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66747 at the DP World London Gateway site on 9 July, 2019. Picture by Richard Gennis.

Owned by Beacon Rail and leased to GB Railfreight, Class 66 loco 66747 was named "Made In Sheffield" on July 9, 2019 at DP World's London Gateway site. The loco, which has received a new livery, marks the partnership between GBRf and Newell & Wright Transport, a logistics company based in Masborough, Rotherham - on the outskirts of Sheffield.

66747 at the DP World London Gateway site on 9 July, 2019. Picture by Richard Gennis.

RTS 247 903 near Pfarrwerfen on 28 June 2019. Picture by Niels Arnold.

RTS has acquired at least two out of four Vectron DE locomotives from Siemens locomotives. The two diesels, 247 902 and 903, have previously been in use with DB Cargo Deutschland. Meanwhile, both locos have lost their red liveries. 247 902 has already been seen in RTS orange, whilst 247 903 could be seen in white with RTS Swietelsky logos.

Loco 742 711-5 is the first of fifty EffiShunter 1000M locos ordered by CD Cargo from CZ LOKO to be out on the mainline. The EffiShunter 1000M is a modernization of the CD Class 742, following the well-known recipe which leaves only the frame and bogies of the original loco. 742 711-5 will be the prototype loco and serves to test all systems, including the on-board ETCS. Serial production is expected to start in October.

However, even though the locos are numbered in the 742.7 series, they will be considerably different to the Class 741.7/742.7 we already know from CZ LOKO. The EffiShunter 1000M numbering will start at 742.71x, starting a new number sub-series. The design of the loco is a compromise between the EffiShunter 600 (the body) and the EffiShunter 1000 (cabin).

Technical details include a maximum speed of 100 km/h, a CAT 3508C engine producing 1000 kW, a weight of 70 tonnes and a length over the buffers of 13.82 meters. Operating in multiple traction is possible, with the EffiShunter 1000, 1000M and Class 753.7. The locos will be equipped with ETCS.

DB Cargo UK 59206 passes Ruscombe on 6 February 2015. Picture by Peter Lovell.

DB Cargo UK has offered its Class 59 locomotives for sale. Following the loss of the Mendip Rail contract to Freightliner, the small fleet of six 59s (59201-206) has become abundant. The Class 59 fleet is currently divided over Freightliner (8x), GB Railfreight (1x), DB Cargo UK (6x).

The first of six EffiShunter 600 locomotives for ESDEMIR has been outshopped by CZ LOKO. Numbered 723 710-0, the loco was captured on camera by Dalibor Palko at Jihlava in the Czech Republic on June 20th, 2019.

San Diego's North County Transit District (NCTD) announced that its board had decided for the purchase of an additional two Charger passenger diesels from Siemens, pending receipt of funding. The purchase is part of a plan to increase the frequency of service frequency to 30-minute intervals during peak times and hourly intervals during non-peak periods. The two locos add to the initial order for five locos placed in 2018.

'AS ONE, WE CAN': the new name of Freightliner 66587. However, the loco has not only been re-named. 66587 has been re-liveried into a pink and white livery, matching the Ocean Network Express (ONE) colour scheme.

After receiving its main overhaul at EMD Longport, Beacon Rail's PB 15 is heading back to the mainland. Its obsolete Ascendos livery has been replaced by the well-known Beacon-blue one.

A total of 8 Class 66 locomotives, owned by Beacon Rail Leasing, has been roaming Scandinavian rails during the past years. Some of them will now be transferred to the United Kingdom, where GB Railfreight will take them on. The first of three locos to arrive in the UK through the Port of Immingham is T66 403, formerly operated by Hector Rail. GB Railfreight will operate the loco as 66790. Currently, the loco is at the EMD facility at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent for rebuilding. Locos T66 404 and 405 will arrive later and will be operated as 66791 and 66792 respectively.

RheinCargo DE 668 has been restyled into the silver RheinCargo livery: link.

Meanwhile in the UK, the number of Freightliner Class 66 locomotives in the orange and black Genesee & Wyoming livery has increased. An overview:

- 66413: The first to be repainted, but in a slightly lighter shade of orange than its sister locos
- 66623: The second loco to be repainted, but now in a darker shade of orange
- 66419: The third loco to receive the G&W livery, released from Eastleigh works in April 2019
- 66415: Brought in for a repaint, possibly the fourth loco to receive the livery...?

Colas Rail 66847 has been named Terry Baker at Eastleigh Works on 22 April 2019. Terry was one of Colas Rail's drivers who passed away in 2018 and is now remembered by 66847 carrying his name.

DB Cargo UK's 66109 has been reliveried in a dark blue PD Ports livery. The loco was repainted in Toton and has been named Teesport Express.

CZ LOKO has handed over a first EffiLiner 1600 'Bizon' locomotive to Rail Cargo Carrier - Czech Republic (RCC-CZ). The loco, numbered 753 613-9, will be joined by 753 614-1 in May 2019.

The locos will be operated by RCC-CZ and RCC-SK. In the Czech Republic, the main traffic flow the EffiLiner 1600 will operate on is the transport of freight trains to and from the Czech-Polish border area and to and from Breclav. In Slovakia, the Class 753.6 loco is to be used on container trains between Bratislava and Zilina.

CZ Loko is finalizing production of a Class 753.6 'Bizon' diesel locomotive for Rail Cargo Carrier - Czech Republic s.r.o. The loco, numbered 753 613-9, is part of the EffiLiner 1600 product range. It will be used in the north of the Czech Republicin, mostly in and around Bohumín for line operations and shunting services.

PB15, temporary UK number 66997 (92 80 1266 066-0 D-BRLL) at Guide Bridge on 1 April 2019, on route from Hull Docks to Longport. Picture by Mark Barber.

Another Class 66 locomotive has been transported from the European mainland to the UK. The designated PB 15, owned by Beacon Rail Leasing and operated by Crossrail Benelux, will visit EMD's workshop at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, where it will receive its main overhaul.

Transported by Rotterdam Rail Feeding from the EMD workshop at Rotterdam Noord to the P&O terminal at Rotterdam Europoort, the loco set sail for the UK where it arrived on March 31st. It was subsequently transported by rail to its final destination. Loco 66997 (its temporary number in the UK), follows in the footsteps of PB 13 (66998) and PB 07 (66999).

Production of the first new PowerHaul locomotive for Korfez Ulastirma is nearing completion at the Tulomsas works. The designated KU-DE 0001 is the first of five of the type, ordered from GE Transporation and Tulomsas in 2018.

Korfez Ulastirma is the first private railway operator of Turkey ordering locomotives 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.

InnoTrans 2018 was another important milestone for the Vectron family. Siemens set the trade fair as the final occassion for customers to order the Vectron DE locomotive. Instead of a full diesel, Siemens now offers the Vectron Dual Mode. In fact, the first two locos are already nearing completion, with loco no.1 being numbered 248 001.

The Vectron Dual Mode shares some specs with its full-diesel predecessor. Most importantly, it houses a 2.4 MW diesel engine. However, it is able to run on 15kV overhead power too. The loco's flexibility allows operators to not have to run on diesel power while travelling on electrified lines, while enjoying the benefits of a full-fledged diesel loco.

Technical specifications include a maximum speed of 160 km/h and a starting tractive effort of 300 kN, as well dynamic transitions between diesel and overhead power. At this moment, only a 15kV version is offered, aiming at the German and Austrian markets. PZB/LZB is standardly delivered, but the loco is ETCS-ready. Multiple traction is possible with both the full electric and diesel Vectrons, as well as the ER 20.

Related sections:
SiemensVectron DE

Finland's VR Group has chosen Stadler for the delivery of new diesel locomotives. The operator has ordered 60 dual-engine single-cab diesel locos with an option for another 100 locos. The agreement is to be finalized in April 2019 and includes an option for maintenance support by Stadler.

A more environmental friendly, fuel-efficient and reliable fleet will be introduced in 2022 with the delivery of the first locos. In 2025, all 60 locos should have been delivered, replacing diesels from the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's.

Related sections:
Stadler Rail Valencia

Beacon Rail PB 13 (temporary no. 66998) in its new livery at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent on 27 February 2019. Picture by David Moreton.

The loco departed Belgium in its red-white Crossrail livery. After preparations at EMD's Rotterdam workshop, the loco set sail from the Port of Rotterdam towards to UK. There, the loco received its main overhaul and a full repaint. Instead of its Crossrail livery, the loco now carries a Beacon Rail blue and gold colour scheme. It will make its way to Rotterdam in the coming period, where it will be prepared for use on the European mainland again.

Crossrail PB 13 in its former livery with an EVS bulk silo train arriving at Oberhausen, Rangierbahnhof West on 26 November 2015. Picture by Rolf Alberts.

RheinCargo's DE 670 has been reliveried from its former red HGK livery into the silver RheinCargo livery. An image of the loco can be found here: link. Previously, DE 61 and DE 62, both owned by RheinCargo, were already given the silver livery. DE 670, however, is not owned, but leased from Beacon Rail Leasing Ltd.

CZ LOKO has been able to gain another two orders for its EffiShunter 1000 locomotive. With the orders, the Czech manufacturer not only gains more grip on the Italian market, but also gains a foothold in the Slovenian market.

The Italian order comprises the purchase of two EffiShunter 1000 locomotives by TPER, Trasporto Passeggeri Emilia-Romagna S.p.A. In addition to the firm order, options exist for a further four locos. The locos are destined for TPER's subsidiary Dinazzano Po (DP), which already operates four CZ LOKO 741.7 locos. Service area will be mainline services and shunting at the Reggio Emilia and Rubiera terminals.

For CZ LOKO, the Slovenian market is a new one. With an order from SŽ - Tovorni promet, the manufacturer will soon deliver four new shunting locomotives for the Port of Koper. This order won after competing in an international tender for new shunters, in which European and US manufacturers took part. It will be the first time, the INDUSI safety system will be installed in the EffiShunter 1000, opening new markets for the product.

Passed on from RRF to Freightliner DE a week before, 561-05 passes Berlin-Gesundbrunnen station on 14 January 2019. Picture by Rudi Lautenbach.

In late-June, the first Genesee and Wyoming styled Class 66 of RRF was transferred to Freightliner PL: 561-03. The loco subsequently entered service for subsidiary Freightliner DE. Now, the other two locos carrying this livery, 561-04 and 561-05, have been transferred as well. Loco 561-05 could already been seen with Freightliner DE stickers instead of Rail Feeding stickers in Berlin on January 14 (see picture). Both RRF and Freightliner are part of Genesee and Wyoming.

On January 10, CZ LOKO officially handed over EffiShunter 600 locomotive 723 709-2 to CEPRO. The EffiShunter 600 that was delivered to CEPRO is a little different to the standard version. Instead of a Caterpillar C18 engine with 563kW output, it houses a C27 engine with 709kW output.

The new Class 93 would be based on the Class 88. The image shows UK DUAL locomotive 88001 at the VUZ Velim test center in the Czech Republic on 28 April 2016. Picture by Norman Gottberg.

It has been reported that Rail Operations Group is in talks with Beacon Rail and Stadler over the delivery of new locomotives based on the UK DUAL design. Instead of the bi-mode version, which was delivered in a quantity of 10 locos to DRS as Class 88, it would now concern a tri-mode version. In addition to 25kV overhead power and a diesel engine, the new Class 93 is to include batteries as a third power source. Although preliminary livery designs have surfaced on the web, it has been stated that negotations are still ongoing and no deal has been finalized yet.

Related sections:
Stadler Rail ValenciaUK DUAL

Impression of the Siemens Charger locomotives for Amtrak. Siemens.

With demand for Amtrak service at record levels, Amtrak will acquire new mainline passenger diesel locomotives from Siemens Mobility to replace its aging National Network locomotive fleet. The initial 75 locomotives will be used principally for Amtrak’s Long Distance train service, with options to purchase more, for use on some State Supported routes and for future growth.

“These new locomotives will offer increased reliability, more hauling power, improved safety features and lower emissions,” said Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson.

“Siemens Mobility is honored and grateful to Amtrak for this opportunity to assist Amtrak in their mission to provide safe, world-class, environmentally conscious technology for their long-distance services,” said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Mobility’s North America rolling stock business.

The new locomotives will offer the latest safety systems including Crash Energy Management and Positive Train Control. Capable of speeds up to 125 MPH (200 km/h), the locomotives will have 4,400 horsepower capable 16-cylinder Cummins QSK95 diesel engines with modern control systems and Alternating Current (AC) propulsion. The diesel engine will come equipped with the latest Tier 4 emissions technology, reducing nitrogen oxide by over 89 percent and particulate matter by 95 percent, and provide an average of 10 percent savings in diesel fuel consumption

Delivery of the new locomotives will begin in summer 2021, with passenger service beginning in fall 2021. They will power trains used on the AutoTrain, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle. All locomotives are expected to be in service by 2024. Maintenance activities across the network will be supported by a supplemental multiyear Technical Support Spares Supply Agreement (TSSSA).

Amtrak is paying for the new locomotives through available funds and will comply with Buy American provisions. They will be built at Siemens Mobility’s rail manufacturing plant in Sacramento, California, a facility which uses solar power and employs more than 1,300 people. The total deal is worth $850 million.

Siemens Mobility has established a robust and diverse base of U.S. suppliers across the country to support the production of its current Charger diesel locomotives, including Cummins, which manufactures its engines in its Seymour, Indiana, facility.

Siemens Mobility’s Charger locomotives are currently operating in several state-supported Amtrak routes in California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, and Washington.

The new locomotives will primarily replace the aging Amtrak P40 and P42 locomotives, some of which have been in service for more than 25 years.