Like most websites Modern Railways uses cookies. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Modern Railways website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more


Beacon Rail and DRS order dual-mode locos


New electro-diesel design from Vossloh

Direct Rail Services (DRS), in partnership with Beacon Rail Leasing, has announced completion of a purchase of ten new Class 88 dual-powered locomotives from Vossloh España.

DRS views the Class 88 as a true ‘dual mode’ locomotive, combining both 25kV electric and diesel-electric operating modes. It is a further development of the Class 68 UKLight diesel locomotive platform: 15 Class-68s were ordered from Vossloh in January 2012.

Key features of the Class 88 include:

  • 4MW AC traction equipment from ABB,
  • 700kW diesel engine for work away from overhead network,
  • 317KN of tractive effort in both modes,
  • nominal 100mph top speed,
  • 500KW electric train heat rating, and
  • regenerative braking.

The Class 88 shares many parts with the Class 68, including bodyshell, cabs (the driver’s environment has been developed together with union representatives), brake system, bogies, traction equipment and control software.

The new generation of dual powered locomotives is seen by DRS as highly flexible, with the ability to operate both heavy haul freight and high speed passenger services, with self-rescue capability and flexibility to adapt to various passenger applications. The design complies with the latest environmental targets (Euro IIIB on diesel mode), said DRS.

DRS says it has worked closely together with Beacon to develop the concept, ‘in direct relationship with Vossloh, heavily investing in the product.’ It is ‘offered to the market on a fully maintained basis, competitively priced whilst achieving great value for money, not suffering from traditionally high order quantities or long lead times, as the first locomotives will arrive in the UK during 2015.’

Neil McNicholas, Managing Director of DRS, said: ‘This considerable investment into a new technology builds on our reputation for industry leading performance through technical innovation. Class 88 locomotives will enhance DRS’s ability to deliver highly competitive and reliable services in the UK, assisting us to rise to the challenge to improve freight and passenger performance on the network.’

Iñigo Parra, President of Vossloh España, said: ‘We are very proud by having succeeded to understand and meet the expectations of DRS and the British freight and passenger market, providing, with these dual mode locomotives, innovative solutions, state-of-the-art technology and high-performance.’

Posted in News


Our Instant Issue Service sends you an email whenever a new issue of Modern Railways is out. SAVE ON QUEUES - FREE P&P