassel and started its northbound voyage, to Sylt.

(Christian Klotz)

GB Railfreight 66748 has been seen on its way to Arlington in Eastleigh, where it will lose its grey livery (see image) in favour of the current GBRf livery. It is the last of the trio 66747-749 to undergo this process, so soon this temporary grey livery with orange stickers will become a thing of the past.

(Howard Lewsey)

Recently, Crossrail Benelux returned its DE 6313 to leasing company Macquarie European Rail. This loco is better known as 266 107-2 and has now entered service for ITL in Germany. The loco is easy to recognize as it is still red/white, but with additional ITL logos. A nice image report can be found here: link.

We were very curious what the final result would be when the locomotive was still in a very basic stage of construction, but now we can present you a view on the full locomotive. On March 25, locomotive 4601 was presented to U.S. Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg who received a tour through the Siemens rail manufacturing plant in Sacramento, California. Testing of the recently completed locomotive will commence soon.

The Sacramento manufacturing plant has been in operation for over 30 years and employs over 800 people. The 583,000 square-foot rail plant boasts full manufacturing capabilities including design, engineering, testing, carshell, bogies, subassembly and final assembly. To meet growing demand for its passenger rail locomotive and coach technology, Siemens recently opened a new 125,000-sqft expansion at the plant and plans to hire over 200 manufacturing positions over the next 18 months to meet its growing needs. The plant is currently engineering and building electric locomotives for Amtrak and SEPTA, new diesel-electric Charger locomotives for the Departments of Transportation in Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri, Washington and Maryland, light rail vehicles for four cities, and high-speed trainsets for Brightline.

FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg and Siemens Rolling Stock President Michael Cahill in front of the first fully-produced diesel-electric Charger locomotive.

Related sections:

For almost 10(!) years, ER 20-012 was in service for Nord-Ostsee-Bahn in Northern Germany. Recently NOB returned the locomotive to Beacon Rail Leasing and now it has turned up in Slovakia where it is operated by LTE: link.

(Martin Greiner)

Recently, five EuroRunner locomotives leased by Nord-Ostsee-Bahn from Beacon Rail were returned to the lessor and left Schleswig-Holstein. New Class 245 TRAXX Multi Engine locomotives have taken over the regional services to and from the island of Sylt. Not only Nord-Ostsee-Bahn is using them there, also DB Fernverkehr increasingly uses Class 245 locomotives for its Sylt Shuttles. Time for some pictures of these locos that have now become a regular sight here:

(Jens Vollertsen)

PCW 7 has arrived at the ÖBB-Technische Services workshops in Linz, Austria, where it will be overhauled.

(Andreas Kepplinger)

DRS 66430 and 66431 collected the brand new DRS 68020-022 at Workington Dock yesterday (March 24) and brought them to Carlisle Kingmoor. An image of the transport can be found here: link.

Today (March 23), DRS 68020-022 arrived by ship at the Port of Workington, becoming the first new Class 68 locomotives to have been delivered in 2016. At the moment of writing, the first locomotive had already been unloaded. Transfer of the locomotives is scheduled for tomorrow.

With the delivery of 68020-68022, the second batch of Class 68 locomotives ordered by DRS through Beacon Rail Leasing is almost complete. Of this batch, only three locomotive still have to be delivered: 68023-025. When completed, first the delivery of the third batch of locomotives will commence (68026-32), followed by the ten Class 88 electro-diesels that are based on the Class 68.

(Brian Garvin / Howard Lewsey)

GBRf 66747 (leased from Beacon Rail Leasing) has been released from Eastleigh Works, where it received a repaint from grey into the current GB Railfreight livery. An image of the loco in fresh paint can be found here: link. This leaves 66748 as the only grey Class 66 locomotive in GBRf's fleet. Note that 66747 received Beacon Rail Leasing logos on its sides, similar to 66749.

(Chris South)

Some interesting pictures turned up on k-report of a half 2M62UM locomotive: link, link and link. In November 2014, CZ LOKO announced that it would it remanufacture 14 2M62U locomotives for the Latvian Railways (LDz) for use with LDz Cargo. In the modernization process only the bogies and underframes will be reused.

The double locomotives will receive two MTU 16V Series 4000 R43 diesel engines rated at 2,200 kW, creating a total power rating of 4,400 kW. The Stage IIIa compliant twin-section diesels will have a maximum speed of 100 km/h.

Related sections:

Today, Colas Rail 70810 made a run between Westbury and Worcester with RILA track measurement equipment attached to its front. This equipment was developed by the Dutch firm Raildata (now part of Fugro) and can be attached to various existing rolling stock (locomotives and multiple units). As a result specially adapted measuring trains are not needed. Attached to regular trains, there is no additional pressure on scarce track capacity on busy routes. More about Raildata here: link.

(David Moreton)

In February 2016, we already showed a little sneak peek of Beacon Rail ER 20-003 that was being restyled into Beacon Rail blue/gold/black. Today, Patrick Holzbach captured the locomotive on camera at Grosskorbetha in its new guise. It is the first of the ten EuroRunners taken over from MRCE to loose the livery of its former owner.

ER 20-003 has showed itself outside in its new livery today:

Geplaatst door MainlineDiesels.net op maandag 21 maart 2016

It has been indicated that the empty body of DB Cargo UK 66048 has been sold to Electro-Motive Services International in Longport, Stoke-on-Trent. Initially, the locomotive body was earmarked for scrapping, but it seems plans have changed. The purpose of the acquisition is still unknown. The body currently looks like this: link.

The Lithuanian Railways (LG) took delivery of 44 EuroRunner locomotives in two batches between 2007 and 2010, all powered by 2,000 kW 16V 4000 R41 power units manufactured by MTU. On average, the locomotives' engines have had more than 24,000 hours of service on the clock, so in July 2013 a joint project was started by LG, Siemens, Baltic Marine Group and MTU to overhaul them.

At Vilnius Depot, the engines are removed from the locos after which they are transported to the MTU Reman Technology Centre in Magdeburg, Germany. Here the engines are remanufactured to current standards, receiving various technological updates to make them up to date again. To make the locomotives available as quickly as possible, two earlier modernized "swing engines" have been made available at Vilnius Depot to get the locos out of the workshop and back in service as soon as possible.

A full report including images about the rejuvenation project can be found on MTU-report.com (link).

(MTU-report.com / Picture: Dirk Einsiedel)

Related sections:
SiemensER 20 CF: LG

There are indications that three new Class 68 locomotives for Beacon Rail Leasing/Direct Rail Services are inbound for the UK. Most likely to be continued in the coming week!

Updated x2: The three locos are reported to be on board of the ATLANTIC with destination Workington and current ETA: March 22. The ship can be tracked on marinetraffic.com (link).

It seems that LWB DE 6607 has lost its Lappwaldbahn logos. It looks quite naked now without them. This could be a sign of the loco having been returned to the lessor. Who can tell us more?

(Marcus Schrödter)

It's not the first time a NAH.SH Multi Engine TRAXX suffers fire damage (245 204 was damaged in November 2015), but this time things seem less worse. Feuerwehr Itzehoe reports that on March 15 one of the ventilation engines of 245 202-7 caught fire, but that the fire could be put out quickly and that no other parts of the locomotive were damaged. 245 201-9 came to the rescue to move the train from Itzehoe to Husum: link.

Recently, NIS 723 702-7 could be seen making its maiden run, now the loco has been sighted in Hungary as part of a transport towards Serbia.

NIS 723.702 on its way towards Serbia

Geplaatst door MainlineDiesels.net op donderdag 17 maart 2016

Europorte 4039, the first of a new batch of four for the French operator, has arrived in the French town of Saint-Jory.

(Thierry Leleu)

This morning, a new edition started of the well-known European Rolling Stock Forum in Warsaw. The 2016 edition brings the latest news and trends about the Polish and CEE rolling stock market. Many industry representatives have gathered, it is going to be interesting.

This year also a colorful report has been composed about the Polish railway market. “Railway Rolling Stock in Poland 2016” is a comprehensive analysis describing in details conditions of operation, production and modernization of railway rolling stock in Poland. A 15 page preview can be viewed online.

This 200 page document, prepared by Railway Market – CEE Railway Rolling Stock Review portal’s team, is a source of knowledge about entities functioning in Poland, types of vehicles which they are using and their purchase and modernization plans. The report also describes all types of rail vehicles operating on Polish tracks. The analysis provides useful knowledge about part of the railway market in one of the biggest countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

After DRS 68019, that performed its first revenue service on March 7, also 68018 has entered service. The loco made its first appearance in traffic on March 9.

Update: Patrick Perry managed to capture the locomotive on camera during its first time on the Mountsorrel to Crewe ballast train:

Impressions by Peter Lovell of five Colas Rail Class 70s returning from London after taking part in overnight Crossrail engineering work in the London area, taken within one hour on March 12 along the Great Western Main Line.

Railwaygazette.com reports: the end of an era. No longer is it obligatory to give new rolling stock in the UK a yellow front. However, it is still regarded as good practice and locomotives and trains are required to have head light configurations instead that comply with TSI LOC&PAS.

This picture by Nahne Johannsen shows that DB Fernverkehr 245 023 has performed its first duties in revenue service between Niebüll and Westerland (Sylt).

13 July 2015, Prasa invited media to experience a short return train trip hauled by the newly acquired AFRO4000 from Pretoria station to Akasiaboom station.

Geplaatst door Railways Africa op woensdag 15 juli 2015

In early January we already reported about the restricted clearance for the AFRO4000 locomotives to operate on South African tracks, now there is some more information available. Having a height of 4,140mm, the locomotives are too high to maintain a required minimum vertical gap of 150mm between the roof and the contact wire. However, on routes without overhead wiring there is no problem.

Railways Africa reports on its Facebook page that routes electrified with a 25kV AC overhead power system that have wires at a minimum height of 4,500mm above track level also do not form a problem for the locomotives to operate. "With respect to lines electrified at 3kV DC (some of the older sections have wiring lower than 4.5m above rail), Prasa gives the assurance that there will always be a minimum 150mm clear, between loco roof and wire."

(Railways Africa)

The former MRCE and now Beacon Rail 513-9 was hired to ETF Services from France, but has recently been returned to the lessor. Now the loco has been sighted (link) in Cottbus, most likely for maintenance.

As can be seen on this image on Trainspo, 333.309-3 is now operated by Transfesa Rail. In fact, the locomotive was reliveried in the last month of 2015 and hired by Renfe AMF to Transfesa Rail in January 2016.

After a brief outing with a Mk2 passenger coach on March 4, it seems that Beacon Rail>DRS 68019 'Brutus' has now entered revenue service. Howard Lewsey captured the locomotive on camera at Nuneaton working 6U76 Crewe - Mountsorrel today (March 7). The locomotive arrived in the UK together with 68018 in November 2015, but had not entered service yet for undisclosed reasons.

According to this forumthread on DSO, the Gama locomotives of PKP Intercity will come back into service on the Ostbahn today (March 7). The locos were temporarily replaced by old SU45 diesel locos as the Gamas were plagued by technical issues that had to be resolved.

Probably as one of the first international subsidiaries of DB Cargo, DB Schenker Rail UK has changed its name alligning it with the new corporate identity. As of March 02, 2016 the company operates under the name DB Cargo UK. There are several 100 locos in our database owned or operated by DB Cargo UK, we will update the profiles of these locos soon.

(Image: David Kelham)

GBRf 66749 has been repainted into the latest GB Railfreight livery by Arlington at Eastleigh Works. An image of the loco in its new livery (with small Beacon Rail logos!) can be found here: link. The loco previously looked like this:

Update: GBRf 66747 is also in the process of being repainted. This will leave GBRf 66748 as the only grey representative of its Class in the GB Railfreight fleet (for now).

(Chris South / Image: Peter Lovell)

On March 5, Freightliner 66527, 66530 and 66535 passed the French/German border near Saarbrücken. Pulled by FPL 66001, the locos then headed towards Forst (Lausitz) on the German/Polish border, where they should have arrived around 4 o'clock in the morning of March 6. The final destination of the train is Gliwice.

(Dominik Becker / Lucas Hirsch)

Always wondered how modern locomotives are constructed? The programme 'Abendschau' of the 'Bayerischen Rundfunk' gives us a tour through the production halls of the Vectron locomotives in Munich:

Not only does the item show the first Vectron locomotives for BLS Cargo (475 series), but also a new Vectron DE locomotive under construction. Enjoy!

Part I
Part II

(The videos are available until 07.03.2016).

Related sections:
SiemensVectron DE

Railway Gazette reports that Tülomsaş "was optimistic of winning more orders for the PowerHaul diesel locomotives which it assembles in Turkey to a GE Transportation design." The company specifically mentioned the opening of the market in Iran to create new opportunites, "especially amongst the private operators." Besides Iran, Tülomsaş also sees potential in Pakistan.

(Railway Gazette International)

Due to engine damage, it has taken a while for 223 053 to be repainted into the silver/blue/yellow Chemnitz-Leipzig Express livery. For that reason, IntEgro 223 152 acted as a replacement for the time being. With 223 053 coming available to Transdev, 223 152 comes available for use by IntEgro again.

(Sven P.)

On March 3, Raildox 76 110-0 could be found on the Dutch Hanzelijn between Lelystad and Zwolle for ETCS trial runs.

(Reinhard Abt)

Since May 2014, Oaktree Capital was the 100% owner of Railpool. It acquired the lease company from its founders: KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH and HSH Nordbank AG.

Now it announces that Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC has taken a 49% stake in Railpool. This deal provides more financial security for the ongoing fleet expansion of Railpool.

You may have read about the current re-organization of the Deutsche Bahn. Together with consultation company McKinsey, it is redefining its services and organizational structure, so it can face the rapidly changing market circumstances.

One of the measures taken is the merger of all rail transport services of the Deutsche Bahn into one division now called 'Traffic & Transport'. Railfreight logistics is taken out of the logistics division and will continue under the 'good old' DB Cargo brand name. To the outside world the Traffic & Transport division will brand itself as 'DB' so we don't expect locomotives nor carriages to get DB Cargo logos again. So the DB logo currently in use will stay as it is.

Until the end, all international railfreight divisions (for example DB Schenker Rail Polska and DB Schenker Rail Italia) will be renamed as DB Cargo.

The non-rail logistic services will continue under the name DB Schenker. Separating the rail related activities from the rest fits the strategy to (partially) sell the new DB Schenker. DB has intentions to do this, but faces strong opposition form the German government. To be continued.

For our Railcolor.net and MainlineDiesels.net, it means we have to rename the owner name of several thousands of locomotives. This will be done in one big batch. We are working on it.

The repaint of Aggregate Industries 59004 into AI company colours has been completed at Eastleigh Works. An image of the loco in its new livery can be found here: link. Note the plates on the right cab marking the 30-year anniversary of Class 59 locomotives in the UK.

Recently, we already reported that the delivery of Class 245 Multi Engine TRAXX locomotives to Paribus Capital (for use with NOB between Hamburg and Westerland (Sylt)) was completed. The locos replace the EuroRunners that NOB hires from Beacon Rail Leasing. On March 3, five ER20s left Schleswig-Holstein: ER 20-013, 012, 001, 011 and 014. It seems the lease of these locos has now ended. An image of the transport can be found here (link) and here (link).

DRS 66431 has received a paint job and now carries the basic DRS Class 66 livery. The loco was released from Eastleigh Works today.

(Howard Lewsey)

Raildox 76 110-0 has performed border transition tests between Essen (BE) and Roosendaal (NL) today (March 2). The image above (left) was made by Jeroen de Vries and shows the loco at Nispen during one of the test runs. The image to the right of it was made by Stephan Breugelmans in Roosendaal. The image below, by Martijn Schokker, was taken near Breukelen when the loco headed to Amsterdam Watergraafsmeer after the tests.

On March 1, DB Fernverkehr 245 023 made its delivery run towards Niebüll.

(Kai-Florian Köhn)

Today we added a section for the five CZ LOKO 742.7 locos to the website. Many thanks to Thierry Leleu and Aleš Bílek for contributing the first images for the profiles and section. Click on the category below to go to the section.

Related sections:
CZ LOKO742.7

With the arrival of the repaired 245 204, Paribus > NAH.sh now has all fifteen TRAXX DE Multi Engine locomotive available for its Sylt services, performed by operator NOB (the designated 245 201-215).

Also new: DB Fernverkehr still awaits the delivery of five more TRAXX DE Multi Engine locomotives for its car shuttles to Sylt. Starting in March, Bombardier will deliver one machine per month, so the series of seven will be complete in July. BTW, we have already seen 245 023 around Kassel.

(Nahne Johannsen / Martin Priebs / Rail Business)

On Saturday February 27, Freightliner 66528 brought sister locomotives Freightliner 66527, 66535 and 66530 (in that order) from Leeds Midland Road to Dollands Moor, from where the locos will continue their trip to Poland over land. A picture of the transport can be found here: link.

The 3 locos were noted (and photographed) still carrying the EVNs:

92 70 0066527-7 UK-FGL
92 70 0066535-0 UK-FGL
92 70 0066530-1 UK-FGL

Note that these EVN numbers are false and will most likely change later on.

(Brian Carter)

Captured on camera by Peter Franssen at Neuwied on February 27: 513-9 (266 036), 653-2 (266 112), 561-4 (266 041), 561-3 (266 040), 561-2 (266 039) on transport behind DB 152 079 and 152 049 towards Köln-Gremberg and without any ETF stickers. It is safe to conclude that the five locos have been returned to leasing company Beacon Rail by the French operator. The five have been used by ETF to provide traction for engineering trains on the LGV Est and the LGV SEA.

Updated: on March 2, 266 036, 039, 040 and 041 turned up in Hagen -> link.

Raildox 76110 has arrived in the Netherlands. After completing ETCS test runs together with 76109, it will do the same in the Netherlands. These runs are done for Bombardier. After the test runs, the machines will go back to Raildox.

Vandaag is de Raildox 76 110 voor testritten gearriveerd op de Kijfhoek. Thx Robert voor de foto!

Posted by Rail Magazine on Saturday, February 27, 2016

FX Huyghebaert was able to catch both machines in Yvoir (BE) yesterday:

On 11.11.2015, the brand new Paribus > NAH.SH 245 204-3 caught fire in active duty. The machine had to be taken out of service and was sent back to Kassel for repairs. Today the machine was sent out again by Bombardier, again ready for duty. (Christian Klotz)

(Christian Klotz)

MEG's newest toy, hired from ECR: 77023.

Meanwhile, 077 030-0 is in service for DB Schenker Rail Deutschland.

(Marcus Schrödter / Karl Arne Richter / Rocco Weidner)

According to this picture (link), RTS 2016 906 is/has been on hire to either LTE/Adria Transport.

Last week, Raildox TRAXX DE no. 76109 and 76110, payed Kassel a visit. On 24.02.2016 the machines arrived in Belgium together.

Now Wallorail.be reports that both diesel locomotives are in Belgium for border transition tests. They will be running on 'line 24' starting from Montzen.

La BR 76109 accompagnée de la BR 76110 de chez raildox (Allemagne) en essais sur le réseau belge ce 24 février 2016 en passage à Eppegem.

On 23.02.2016, DB Fernverkehr's future Sylt locomotive 245 023 had its maiden run. Note the absence of the 'Zugzielanzeiger' and the LED headlights.

(Christian Klotz)

In the video below, it can be seen that construction of the first Charger passenger diesel locomotive is progressing quite well. Not only has Siemens installed the first QSK95 diesel engine (supplied by Cummins) and the alternator, but the locomotive body is also in an advanced stage of construction. This already gives a good impression what the loco will look like when finished. Judging from its blue livery, this locomotive will be for CalTrans from California.

Siemens celebrated a production milestone at our Sacramento rail manufacturing plant by installing the first Cummins...

Geplaatst door RollingOnRails op vrijdag 19 februari 2016

In a few days, two new EURO 4000 locomotives will be transported from Spain to France. It concerns locos Europorte 4039 and 4040.

Locos 4039-4040 are part of an order for 4 locomotives. With the delivery of 4041-4042, the Europorte EURO 4000 fleet will be 32 locomotives strong. 12 of the 32 locomotives are leased from Beacon Rail Leasing: 4001-4004, 4009-4016.

(Manu López / Image: Nicolas Beyaert)

Ascendos PB 14 has been doing test runs recently for the certification of its newly installed ETCS installation. This picture (link) shows the loco at a very unusual place: the underground station of Brussels Zaventem Airport.

To celebrate the Class 59's 30st anniversary, a special rail tour was organized by Pathfinder Tours visiting the Whatley Quarry owned by Hanson plc and the Merehead Quarry of Aggregate Industries. Traction for the tour was provided by Aggregate Industries 59001, 59002 and DB Schenker Rail UK 59202.

David Moreton, who made these pictures, also sent us some older pictures of Class 59 locos in ARC and National Power liveries:

(David Moreton)

Yesterday, VR Vectron 3301 headed for the VUZ Velim test ring in the Czech Republic for dynamic trials (on temporary normal gauge bogies). Vectron DE locomotive 247 902 was responsible for the first part of the trip in Germany. Thanks to Aleš Bílek and Michael Raucheisen who captured the transport on camera at Furth im Wald and Reichertshausen respectively.

Related sections:
SiemensVectron DE

The brand new 723 702-7, built by CZ LOKO for NIS from Serbia, made its maiden run from Česká Třebová to Skalice nad Svitavou on February 19.

In December 2015, the Czech manufacturer delivered locomotive 723 701-9 as the first-built EffiShunter 500 to a Czech customer: the Třinecké Železárny (TŽ) steel works.

(Jiri Štembírek)

One year ago, Nordic Rail Service acquired Maxima 40 CC locomotive 264 009 from Schienen Güter Logistik (SGL). Now the loco also carries NRS logos. Thanks to Karl Arne Richter and Paul Henke for the images.

Related sections:
Maxima 30/40CC

This is the second new hybrid locomotive outshopped by Vosslo.. uuh, Stadler Rail this year. Meet the PRASADUAL, the first hybrid (dieselelectric+electric) for South-African passenger operator PRASA. This operator will lease the machines, of which 50 units are planned, from leasing company Swifambo. At least that was the plan. Now there is a dispute over these orders that has been taken to court. It is unclear what the effect will be on the PRASADUAL project.

We see a locomotive with a completely new cab design. The total height of the machine seems to be lower compared to the EURO/AFRO4000s (The height is reportedly a deal breaker with the PRASA AFRO4000s, although the machines are approved now for large parts of the PRASA rail network). The PRASADUAL, with 1.067 mm gauge bogies, should have a power output of 3 MW in electric mode and 2.8 MW in diesel mode. The diesel engine comes from Caterpillar (type C175). Maximum speed is 140 kph.

(Malcolm Wilton-Jones / Vossloh-rail-vehicles.com)

Today (February 15), GBRf 66773-779 were transported from Newport Docks to Doncaster behind 66708, in line: 66777, 66776, 66779, 66778, 66774, 66773 and 66775.

A special thanks to Ian Kinnear, David Moreton and Tim Hall, who captured the transport on camera!

On February 13, Beacon Rail ER 20-005 was seen on transfer in a car train towards Koper, Slovenia behind Adria Transport 2016 920. ER 20-005 still had its Slovenian service number 645-005 written on its cabs. It is unclear if the loco will be operated by SŽ again or by a different operator.

(Stefan Semlegger)

On February 13, a few days earlier than originally expected, GBRf 66773-779 arrived at Newport Docks. Some images of the unloading of the first locomotive can be found here: link. The freshly repainted 66708 was sent to collect the locomotives from the Docks and is scheduled to bring the locos to Doncaster on February 15.

The unloading of these seven locomotives is a special moment, as it is the very last time that new Class 66 locomotives are delivered to a European country. Due to Stage IIIb emission legislation, the Stage IIIa compliant Class 66 may not be sold anymore to customers in the EU. A Stage IIIb compliant version will not be developed by EMD/Progress Rail.

A special thanks to Richard Gennis, who photographed how 66777 and 66779 touched down on British soil: 66779, which is the last one to be built is seen bagged up and will remain bagged until May 10th when it will be unveiled at York Railway Museum. 66777 was officially the last to arrive as it was the last one to be unloaded!

Update 16.02.2016: Because we could not get enough of Richard's great images made during the unloading process on February 13, we decided to add some more:

On February 11, Norwegian freight operator Cargolink ceased operations after a decision by the company's board to file for insolvency. According to company, it had been struggling financially for a while now due to challenging competitive conditions. Other rail freight operators will most likely step in and take over Cargolink's transport contracts.

Cargolink operated various locomotives, of which three Class 66 diesels leased from Beacon Rail Leasing:

T66 403
T66 404
T66K 714

Now GBRf 66708 has been repainted into the current GB Railfreight livery with red and blue roundels, almost all Class 66 locomotives have been repainted into the company's current colour scheme. Of course, with the exception of 66701, which was repainted into the original GB Railfreight livery (with small Europorte logos) as the first 66 in the company's fleet, 66723-727 in First GBRf livery, the imported 66747-749 and of course locomotives in special liveries.

(Chris South / David Moreton)

On February 11, GB Railfreight 59003 passes Lichfield Trent Valley after a visit to the Elektro-Motive Services International facility at Longport.

(Jack Meakin-Sawyer)

A sneak preview of the new Beacon Rail livery for ER 20-003. With the recent acquisition of ER20 and Class 66 locomotives from, Beacon Rail Leasing now has one of the largest mainline diesel locomotive fleets of all leasing companies in Europe. ER 20-003, which was still in yellow/silver Dispolok livery, was due for a new paint job so the opportunity was taken to repaint the locomotive in company colours. We are very curious to know the final result!

(Beacon Rail)

As of March 2016, Deutsche Asset Management (Deutsche AM) will hold a 50% stake in Akiem. At this moment, the Franch leasing copany is a 100% subsidiary of the Ermewa Group, part of SNCF.

Together with Deutsche Asset Management (Deutsche AM), Akiem wants to expand its activities in Europe, a double its fleet in the next ten years.

(Rail Business)

More livery news from the UK: Aggregate Industries 59004 is currently at Eastleigh Works where it will lose its Foster Yeoman livery in favour of the Aggregate Industries company colours as already applied to 59001, 002 and 005. On February 2, the locomotive could be viewed being prepared for its repaint > link. The image above shows the locomotive in its old livery.

(Image: Peter Lovell)

66422 has been restyled into the new, more minimalistic, blue livery that DRS is gradually applying to its Class 66 locomotives. An image of the loco in its new guise > link.

Currently, trains with poluted soil are being operated between Switzerland and Veendam in the Netherlands. These trains surely create some colourful compositions thanks to the yellow containers and the Ascendos Class 66 locomotives hired by RheinCargo.

(Sytze Holwerda / Henk Zwoferink)

On January 28, CZ LOKO handed over locomotive 741 711-6 to ArcelorMittal Ostrava. ArcelorMittal Ostrava is the largest steel manufacturer of the Czech Republic and has an own railway network with a length of 190km. For the renewal of its locomotive fleet, the Czech steel manufacturer has chosen for CZ LOKO's 741.7 series. 20 Class 741.7 locomotives will replace 28 older locomotives built in the 1970s and 80s. They will predominantly be used for on-site operations.


Related sections:
CZ LOKO741.7

On February 2, the MV Happy Dragon left the port of Norfolk with GB Railfreight's 66773-779 on board and headed for Newport Docks in the UK. GB Railfreight indicated that the locos would arrive on the 15th, but on marinetraffic.com (where you can track the ship), an estimated arrival time of 10 AM on February 14 is indicated. Of course, this is subject to changes due to weather conditions for example.

(Brian Garvin)

Niederrheinische Verkehrsbetriebe Aktiengesellschaft NIAG currently has Vectron DE 247 902 in service for a two-week evaluation period. Note that it's very busy in the cab (probably for instruction): full house!

(Rolf Alberts)

Related sections:
SiemensVectron DE

The last seven built Class 66 locomotives are on their way to the UK. On its Facebook page, GB Railfreight announced that they "are now (MLD: February 1) at Lambert's Point, Norfolk, Virginia, where they will be loaded onto a vessel in the coming days to bring them to the UK (arriving circa 15th)".

Another Freightliner Class 66 has been identified to join the fleet of Freightliner PL, which means that at least three locos will head for Poland: 66527, 66530 and 66535.

The locos are being prepared for their adventure in Poland at Freightliner's workshop at Leeds Midland Road. Here the three also received their registration numbers: 92 70 066 5xx-x UK-FGL. Strangely, the registration numbers are only 11 digits long instead of 12 and we expected the vehicle keeper marking to be GB-FL or GB-FPL, as UK is incorrect and FGL does not seem to exist as a VKM.

We had already seen a nearly completed F125 for Metrolink about a week ago. In the meantime, construction of the first locomotive has finished.

88001 on test outside the Vossloh works, running on diesel power.

Related sections:
Stadler Rail ValenciaUK DUAL

It has been indicated that the estimated arrival date of the last built Class 66 locomotives ever is February 15 (if the snow in the US does not cause any delays). The seven will enter service with GB Railfreight as 66773-66779.

Meanwhile, GB Railfreight has released an image of 66779 at the EMD / Progress Rail works in Muncie. As the last Class 66 locomotive ever built, it "is going to look quite special" according to GBRf:

So here's the last ever (for now) Class 66 outside the factory in Muncie, Indiana. The final 7 locomotives 66773-66779...

Geplaatst door GB Railfreight op dinsdag 26 januari 2016

(Brian Garvin / GB Railfreight)

Rynek-Kolejowy reports: In early January, technical problems with the ten Gama diesel locomotives delivered by Pesa to PKP Intercity in 2015 occurred. The locomotives went back to the Polish manufacturer for attention and entered service after the manufacturer had solved all issues. However, the PKP Intercity quickly experienced a whole new problem with its new diesels. In mid-January temperature reached sub-zero values and the locomotives started to show malfunctions again due to the frost. Low availability even required the use of prototype locomotive 111Db-001.

If we understand the article on Rynek-Kolejowy correctly, the 10 locomotives were taken from traffic by January 23 pending a solution for the recurring problems. Eventhough the locos re-entered service the following day, again problems occurred on the 24th. The Polish long-distance operator has stated that if the availability level of the locomotives drops under what Pesa promised during the tendering process, financial sanctions will be considered.

It has been indicated that Freightliner PL will add some more Class 66 locomotives from the UK to its fleet. Locos 66530 and 66535 are currently being modified at the Freightliner workshop at Leeds Midland Road. If and when more locos will be prepared for use with Freightliner's Polish daughter company is still unknown.

On January 20, Metrolink released an image of the first of 20 EMD F125 locomotives that the operator has on order. These Tier 4 (comparable to EU 97/68 Stage IIIB) compliant locomotives have a maximum speed of 200km/h and are powered by a 3.5MW Caterpillar C175-20 engine. Metrolink was the first US operator to order Tier 4 compliant diesels, when it signed the deal in 2013.

On January 14, CZ LOKO 741 711-6 could be seen at the CZ LOKO works in Česká Třebová returning from a test run. It has been indicated that this loco will be operated by ArcelorMittal Ostrava soon.

(Šimon Prečo)

Related sections:
CZ LOKO741.7

Officially presented and delivered last month: the first EffiShunter 500 locomotive produced by CZ LOKO. Loco 723 701-9 was delivered by CZ LOKO to the Třinecké Železárny (TŽ) steel works and soon another locomotive will be outshopped by the Czech manufacturer. This second EffiShunter 500 has been ordered by Naftna Industrija Srbije a.d. from Novi Sad, Serbia and will be handed over in the first quarter of 2016.

Like many other CZ LOKO products, also the EffiShunter 500 uses the frame and bogies of an older locomotive type, which in this case was a ČKD-built Class 740 locomotive. The rest of the locomotive, which has a maximum speed of 80 km/h and which weighs 72 tonnes, is completely new. A Caterpillar C18 engine with an output of 522 kW powers the locomotive.


On January 8, DRS 68011 stranded at High Wycombe with a Chiltern passenger train from Birmingham Moor Street station to London Marylebone station due to a fire in the locomotive.

For rescue services on the Erfurt-Halle/Leipzig high speed line, DB Fernverkehr hires two Class 285 TRAXX diesel locos from Pressnitztalbahn. For this purpose, locos 285 101-5 and 285 102-4 have been equipped with automatic couplers.

Yesterday (January 6), ICE 1632 stranded on the NBS Erfurt-Halle/Leipzig and required the help of one of the rescue locos. This was the first time one of the locos had to come into action. On-board of the train, the rescue locos was also noticed (see Tweet). Unfortunately, a malfunctioning safety system also required the use of the second locomotive.

On 25.11.2015, Rail Cargo Carrier - Slovakia (the Slovakian licensed operator of the Rail Cargo Group) ran its first train under its own license in Slovakia with Taurus locomotives. On January 4, also the ÖBB 2016 Hercules premiered on freight services in Slovakia under the company's own license. The image shows loco 2016 001 with the freight train in question at the Container Terminal Bratislava operated by Rail Cargo Operator - CSKD.

Update: more images here: link.

(Peter Melicher / Martin Greiner)

On 17 December 2015, Railways Africa reported:

South Africa’s Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) has cleared the new Afro4000 locomotives for use on the country’s railways, saying in its report: “With the exception of locomotive height limitations in certain areas of the network and subject to the highlighted conditions in this report, the Prasa Afro 4000 series locomotives possess acceptable performance capabilities to operate on the South African network.

At the measured height of 4,140mm, the locomotives cannot always maintain the required minimum vertical gap of 150mm between the roof and the contact wire. This will lead to a higher risk of contact and flashover with the overhead traction equipment and operational delays. There is evidence on some of the Afro 4000 locomotives inspected that such contact/flashover has occurred during testing.


It sounds as though the locos can be safely operated anywhere except under certain 3kV DC overhead lines. Unfortunately this includes all major cities except Port Elizabeth and East London – and trains working from these two would be in potential trouble when approaching Bloemfontein."

MLD:: Of course, restricted approval for the South African network is good news for Vossloh Rail Vehicles (now part of Stadler Rail), as it allows further expansion of AFRO 4000 operations. However, recently, Prasa announced to take the Valencia based manufacturer to court to take back the locomotives, mainly because they are too high. Whether restrictive clearance will change Prasa's decision is something only the future will tell.

With effect from December 31, 2015, the sale of the Spanish locomotive business of Vossloh to Stadler Rail AG, Bussnang, Switzerland, has been completed. All relevant merger control clearances have in the meantime been obtained. The contract for the sale of the Rail Vehicles business unit, reported as discontinued operations, to Stadler had been signed on November 4, 2015.

Rail Vehicles, headquartered in Valencia, was managed by Vossloh as one of the three business units in Vossloh’s Transportation division. Its business activities include the development and manufacturing of innovative diesel-electric locomotives and light rail vehicles. In financial year 2014, the company generated sales in the amount of €223.2 million, in the first nine months of 2015, sales were €182.4 million.

Both remaining business units of the Transportation division, Locomotives in Kiel and Vossloh Electrical Systems, will be sold off either in full or in parts no later than 2017, or be transferred to a partnership that is no longer controlled by Vossloh. Vossloh will therefore consistently pursue all measures to further develop the potential of both businesses.


Various impressions of diesel power in the Port of Antwerp made in 2015 by Stephen van den Brande.

IntEgro 223 152 currently acts as traction power for Chemnitz-Leipzig Express services run by Transdev Regio Ost under its Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn brand, along with 223 054, 223 055 and 223 144. It temporarily takes the place of Ascendos DE 2000-01 (223 053), which is unavailable due to engine damage.

(Karl Arne Richter / Klaus Hentschel)