Friday, September 25, 2015

Refurbished Fleet of Locomotives to Back Up Rail Freight Engineering

First Three Units at Work After Multi Million Pound Refit
Shipping News Feature

UK – Following its 10 year lease agreement with Network Rail the first of GB Railfreight’s (GBRf) fleet of 73/9 locomotives have returned to service following refurbishment. The rail freight provider has spent millions of pounds refurbishing these locomotives which will support the infrastructure provider’s ongoing track and engineering operations.

GBRf has spent millions of pounds refurbishing these locomotives. Keeping the same underframe, Brush Traction has replaced the original 600hp English electric engine with brand new 1600hp MTU R43 4000 V8, providing increased power, improved fuel economy and enhanced versatility. The three 73/9s (73961-73963) went into service for Network Rail earlier this month.

These first three locomotives (73961-73963) will be utilised hauling trains that monitor the track and for other engineering works whilst a further eight 73/9s are currently undergoing refurbishment and testing at Brush Traction to go into service on other contracts later this year.

The award of this contract highlights the investment that GBRf is making in supporting the growth of rail freight over the medium-long term. Earlier this year, GB Railfreight brought the first of their 21 new Class 66s into service, for use on various work across the network. At present, GBRf’s total fleet includes 72 Class 66s, 20 Class 73s, 16 Class 92s, four 0809s and 12 DI8 shunters. This number will increase with the arrival of an additional six Class 66s in January 2016.

The increased power and versatility of these units means that Network Rail will be able to cover a much wider area on their monitoring and possession work, extending beyond the southern region. Paul Gilbert, operations director for Network Rail National Supply Chain, said:

“Our infrastructure monitoring and engineering trains are absolutely vital to the work we do each and every day. The introduction of the 73/9s is a quick and cost effective way of boosting our fleet and will improve reliability and increase in our overall capability.”

John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf, commented:

“GB Railfreight is delighted that the first of its new Class 73/9s have entered into service and that they will be supporting Network Rail with its infrastructure work across the UK rail network. These electro-diesel 73/9s are incredibly versatile and powerful, and can be used on a wide variety of routes across the regions. This deal is another sign of the significant investment GBRf is making in the domestic freight industry.”