DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd has taken a step forward in its plans to operate European sized freight trains on High Speed 1 following the successful trial of a class 92 locomotive on the route during the early hours of Friday 25 March 2011.
The purpose of the trial was to assess the signalling systems that had been installed inside the locomotive. This success is a step forward in enabling the larger freight trains that operate in Europe to be conveyed direct into London via the Channel Tunnel and High Speed 1. These trains represent a significant new market for rail and unlocks the ability to increase modal shift from road to rail for cross channel freight.
The class 92 travelled from Dollands Moor near Folkestone and along the High Speed 1 route to Singlewell at Gravesend. This was the first time that a Class 92 locomotive has operated on the High Speed 1 route with its on-board signalling system fully operational.
The trial was an outstanding success and marks a significant milestone in a five year project by DB Schenker Rail, working with High Speed 1, Ansaldo STS and Systra, to modify the TVM430 signalling system to enable class 92s to operate on three different infrastructure systems; High Speed 1, Network Rail and Eurotunnel.
The project has been supported with funding from the European Commission’s Marco Polo programme.
DB Schenker Rail will now plan another trial with a set of loaded European sized wagons. Once this trial has successfully taken place, regular European sized freight trains will be introduced to operate to and from London.
Alain Thauvette, Chief Executive of DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd, said:
“This is a very significant milestone. The success of this trial opens up the reality of these larger freight trains travelling from anywhere across Europe on the DB Schenker Rail pan-European network direct into London for the first time. This is the significant key that will unlock modal shift between road and rail on cross Channel operations. I congratulate everyone involved and look forward to the success of the loaded trial, followed by the introduction of regular services.”