The Anonymous Widower

More On The Class 88

The Class 88 locomotives will be arriving soon in the UK.

I have found this article on the inCumbria web site, which gives more details of their introduction by the Cumbrian-based company; DRS.

This is a quote from Stadler, who manufacture the Class 88 locomotive.

“As our first dual locomotive, new functionalities of control software have been validated as dynamic mode changing between electrical operation to diesel operation (and vice versa) and fine tuning of automatic speed control.

So it would appear that a Class 88 from Felixstowe could use diesel power on the branch and then once on the Great Eastern Main Line, switch to electric power without stopping.

It is certainly a locomotive for the UK, with its multitude of lines without electrification.

I do wonder, if we’re going to see Class 88s working passenger trains in East Anglia. After all two of their sister Class 68 locomotives and a rake of coaches are currently providing cover for a Class 170 train, damaged in a level crossing accident.

Years ago, when the London Norwich expresses were steam and diesel hauled, some of the services were extended to Great Yarmouth. But that line was not electrified.

There also used to be direct expresses to Norwich via the West Anglia Main Line and the Breckland Line, which is a route that is only electrified to Ely.

The Class 88 locomotive is a 160 kph locomotive with regenerative braking, whereas the current Class 90 locomotives working the Norwich trains, are a less powerful 180 kph locomotive without regenerative braking.

The rakes of coaches on the Norwich route will have to be scrapped or updated to meet the new regulations, but as Chiltern Railways have shown, the classic Mark 3 coaches have more lives than the most streetwise of cats.

So could we see, just a few moths into the new franchise, Class 88s being used in East Anglia to provide new services.

If nothing else, the appearance of an appropriately liveried brand-new Class 88 on a London-Norwich service on Day 1 of the new franchise, would be an important statement of intent.

As the new TransPennine franchise is going to use new rakes of Mark 5 coaches pulled by Class 68 locomotives, as I wrote about in TransPennine Express Buys Spanish Trains, I wonder if instead of buying new electric multiple units for London to Norwich, that the new franchise will use Class 88 locomotives and Mark 5 coaches.


August 6, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , ,

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