Class 88 UKDual electro-diesel locomotive unveiled

 

News article: Class 88 UKDual electro-diesel locomotive unveiled

Direct Rail Services has officially unveiled one of the 10 Class 88 UKDual electro-diesel locomotives which it ordered from Vossloh España (subsequently acquired by Stadler) in September 2013,.

  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
This is cool.

Class 88 UKDual electro-diesel locomotive unveiled

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
This is cool.

Class 88 UKDual electro-diesel locomotive unveiled
JimYarin
I don't know if this is a legitimate conversion but 4,000 kW converts to ~5,400 hp whilst 708 kW equates to only about 900 hp.
Is this really a dual purpose loco with this variation or have I boobed?
  M636C Minister for Railways

This is cool.

Class 88 UKDual electro-diesel locomotive unveiled
I don't know if this is a legitimate conversion but 4,000 kW converts to ~5,400 hp whilst 708 kW equates to only about 900 hp.
Is this really a dual purpose loco with this variation or have I boobed?
YM-Mundrabilla
In this case the diesel is intended for relatively short (and slow) journeys from electrified main lines to yards and non electrified branches.

It is in the tradition of the BR class 73 which had 1600 HP on third rail but only 400 HP on diesel.

Bombardier and Siemens market similar designs under the name "Last Mile" locomotives, to avoid the use of diesel shunting locomotives. This is more important in the open access era where an operator is unlikely to have a diesel handy at many terminals.

M636C
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
This is cool.

Class 88 UKDual electro-diesel locomotive unveiled
I don't know if this is a legitimate conversion but 4,000 kW converts to ~5,400 hp whilst 708 kW equates to only about 900 hp.
Is this really a dual purpose loco with this variation or have I boobed?
In this case the diesel is intended for relatively short (and slow) journeys from electrified main lines to yards and non electrified branches.

It is in the tradition of the BR class 73 which had 1600 HP on third rail but only 400 HP on diesel.

Bombardier and Siemens market similar designs under the name "Last Mile" locomotives, to avoid the use of diesel shunting locomotives. This is more important in the open access era where an operator is unlikely to have a diesel handy at many terminals.

M636C
M636C
Thanks M636C.
  NorthWest Locomotive Fireman

I look at the UKDual as an attempt to create a true dual-mode hampered by weight and loading gauge.

The Bombardier LM module for the Traxx AC3 is only 230kW, (and the Siemens Vectron is similar) so this is designed for more than the typical last mile service. Britain also has a lot less mainline electrification than the rest of Europe.

I think that Vossloh would have loved to cram a larger prime mover but the locomotive had to fit inside the shell established by the full-diesel Class 68 UKLights so that was not possible.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
With around 900 hp will it pull your hat off and, if so, how long will it take? Smile

The track authorities go on about steam excursions yet allow this sort of equipment on the mainline ???? I have visions of Y class on the evening Seymour pass and T class on about 11 x PLs up Glenroy.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

People familiar with UK rolling stock might like to think of the 708kW branch line engine as 2.7 Class 08 shunters or just a shade short of a Class 20 loco, but with a modern drivetrain getting more of the power to the rail.

In Australian terms, 708kW is almost exactly the same as the 710kW of the 830/48 Class locos, again with the ability to use that power more efficiently.

Should be plenty good enough for the branch lines that link electrified mainlines and freight terminals, for example from Ipswich to Felixstowe.

I look at the UKDual as an attempt to create a true dual-mode hampered by weight and loading gauge.
NorthWest
I disagree.

There is simply no demand for a 'true' bi-mode loco in Britain, courtesy of there being no regulatory disincentives to discourage the use of diesel locos on electrified routes. When DRS have trains which need full power for mainline running beyond the wires, they will simply draw on their larger fleet of diesel locos even if a decent chunk of the trip is under the wires

This is simply about the British underinvesting in their infrastructure. If the routes to major freight terminals were electrified as far in as the reception/departure sidings like they are in mainland Europe, DRS would have specified a normal last mile engine for just shunting like those used in mainland Europe rather than the bigger one for branch line usage.

The track authorities go on about steam excursions yet allow this sort of equipment on the mainline ????
YM-Mundrabilla
Of course. The only time it will run on the mainline with a heavy train will be under the wires with the full 4000kW of electric power available.

They could possibly be used for nuclear cask trains off the wires, but that would seem a bit wasteful when DRS have plenty of diesel locos.

There are a couple of things to distinguish these from steam specials: they won't be driven by WCRC joyriders and they won't attract spotters trespassing on the line to see them.
  NorthWest Locomotive Fireman


I look at the UKDual as an attempt to create a true dual-mode hampered by weight and loading gauge.
I disagree.

There is simply no demand for a 'true' bi-mode loco in Britain, courtesy of there being no regulatory disincentives to discourage the use of diesel locos on electrified routes. When DRS have trains which need full power for mainline running beyond the wires, they will simply draw on their larger fleet of diesel locos even if a decent chunk of the trip is under the wires

This is simply about the British underinvesting in their infrastructure. If the routes to major freight terminals were electrified as far in as the reception/departure sidings like they are in mainland Europe, DRS would have specified a normal last mile engine for just shunting like those used in mainland Europe rather than the bigger one for branch line usage.
justapassenger
I don't think there is any demand for more primarily-electric locomotives, either. Several of the Class 92s have gone to Eastern Europe, and a substantial part of the fleet spent several years stored and for sale. Only 22%* of Britain's route miles are electrified with 25 kV AC overhead, and while that includes many of the main lines, there are plenty that aren't. It doesn't make sense to not create as much diesel capability as possible to allow maximum flexibility and utilization.

I think Vossloh tried to cram as much diesel into the Class 68 bodyshell as they could once the electric bits were designed in.

I agree with the second paragraph, though with the caveat that more main lines need to be electrified, too, for greater potential uses.
*Source: page 12-14 of highly interesting (but large file) report: http://collections.europarchive.org/tna/20100408232230/http:/www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/rail-electrification.pdf
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I don't think there is any demand for more primarily-electric locomotives, either.
NorthWest
DRS procuring 10 of them would suggest they do see it as a viable strategy for their growing intermodal business.

Several of the Class 92s have gone to Eastern Europe, and a substantial part of the fleet spent several years stored and for sale.
NorthWest
That's just because the Class 92 is a lemon which will grind to a halt if someone looks at them the wrong way.

DB Cargo have put many of their Class 92s into storage or opted to use them in some of their other markets because they have other locos which are better. The sole feature they have over the alternatives for DB Cargo (Class 90 or Class 66) is TVM430 cab signalling for CTRL and Channel Tunnel usage.

It is for the same reason that DRS are ordering the Class 88, so they can have their own bi-mode locos rather than sub-leasing Class 92s from other operators

Freightliner had the opportunity to acquire the seven ex-Eurostar Class 92s which were eventually sold for just £2 million, but instead opted to keep on using their Class 86 and 90 fleets (or Class 66 and 70 diesels) which date back to 1965 and 1987 respectively.

It doesn't make sense to not create as much diesel capability as possible to allow maximum flexibility and utilisation.

I think Vossloh tried to cram as much diesel into the Class 68 bodyshell as they could once the electric bits were designed in.
NorthWest
Absolutely wrong, the UK loading gauge is not the limiting factor as Vossloh offered a full 2400kW version for the UK loading gauge with a Co'Co' configuration.

The reason the Class 88 as built is the Bo'Bo' configuration with only 710kW of diesel power is because that's what the customer DRS ordered for their mixed traffic locos to haul light intermodal trains.

If/when other customers order them, they may be in a different configuration to allow for heavier freight usage. I expect that GBRf will be closely watching the performance of the DRS fleet, as they are another operator which will want to reduce their reliance on Class 92s for domestic usage.
  NorthWest Locomotive Fireman

All right, you've convinced me- I still think that more diesel capability would be smarter, but I don't make procurement decisions.

My last point was more directed towards savings by making classes 68 and 88 as similar as possible. I believe you on the documents as I remember some of the EuroDual configurations that were similar, but everything seems to have frustratingly vanished on the journey from Vossloh to Stadler websites.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

All right, you've convinced me- I still think that more diesel capability would be smarter, but I don't make procurement decisions.
NorthWest
That's just because you're thinking about a freight loco, not a mixed traffic loco.

DRS already have plenty of good options for hauling freight trains on diesel-only lines with steeper grades - 40 Class 57 and 66 locos. As a result of the UK not taking electrification seriously, these are financially viable to use even on runs with a large portion of the distance covered on electrified lines.

My last point was more directed towards savings by making classes 68 and 88 as similar as possible.
NorthWest
It isn't an issue with respect to the carbody though, because the freight loco option (electric + 2400kW diesel setup) would have used the same one with only minor alterations. The freight loco would be a Co'Co' configuration though, and limited to 80mph.

DRS don't need freight locos with that sort of performance because they have plenty of them already (Class 57s and 66s) so they ordered the 100mph Bo'Bo' mixed traffic option.
  NorthWest Locomotive Fireman

That's just because you're thinking about a freight loco, not a mixed traffic loco.
justapassenger
I think that's been my problem this whole time, for some reason. I think it's due to my North American frame of reference, that being that more powerful/more flexible/more rugged is generally better when conditions elsewhere dictate that it is not always the case. Somehow I hadn't managed to connect this with the Class 68's extensive usage on passenger services (probably because I've been wondering what everyone will do now that the 66s are done) but them seeing the same service makes sense.

DRS already have plenty of good options for hauling freight trains on diesel-only lines with steeper grades - 40 Class 57 and 66 locos. As a result of the UK not taking electrification seriously, these are financially viable to use even on runs with a large portion of the distance covered on electrified lines.
justapassenger
I was mostly thinking of horsepower = speed, and getting out of the way of passenger trains. That said, if they are the passenger trains or are being used only in areas where there aren't many this is a moot point.

Part of my questioning why a primarily electric locomotive was necessary was because of the lack of electrification. I do hope they make further progress but it seems the current program was being cut down for monetary reasons even before Brexit.

It isn't an issue with respect to the carbody though, because the freight loco option (electric + 2400kW diesel setup) would have used the same one with only minor alterations. The freight loco would be a Co'Co' configuration though, and limited to 80mph.
justapassenger
Interesting, though I should have suspected much. Vossloh did a good job keeping body and parts commonality across the 710-powered line. I really wish I could find the proposals, as they seem to vanish so frequently. I've been trying to find and archive as many as I can for 'Diesels Catalogued but not Built threads I have on two other boards.

As a somewhat off-topic note, are the Class 92 problems similar to those that plagued the Class 60s? I do find it interesting that they are so failure-prone when redundant systems where a huge part of the design process.

Thanks.

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