British Rail Class 68 UK Light

So the InnoTrans has come and gone for another round. I haven't been in person. My plans to go this year had been prematurely derailed by certain circumstances. Not to worry though, there is still time, I keep telling myself and 2016 is just around the corner that's not terribly far from now.

One of the locomotives exhibited this year was the British Rail Class 68 locomotive. Since the dismantling of the British Rail Engineering Limited as part of the Thatcher Privatization, British locomotives have gone the way of the dodo bird. Indeed, the Class 68 is German (but built in Spain). She belongs to the Vossloh Eurolight family and is dubbed UK Light.

This locomotive looks pretty "out there". Not bad at all.
Traditionally Vossloh in Spain have used EMD engines. This time around it's not very far off either and the Class 68 is said to come with a 3 800 horsepower Cat C175-16 engine. Electrical components, however, are sourced from ABB rather than EMD.

This looks like one of the sub-leased units to Chiltern Railways
The smaller footprint of the Cat engine gave room to fit the DB grid inside the car body of the locomotive and therefore unlike the older British EMD's, the Class 68 actually comes with blended braking (air and dynamic but controlled via one handle, the control unit does the blending of the two). I'm not sure if this feature is common in Europe. I'd guess so, since in North American only relatively modern passenger locomotives had blended brakes equipped.

A total of 25 Class 68 have been ordered so far by Direct Rail Services of the UK. They are meant to be a mixed use locomotive and will handle both freight and passenger traffic. When in passenger service, the locomotive is capable of operating at 100 mph in service.

All images, videos courtesy of Wikicommons, YouTube, and their respective uploaders.


Anonymous said…
My dad found ont of the new DRS locos lurking in York with the new colour scheme DRS have adopted. I'm pretty impressed by them, to be honest.

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