In 2007 Freightliner ordered thirty PowerHaul locomotives from GE Transportation via leasing company Lloyds TSB. With this order the company was launching customer of the UK version of the PowerHaul platform. Late 2009 the first two units arrived in the UK by ship, numbered 70001 and 70002. From that point on things didn't go as planned. Like many new products, the Freightliner PowerHauls experienced teething problems. However, these teething problems weren't minor problems as some units were plagued by electrical fires. More bad luck happened when unit 70012 fell down on the docks while it was being unloaded from a ship on 05.01.2011.
In the meantime, Freightliner had decided to put the delivery of the last ten units on hold, thereby splitting the order in two batches. The first batch was completed with the arrival of units 70019 and 70020 in February 2012. With loco 70012 not being delivered by GE, the Freightliner fleet has consisted of 19 PowerHaul locomotives since that moment. Although major teething problems belong to the past, it still remains unclear if and when delivery of the last ten units will take place.
In December 2012 Macquarie Group finalised the purchase of the European rolling stock business of Lloyds TSB General Leasing Ltd. Subsequently, the freshly acquired portfolio was transferred to its new subsidiary Macquarie European Rail. In the meantime, it had also become clear that the second batch, comprising of the 10 locomotives (70021-70030) was cancelled.
|Order date: __.11.2007|
|20 locomotives / 19 delivered|
|Delivery period: 11.2009 - 02.2012|
|> Designation: 70001 - 70011, 70013 - 70020|
|2nd batch (cancelled)|
|Delivery period: n/a|
|> Designation: 70021 - 70030|
Details - 70012
On 05.01.2011 the unloading of five Class 70 locomotives from the Beluga Endurance took place at the Newport Docks. 70008 - 70011 made it onto the docks without any problems, but 70012 was not so lucky. A cable broke during its unloading and that resulted in 70012 falling back into the ship's hold.
GE did not deliver the locomotive to Freightliner, but shipped it back to the GE plant in Erie, USA. Here the loco's frame was straightened. 70012 has been used as a testbed for various systems ever since.