|DRS/TPE 68022 leads a training trip from Wavertree Junction-Crewe Carriage Sidings through Halebank. 68027 was on the rear. 18/04/2018.|
With the introduction of Class 68's and new coaching stock manufactured by CAF penned in for the Autumn, attention has now turned to driver and guard training. A number of test runs of Class 68's have occurred since Autumn 2017 mainly focused on the Crewe-Preston/Carlisle corridor.
|68020 68022 Winwick 16/11/2017.|
On Wednesday 18th April a number of runs were operated between Crewe Carriage Sidings and Wavertree Junction (Liverpool) utilizing MK3 coaches from the former 'WB64' Pretendolino stock last in use with Abellio Greater Anglia. A Class 68 locomotive was placed at either end, 68027 on the Liverpool end and 68022 'Resolution' at the Crewe end. Testing continued for the remainder of the week working several trips back and forth each day.
|68022 'Resolution' 5K23 10:23 Wavertree Junction-Crewe passing Halebank 19/04/2018.|
|68027 5F23 11:16 Crewe-Wavertree Junction passing Halebank 19/04/2018.|
|68022 'Resolution' 5K25 12:18 Wavertree Jn-Crewe passing Halebank 19/04/2018.|
|68027 bringing up the rear of the 5K25 12:18 Wavertree Jn-Crewe passing Halebank 19/04/2018.|
The plan is for 2 current Class 185 diagrams to go over to 68 haulage from the May timetable change using MK3 coaches, both on the Liverpool/Scarborough turns. These will be top n tailed with the loco hauled sets initially based at Crewe Carriage sidings. Facilities at both Liverpool Edge Hill and Manchester Longsight are being enhanced to house the new stock in the near future. The May start date is dependent on enough drivers and guards being suitably trained up in time.
There are currently 2 Class 68's over in the Czech Republic being tested with the new CAF MK5a stock, these being 68019 and 68021. These locomotives currently carry Trans-Pennine Express livery after vinyls were applied at Crewe Gresty Bridge in 2017.
Watch this space...