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.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Autumn of the Class 86

86608 86607 4M83 1033 Coatbridge F.L.T. to Crewe Bas Hall S.S.M taken at Red Bank, Newton-le-Willows 17/08/2019

Freightliner's Class 86 fleet have served the company well with well over 50 years service. With the introduction of large fleets of new trains within the UK over the past few years, the merry go round redeployment of replaced trains mean the 86's time appears to be running out.

From December, Abellio Greater Anglia will start the withdrawal of their Class 90 and Mark 3 coach fleet with the introduction of their new Stadler Class 745 FLIRT units on the Intercity route between Norwich and London Liverpool Street. The 15 Class 90's, who are currently owned by Porterbrook, already have new homes with 2 destined for Locomotive Services Ltd (LSL) at Crewe and the remaining 13 to Freightliner Intermodal. This should allow for the withdrawal of the 86's from FL use. The irony here being that once released from West Coast duties in the early 2000's, the 90's also replaced 86's on these Anglia duties.

Freightliner were up until earlier this year, last year considering an overhaul scheme for the 86's which would have seen a number be retained for a further 20 years service. It is believed that the company is now considering withdrawal instead. From November, Freightliner take over the Mendip Stone contract from DB and will inherit the Class 59/0's and 59/1's. The Class 66/6's which are currently focussed around the Tunstead traffic are believed to be headed to the Mendips with their duties being taken over from some reinstated Class 70 locomotives. Whether enough loco's will be in position to allow for a complete 86 withdrawal remains to be seen but here's hoping not.

86608 86637 4K64 11:46 Garston FLT - Crewe Basford Hall taken at Acton Bridge 22/06/2018.

It is believed that from around October the Anglo-Scottish intermodal trains, long in the hands of pairs of 86's, will be taken over by pairs of Class 90's. Freightliner currently have 11 90's on the books, 10 of which are serviceable but 3 remain on hire to GBRf for Caledonian Sleeper duties. This hire contract should have ended by now but due to delays to the new CAF MK5 stock remain in use. This should however be resolved in the coming weeks. A refresh and training programme has been underway with Mossend based drivers on the type and once the combination of trained staff and loco availability is where it should be, the 86's should give way on these north of Crewe workings.

86627 86609 4M42 2152 Felixstowe North FLT to Garston FLT service at Acton Bridge 27/06/2019.

Other than the Anglo-Scotland workings, Class 86's are currently the booked traction for the following workings:

4L41 0603 Crewe Basford Hall - Felixstowe FLT (as far as Ipswich)
4M42 2152 Felixstowe FLT - Garston FLT (from Ipswich)
0K64 1146 Garston FLT - Crewe Basford Hall (light engines)

4L91 0210 Trafford Park FLT - Felixstowe (as far as Ipswich)
4M87 1113 Felixstowe FLT - Trafford Park (from Ipswich)

 Get them while you 'Can'!!!

86612 86638 4K83 12:13 Garston FLT - Crewe Basford Hall service taken at Acton Bridge 21/09/2019

86622 86638 4K64 11:46 Garston FLT - Crewe Basford Hall service taken at Halewood 05/05/2016

86628 86639 0K64 11:46 Garston FLT - Crewe Basford Hall light engine movement taken at Halebank 20/09/2019

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