The Anonymous Widower

A Heavy Load From Felixstowe To Manchester

As I waited for my train at Canonbury station this morning, this very long train went through.

After I got home, I found that it was going from the Port of Felixstowe to Trafford Park Freightliner Terminal.

The journey will take around nine-and-a-half hours.

  • This time includes a sixty-five minute stop at Ipswich to change the diesel locomotive or locomotives used to haul the train out of the Port of Felixstowe for the pair of Class 90 electric locomotives for the rest of the journey to the North-West.
  • The two locomotives together have a power output of about 7.5 MW.
  • The train will pick up the West Coast Main Line at Primrose Hill and then take the Trent Valley Line between Rugby and Stafford before approaching Trafford Park, using the Castlefield Corridor through Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road stations.
  • As I write this, the train is on time as it approaches Tamworth.

The train has done well as at Watford, it was running twenty minutes late. The train crew have used the 7.5 MW well to claw back the time.

Did it help the crew to regain the schedule, that they had 7.5 MW on hand, as opposed to the less than 3 MW from the UK’s largest diesel locomotive?

To my mind, this illustrates one of the reasons, why long distance trains are best run by powerful electric locomotives.

In Do Cummins And Stadler Have a Cunning Plan?, I describe the new Class 99 locomotive.

  • It is an electro-diesel locomotive.
  • It has 6 MW available on 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  • It has a 1.8 MW Cummins diesel engine, which may be powerful enough to haul the largest trains in and out of the Port of Felixstowe, where the route is not electrified.

Thirty of these locomotives have been ordered by GB Railfreight.

I believe that one of these locomotives could handle a very heavy freight train between the Port of Felixstowe and Trafford Park Freightliner Terminal.

  • The locomotive working alone could handle the train on the unelectrified line between Felixstowe and Ipswich.
  • There would be no need to electrify the lines in the Port of Felixstowe.
  • There would be no need for a prolonged stop in Ipswich.
  • An hour on the journey could be saved.
  • There might be a saving in the number of crew.

The Class 99 locomotive seems to be well-designed for handling freight trains out of Felixstowe.

Were Freightliner experimenting with what they needed from an electro-diesel locomotive, when I took this picture at Shenfield?

Note.

  1. The Class 90 electric locomotive has 3.7 MW of power.
  2. The Class 66 diesel locomotive has 2.4 MW of power.

Was what I saw an affordable electro-diesel locomotive?

January 17, 2023 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. 3.7MW is its continuous rating it should be able to exceed that by 15-20% for an hour. Their weakness compared to a 66 though is tractive effort is lower as they were geared for 110mph so not so good for heavy loads which is why two are used so the CoCo 99’s will be far superior.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | January 17, 2023 | Reply

    • They were certainly doing a good lick through Canonbury and they clawed the time back very well!

      Comment by AnonW | January 17, 2023 | Reply

      • 40-50maybe – there much more impressive when they barrelling along at max speed of 75mph with a long load behind

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | January 17, 2023

  2. By chance this same train passed through Deansgate just a few minutes late.
    Sadly my trains were delayed by 20 minutes and sat on another later than waiting to depart. ☹

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | January 17, 2023 | Reply


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