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723 709-2 in Česká Třebová on 8 December 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

CZ LOKO has out-shopped the EffiShunter 600 locomotive officially ordered by ČEPRO, a.s. in April 2018. The deal involved the modernization of oldie 740.891, which was tendered for in late-2017 and subsequently won by CZ LOKO in March 2018.

Originally, CEPRO ordered an EffiShunter 700 locomotive with a CAT C27 diesel engine on board instead of the less powerful EffiShunter 500 that houses a C18 engine. Meanwhile, the CZ LOKO product portfolio has shifted, replacing the 500 and 700 by an EffiShunter 600, which houses a Stage IIIb C18 engine delivering 563kW. The CEPRO loco is marketed as an EffiShunter 600, but still has a C27 engine. As a result, it is a little different to the standard EffiShunter 600.

VFLI's EURO DUAL with a rake of coaches used for dynamic testing at Les Aubrais-Orléans (Loiret) yard on 9 December 2018. Picture by Thierry Mazoyer.

2018-12-24 - [Advertisement]

Unipetrol Doprava 753 612 at Česká Třebová on 13 December 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

The fourth EffiLiner 1600 for Unipetrol Doprava has been out-shopped. Loco 753 612-1 completes an order of 2+2 locomotives for the Czech rail freight operator.

Colas Rail 66846 and 66848 nose to nose at Doncaster Station on 16 April 2013. Picture by Richard Gennis.

In a move significantly expanding its presence in the UK market, Beacon Rail has signed a sale-and-lease-back deal with Colas Rail covering the latters locomotive fleet. The deal comprises the purchase of 67 locomotives of different types from Colas Rail, which are currently operated in France and the UK.

Colas Rail's French fleet consists of both Vossloh-built G 1206 and G 2000 locomotives. Its UK-based fleet consists of more different locomotive types, namely 5x Class 56, 5x Class 66, 2x Class 67 and 17x Class 70 locomotives. No Class 37 locos are involved.

Colas Rail 70804 passes Leamington Spa Station with an unidentified Class member on 4 August 2014. Picture by Peter Lovell.

Artist impression of the Siemens Charger locomotives that are to power Via Rail Canada's new trainsets. Siemens.

Via Rail Canada has signed a deal worth €650m with Siemens Mobility for the delivery of 32 bi-directional trainsets powered by Charger diesel locomotives. With deliveries commencing in 2021, the contract includes a service agreement for 15 years.

Service area of the new trainsets will be formed by VIA's busiest route, the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, connecting Canada's two largest cities, Toronto and Montreal, and spanning more than 2,200 kilometers in a northeast-southwest direction.

Environmentally friendly with a Tier 4 emission compliant power unit, the locomotives offer a carbon emission reduction of up to 80% compared to current equipment. Additionally, the locos will be prepared.

Related sections:

CZ LOKO 741 746-2 during dynamic testing in Česká Třebová on 22 November 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

Class 741.7 locomotive 741 746-2 has showed its face outside CZ LOKO's Česká Třebová works. The loco is the fifth of its type for Italy's Terminali Italia, after locos 741 731-4, 737-1, 738-9 and 745-4.

CZ LOKO 741 746-2 during dynamic testing in Česká Třebová on 22 November 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

Related sections:
CZ LOKO741.7
2018-11-24 - [Advertisement]

Brightline Charger 101 in Sacramento on 8 December 2016. Picture by Brightline.

Brightline and Virgin Group have announced their plans to launch a strategic partnership with the aim to further grow America's first privately funded intercity train service in over 100 years. The partnership will see Brightline renamed into Virgin Trains USA in November 2018. Rebranding will occur in 2019. As part of the deal, Virgin Group takes a minority stake in the company.

Currently, Brightline operates intercity services in Florida between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Plans exist to expand the network into Orlando and Tampa. Furthermore, the company eyes the construction of a similar service between Las Vegas and Southern California.

Freshly out-shopped, CZ LOKO's 741 745-4 awaits its delivery to Terminali Italia.

Terminali Italia is soon to receive another type 741.7 locomotive from CZ LOKO. Loco 741 745-4 will join loco's 741 731-4, 737-1 and 738-9, which are already in the fleet of Terminali Italia.

Related sections:
CZ LOKO741.7

PKP IC SU160-001 at Lublin on 10.07.2015. Picture by Maciej Malec.

Rynek-Kolejowy reports that the technical problems with the Pesa Gama DE locomotives of PKP IC continue to give its owner headaches. On 31 October 2018, merely half of the ten-strong fleet was in service.

The continuing issues with the Class SU160 diesels have forced PKP Intercity to replace the locos with slower Class SM42 diesel locomotives on the non-electrified parts of the route between Lublin naar Łuków. Between Łuków and Warsaw, electrics take over. Due to (delayed) construction works, the main route from Lublin to Warsaw via Deblin is not usable, creating further problems.

Current status of the Gama DE fleet:
- 3x engine damage
- 2x damage repair
- 5x usable

On Monday 5 November, in the lead up to Armistice Day, Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), named its recently re-liveried locomotive 66413 ‘Lest we forget’ in recognition of The Royal British Legion’s Thank You movement. The movement leads the nation in saying Thank You to the First World War generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world.

The loco naming ceremony took place at Freightliner’s maritime terminal in Southampton and was attended by more than 50 guests; including the Mayor of Southampton, industry representatives and several ex-military colleagues from both Freightliner and sister company Pentalver.

Following a remembrance service, the name plate, which also features The Royal British Legion’s Thank You logo, was unveiled by the winners of the staff loco naming competition.

“The Royal British Legion’s Thank You movement provides a perfect opportunity to recognise and remember the crucial role the rail industry had to play during World War 1,” said Adam Cunliffe, CCO of G&W’s UK/Europe companies. “Trains transported troops, rations, coal, water, horses and artillery across Britain and Europe in a way never previously seen. Over 100,000 railway workers enlisted when the war broke out. By the end of the war, tragically 20,000 had lost their lives. We should never forget the ultimate sacrifice they made.”

Catherine Davies, Head of Remembrance at The Royal British Legion, said, “We owe the World War 1 generation a huge debt of gratitude for helping to shape the world as we know it today. Not only the 1.2 million British and Commonwealth Armed Forces who lost their lives on the battlefield, but also those who kept the home front going. Our ‘Thank You’ movement recognises all who played their part at home. We are grateful to those who ran the railway in the First World War and who helped keep the country moving during such difficult times.”

CZ LOKO 723 704-3 in Přerov on 18 February 2017. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

CZ LOKO has closed another deal with the Erdemir Group for the delivery of locomotives. Where it has delivered two Class 744.7 locomotives (744.704 / L18 and 744.705 / L19) to the Erdemir steel works already, it has now suceeded in gaining an order for EffiShunter 600 locomotives from the Isdemir steel works (part of Erdemir Group). The contract comprises the delivery of six locomotives, all to be delivered in 2019. Previously, CZ LOKO produced two Class 741.7 locomotives which are now used as back-up locos for the Marmaray Tunnel: 741.708 and 741.709.

The future Erdemir L 18 during a test run at Beroun in the Czech Republic on February 16, 2017. Picture by Martin Šarman.

The freshly out-shopped TZ 723 708-4 at the CZ LOKO works in Česká Třebová. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

CZ LOKO has completed another EffiShunter 500 locomotive, numbered: 723 708-4. The loco in question is destined for the Třinecké Železárny a.s. steel works (TŽ). It is the 8th loco of the EffiShunter 500/600/700 product range and the 4th of its type for TŽ steel works, which already operates locos 723 701, 703 and 705.

As part of the research programme "Digital Command, Control and Signalling (CCS)", DB Netz develops the Automatic Train Protection system of the future to be able to operate up to 20% more trains using existing railway infrastructure. One pillar of Digital CSS is ETCS Level 3, which is based on the concept of virtual blocks rather than fixed blocks with signals.

On September 6th, 2018, a demonstration of ETCS Level 3 technology was performed in the new Living Lab of DB Netz (in the area of Annaberg-Buchholz) in cooperation with Thales and Bombardier. For the dynamic demonstration, a VT420 rail car modified as a digital lab was used together with Pressnitztalbahn locomotive 285 104-2.

Caltrans Charger 2111 in Pacific Surfliner livery at Los Angeles Union Station on 1 October 2018.

The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) introduced a brand new Charger locomotives at Los Angeles Union Station to the public. The loco is the first Caltrans Charger to carry the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner livery. The loco is one of 14 Chargers that will operate 24 Pacific Surfliner trains per day along the South Californian coast.

The locomotives were procured to replace their older and more polluting predecessors and to provide an alternative that is up to 90% cleaner. Also, the locomotives will enable an expansion of the current Pacific Surfliner service to meet growing ridership.

Caltrans Charger 2111 in Pacific Surfliner livery at Los Angeles Union Station on 1 October 2018.

TCDD DE 36008 during a test run in Ankara on 16 October 2014. Picture by André Grouillet.

GE Transportation and Tulomsas have closed a deal for the delivery of five PowerHaul diesel locomotives to Korfez Ulastirma A.Ş.. Korfez Ulastirma is the first private railway operator of Turkey taking such a step since the Turkish government has started releasing the use of mainlines for private operators.

Korfez Ulastirma is a subsidiary of Turkey's largest refinery: Tüpraş. The operator already hires five PowerHaul locomotives from TCDD, so this order will see the Korfez Ulastirma locomotive fleet double. The company also has a fleet of 549 wagons available for its operations.

753 611-3 at the CZ LOKO works in Česká Třebová on 27 September 2018. Video by CZ LOKO.

CZ LOKO has finished another EffiLiner 1600 locomotive for Unipetrol Doprava. To be precise: 753 611-3 is the third of its type for the Czech railfreight operator, which already operates locos 753 606-3 and 753 607-1. It also is the eleventh of its type produced by CZ LOKO.

Some short news from the UK, where another Class 68 locomotive has been re-styled into Tranpennine Express colours: 68030.

The first series-built EURO DUAL locomotives (for HVLE) on their way through Germany near Wunstorf on 24 August 2018. Picture by René Klink.

A new locomotive pool has been launched: ELP - European Loc Pool. Keywords: State-of-the-art, hybrid/bi-mode, full service, sustainable, innovative, competitive. At the InnoTrans 2018 trade fair, ELP CEO Willem Goosen presented the plans for European Loc Pool. Being a joint-venture between two private equity investment companies from Switzerland (Reichmuth Bank, Luzern and PCS Holding, Frauenfeld), ELP is to commence its business in 2019. To do so, the company has ordered 10 EURO DUAL locomotives from Stadler Rail. A story to be continued!

Mercitalia Shunting & Terminal 744 005 at InnoTrans 2018 in Berlin on 19 September 2018. Picture by Patrick Paulsen.

At the InnoTrans 2018 trade fair in Berlin, CZ LOKO was able to add another order to its books for its EffiShunter 1000 locomotive. Italy's Rail Traction Company (RTC) has ordered two of the type with options for two more. The locomotives will be similar to the five delivered to Mercitalia Shunting and Terminal.

Delivery of the two machines is planned for 2019. Upon entering service, they will mainly be used for shunting and light mainline services, supporting the Class 753 locomotives already operated by RTC.

GB Railfreight 66780 has been out-shopped by Arlington at Eastleigh Works in full white, blue and red Cemex livery. 66780 is the former DB Cargo UK 66008 and is one of ten Class 66 locomotives GB Railfreight bought from DB Cargo in late-2017. A picture of 66780 in its new guise can be found here: link.

GBRf 66758 'The Pavior' at Wellingborough Yard on 15 September 2018. Picture by Richard Gennis.

GB Railfreight 66758 was named 'The Pavior' in Radlett at the local Tarmac site on 14 September 2018.

GBRf 66758 'The Pavior' at Wellingborough Yard on 15 September 2018. Picture by Richard Gennis.

DRS 68028 has been brought into Transpennine Express (TPE) livery in the past week. The stickers were applied at Crewe Gresty Bridge, where the loco was also given the name "Lord President".

EffiShunter 1600 774 717-3 for Hungary's MVÁ at Česká Třebová on 7 September 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

CZ LOKO has out-shopped another EffiShunter 1600 locomotive. The loco in question is 774 717-3, destined for Hungary's MVÁ.

EffiShunter 1600 774 717-3 for Hungary's MVÁ at Česká Třebová on 7 September 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

Another two 15D locomotives have been delivered by Newag. Customer for the newly modernized 15D-037 and 15D-038 is Budokrusz S.A. Both locomotives will be operated by Budokrusz subsidiary Railpolonia.

But there is more 15D news. 15D-040 has been seen as well. The loco wears the same livery as P.U.K. Kolprem's 16D-008 and 009. In fact, it is 100% the same livery, because it concerns loco 16D-008 that has been re-gauged to 1435 mm and subsequently renumbered. Still owned by P.U.K. Kolprem, 15D-040 is currently on hire to Bartex.

The first three EURO DUAL locomotives built by Stadler for HVLE near Wunstorf on 24 August 2018. Picture by René Klink.

Stadler has delivered the first three out of ten EURO DUAL locomotives ordered by HVLE to Germany. One locomotive was left behind in Minden, the other two arrived at Mönchengladbach for forwarding to the Siemens test centre at Wegberg-Wildenrath later. One of the locos will be showcased at the InnoTrans 2018 trade fair in Berlin in September.

TPE set TP02 and 68020 'Reliance' passing through Lichfield on the 3H02 Rugby-Manchester. Jack Meakin-Sawyer.

68020 'Reliance' hauls TPE set 02 through Lichfield Trent Valley Station, working a late 3B21 Manchester to Bletchley as far as Rugby.

Freightliner 66413 passes South Kenton with an intermodal train on 22 August 2018. Picture by Helmuth van Lier.

After announcing its rebranding to the Genesee & Wyoming corporate identity, Freightliner has now released its first Class 66 locomotive in the GWRR group colour scheme. Interestingly, a completely different livery has been chosen over the Dutch Rotterdam Rail Feeding design as shown on the picture below. Which version do you like best?

Rotterdam Rail Feeding 561-05 at the Rotterdam-Waalhaven Yard on 15 July 2017. Picture by Henk Zwoferink.

Unipetrol Doprava 744 701 in its new guise in Česká Třebová on 28 August 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

Related sections:

DRS 68032 in its freshly applied TPE livery in Crewe on 25 August 2018. Picture by Julian Mandeville.

Beacon Rail PB 07 / Captrain 6601 behind a Class 37 locomotive operated by the Rail Operations Group in Cross Gates on 20 August 2018. Picture by Richard Mannion.

After being transported by Rotterdam Rail Feeding to the P&O terminal in the Europoort port area in Rotterdam, Captrain 6601 (Beacon Rail PB 07) was put on a low loader. Subsequently, the locomotive was shipped to the UK, where the Rail Operations Group took over to transport it to Longport, Stoke on Trent. Here, the loco will be attended by EMD. The loco has temporarily been numbered 66999, to ease transport throughout the UK.

Mercitalia Shunting & Terminal 744 101-7 in Udine.

Ordered when the operator was still called SerFer, five EffiShunter 1000 locomotives were delivered by CZ LOKO to Mercitalia Shunting & Terminal this August. It is the first order for CZ LOKO that comprises of new and TSI-compliant locomotives. Up until now, the Italian market has been a market for locomotive modernizations for CZ LOKO.

The locos were delivered at the Udine Depot, where Mercitalia staff was instructed. They will mainly be used for shunting services near Milano, Ravenna and Livorno. By the end of 2018, the locos are expected to enter mainline service too. Of the five locomotives, loco 744 105-8 will be presented at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin.

On July 25th, HZPP 2044 021 was seen in fresh paint. It has been overhauled and now returns to service after having been stored for quite some time.

Related sections:
EMD / Progress Rail

Siemens adds another order for Charger locomotives to its order book. San Diego County's NCTD has approved the purchase of five new Charger locomotives at its June Board meeting. The locos are to replace five locomotives, which were originally built between 1975-1992 and which have have reached the end of their useful lifes.

“These new locomotives will help support our mission to provide reliable public transportation to passengers throughout San Diego County,” said Bill Horn, NCTD Board Member and County Supervisor for the 5th District. “In addition to increased reliability, they will also incorporate new technologies that release lower emissions and will improve air quality in the region.”

The new locomotives will allow NCTD to improve operational efficiency while contributing to local and state sustainability and air quality goals, with an estimated 90% reduction in emissions (compared to the existing engines) and 16% reduction in fuel consumption.

The NCTD order will be part of a framework contract from 2014, launched by the California, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Washington Departments of Transportation. This joint agreement does not only saves costs due to lowered procurement costs, but, additionally, the size of the procurement aids in the future acquisition of needed spare parts for continued operations.

RCLG 220 032 in Thessaloniki on 26 June 2018. Picture by Chris Mavropoylos.

As from September 2018, Rail Cargo Logistics - Goldair A.E. will run its own scheduled freight services as the first open-access rail freight operator in Greece. The company is a joint venture between the Rail Cargo Group, which is owned by Austria's ÖBB, and the Goldair Group.

Initially, operations will be limited to trains between the Sindos industrial center near Thessaloniki and the Thessaloniki rail yard, servicing various industrial companies. Later on, mainline services are to commence towards the border with Macedonia. The company eyes an initial fleet of four locomotives, consisting of two Adtranz DE2000 diesels and two Siemens HellaSprinter electrics. These locos will be leased from the Greek state through GAIAOSE S.A., which performs property and vehicle management for the Greek state.

220 032 in Tithorea on 1 July 2016, when its was still operated by TRAINOSE. Picture by Stathis Chaidemeno.

Related sections:
BombardierDE2000: OSE

MEG MEG 077 023-5 in its new red guise in Cottbus on 26 June 2018. Picture by Rudi Lautenbach.

Just like 077 012-8, 077 023-5 is now carrying a red MEG livery.

HSL Belgium's 653-03 with new stickers in Montzen on 13 June 2018. Picture by Bart Vangampelaere.

Class 66 locomotive 653-03 has been decorated with stickers to make it easier to identify the loco's operator, namely HSL Belgium. Instead of the traditional HSL livery, the company has chosen something different this time.

Mercitalia Shunting & Terminal 744 105-8 in Břeclav on 28 May 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

CZ Loko has delivered another EffiShunter 1000 to Mercitalia Shunting & Terminal in the form of 744 105-8. The loco is one of five(+five options) of the type on order.

The EURO DUAL prototype loco at the Dijon-Perrigny Dépôt on 23 November 2017. Picture by André Grouillet.

According to Actu Transport Logistique, VFLI has signed a large locomotive order with Stadler Rail. The deal involves the acquisition of thirteen locomotives, comprising of one EURO DUAL locomotive and twelve EURO 4001 locomotives.

The exact composition of the ordered fleet is as follows:
- 1x EURO DUAL - Stadler Prototype
- 3x EURO 4001 - Direct purchase
- 9x EURO 4001 - To be leased from Alpha Trains

The contract was signed on May 31st and is the largest of its kind for VFLI with a total value of over 40 million euros.

Related sections:

One of the Class 66 locomotives hired by Hector Rail from Beacon Rail Leasing has been seen in a livery analogue to the non-roundel GB Railfreight livery but with Hector Rail colours and logos. It concerns T66 713, which can be seen in its new livery here: link.

247 909 'Conny' in Niebüll on 19 May 2018. Picture by Jens Vollertsen.

Last year, it was announced that RDC Autozug Sylt had ordered two Vectron DE locomotives for its car shuttle trains to and from the island of Sylt, which it runs in competition with DB Fernverkehr. The first locomotive to be delivered was 247 908. It was handed over to the operator on November 11th and has been named Debbie.

Delivery of the second loco was announced to take place in June 2018. However, on May 18th, the loco was already delivered by Siemens to the Germany based operator. Named Conny, loco 247 909 was used for for the company's shuttle services straightaway.

247 909 'Conny' in service with a car shuttle near Westerland (Sylt) on 20 May 2018. Picture by Sven Ullrich.

DB Cargo UK has repainted another of its Class 66 locomotives into its red company colour scheme. This time, loco 66027 was the lucky loco.

Video of CDTX 2107 and 2108 on transport by Youtube user Sky Rider.

In March 2014, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) became launching customer of the Charger by placing an order with Siemens in conjunction with the Departments of Transportation of Missouri, Michigan, California and Washington for 32 locomotives. The order included a framework contract for 225 additional locomotives. The locomotives will be used on Amtrak-run corridor services. Of the 32 locomotives, 6 were destined for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

In early November 2015, a call-off order was placed by Caltrans for an additional 14 Charger locomotives to serve the Pacific Surfliner Amtrak route along the Southern California coast from San Luis Obispo to San Diego via Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Delivery of the 14 machines is expected between July 2018 and February 2019.

In 2016, another two options were firmed up. This brought the total number of locomotives on order for Caltrans to 22. Delivery of the two additional locomotives will directly follow deliveries of the second batch.

In 2017, the six Charger locomotives ordered in 2014 were delivered to the California Department of Transportation and subsequently entered service. In late-March 2018, the first two locos of the second batch (2107 and 2108) were released from the Siemens works in Sacramento, as seen in the video above. Locos 2109 and 2110 followed in late-April, as the video below shows.

Video of CDTX 2109 and 2110 on transport by Youtube user Sky Rider.

DB Cargo UK has repainted more Class 66 locomotives into its red company colour scheme: 66065, 66131 and 66175.

The second EffiLiner 1600 ordered by CER Cargo has made its appearance on a test run. Numbered 753 610-5, the loco will be used by CER Slovakia once completed.

In April 2018, two new EffiShunter 1000 diesel locomotives built by CZ LOKO could be seen in Italy. The locos, numbered 744 103-3 and 744 104-1, are destined to enter service for Mercitalia Shunting & Terminal (Mercitalia S&T), the company previously known as SerFer. The two are part of an order for five locos with an option for five more.

In April 2018, the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) awarded Siemens a contract to deliver four SC-44 Charger passenger diesels for its Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) commuter services, with planned extensions to Ceres, Modesto and Sacramento. The deal includes an option for another four locomotives.

Compared to the current SJRRC fleet of F40PH locomotives, the new 3280kW strong Chargers will offer increased fuel efficiency (+16%) and lower exhaust emissions thanks to its compliance with Tier 4 emission standards. Furthermore, the locomotives will be able to operate longer trains, increasing the maximum length from seven to ten coaches.

Related sections:
SiemensChargerCharger: SJRRC

EffiShunter 700 loco 723 704-3 at Přerov on 18 February 2017. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

As 2017 neared its end, ČEPRO decided to launch a tender for the modernization of locomotive 740.891. In March 2018, the tender was won by CZ LOKO, which had offered its EffiShunter 700 modernization concept. On Wednesday, 18 April 2018, the contract was finalized at the CZ LOKO works in Jihlava.

The EffiShunter 700 is primarily designed for shunting at heavy industry sites, intermodal terminals and ports, as well as light mainline operations. It is a comprehensive modernization of CKD Class 740 or 742 shunting locomotives. The loco is equipped with a 709 kW CAT C27 diesel engine.

ČEPRO a.s. is active in the transportation, storage and sale of petroleum products. It also operates a network of its own petrol stations under the trade name EuroOil. The company operates a fleet of 11 locomotives of different types and performance categories.

The G&W livery as applied to Dutch railfreight operator RRF's Class 66 locomotives on the left and the green and yellow Freightliner identity on the right.

At the Multimodal trade fair in Birmingham, Freightliner presented its new brand identity to the public for the very first time. The company states:

Following parent company Genesee & Wyoming’s acquisition of Pentalver Transport last year, the businesses’ commercial teams now serve customers across three core platforms of Rail, Road and Terminals. “With this in mind, it now makes sense to align the Freightliner brand with that of G&W, providing consistency across the three platforms,” said G&W UK/Europe Region CEO Gary Long.

The new Freightliner logo is consistent with that of Pentalver and more than 120 G&W freight railroads in North America, Australia and Europe. Freightliner will shortly commence rebranding its intermodal and bulk rail freight terminals throughout the UK as well as its Freightliner Road Services trucks whilst taking a phased approach with other assets, including locomotives and wagons.

Freightliner's newly introduced G&W style logo.

Rail & Sea 223-007 at Gospic on 02 May 2018. Picture by Robert Tisler.

Rail & Sea is not new when it comes to EuroRunner diesel locomotives. The company already had Beacon Rail (223-003) and SETG (ER 20-02) owned examples in operation in Croatie (and Slovenia). Now, the company has started operations with its first, self-owned loco: 223-007. The loco was previously owned by MRCE and was the last of its type in MRCE's fleet. All other ER20 locos were sold to different companies, with the majority having been sold to Beacon Rail.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related sections:
BombardierBlue Tiger: hvle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related sections:
SiemensChargerCharger: MTA

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related sections:
Stadler Rail ValenciaSALi

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Related sections:
CZ LOKO741.7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related sections:
CZ LOKO741.7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related sections:
CZ LOKO741.7