Class 88 arrives for UK testing

Photo: Direct Rail Services.
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Direct Rail Services (DRS) has received the first of its new dual-mode Class 88 locomotives.

88002 is the first of 10 locomotives to be delivered by Stadler, formerly Vossloh Rail Vehicles, from Valencia. The remaining nine units will be delivered in the spring.

DRS announced today that a UK testing programme – expected to last between six and eight weeks – will now begin.

The Class 88 is a progression of the diesel-electric Class 68 mixed-use locomotives. DRS describes the Class 88 as a ‘true dual-mode locomotive’, as it has both 25 kV electric and diesel operating modes.

Some testing has already been completed. Last year, locomotive 88001 hauled a 1,500-tonne train and ER20 locomotive in both its electric and diesel modes.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to see 88002 at a charity open day on July 22 at DRS’s Kingmoor depot in Carlisle.