This blog is focussed around my interests in Diesel and Electric locomotives and the modern rail freight scene. I particularly like the humble Class 08 and 09 Shunter and also anything with a pantograph, notably Class 86, 90 and 92 locomotives.

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This is my personal blog and as such, all views are those of myself and do not necessarily represent the views of my family, friends, or employers.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Colas' latest arrival

Late May brought the arrival of 70810 at Liverpool Seaforth Docks. The last of an initial batch of ten ordered by Colas Rail Freight, a further ten have since been ordered to be constructed by the end of the year to beat new EU emission regulations being introduced in 2015. 70810 is expected to move (under its own power) on Tuesday 03/06/2014 (as ever subject to change!)

Gronk back at Allerton!

A few weeks ago I wrote about Allerton TMD's long association with Class 08 and 09 shunters and it coming to an end in 2009. It would appear then that no sooner had I posted, that plans were put in place for a sensational return. On Thursday 29/05/2014, 08527 was unloaded from a road trailer that had brought it from Trafford Park. Owned by HN Rail, this Class 08 still carries the grey livery of the ill fated/short lived Fastline Freight. Northern, who now operate Allerton, are to use 527 as depot pilot. It has since been replaced at Trafford Park by 08818.
With this arrival, we now have two Class 08 pilots within the Allerton/Garston area, with 08924 in use at the Ford/Jaguar Landrover facility.

Big thanks to Dave Mylett for providing these two pictures which were from passing trains (knowing him, it would have been EMT 158's!)

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Garston car traffic

In recent years we have seen the number of shunter duties decline significantly. There are a number of reasons for this. A lot of freight flows have disappeared, meaning yards and terminals were closed eliminating the need for a shunter. Cost cutting and 'more efficient' ways of operating have seen dedicated pilots vanish, and main line locomotives perform the shunting. 
So, how refreshing then that in 2014 GB Railfreight introduce a new turn. Winning the Ford car traffic between Garston (South Liverpool) and Dagenham from rivals DB Schenker, an 08 was swiftly hired from HN Rail. 08924, a shunter with Liverpool connections in the past, was painted into HN Rail orange at Barrow Hill and moved over to Garston. So why the need for a diesel shunter? Well the answer is actually quite simple. The sidings at the Ford complex are not electrified, and the flow is assigned to a Class 92 electric. The 08 shunts the stock in and out of the yard and on to a stretch of electrified track.
Besides providing work for the shunter, this flow also is a welcome boost to the under worked Class 92 fleet. The most expensive and technologically advanced electric locomotive introduced by BR.