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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Thursday, 11 June 2020

Finally getting a GBRf Tug....

It was a surprise to many when GBRf purchased the 10 Class 60's from Colas Rail freight in the summer of 2018. Colas had invested in the 10 in 2014 when offered for sale by DB Cargo, with all loco's long stored and being extensively rebuilt to the same standards as the DB 'Super 60' programme. Colas used the 60's on a range of duties from tanker trains to infrastructure runs. In 2018 GBRf was looking at for a stronger type 5 locomotive to handle the heavier biomass flows from Liverpool and Tyne Dock to Drax. Class 66's were deployed to these runs, but in the case of the Liverpool trains, 2 were required with a banker needed to assist on the rear due to the climb out of Liverpool Docks.  

60095 passes through Weaver Junction on Saturday 30/05/2020  with the 6E17 1230 Liverpool Biomass Terminal - Drax AES (GBRf)
The initial trials were actually conducted with a Class 70, with 70814 hired from Colas and used on the Liverpool branch before moving on to the North East. Although the trial was considered largely a success, the announcement came shortly after that GBRf had acquired the 10x Class 60's on Colas' books. In terms of Colas, they had standardised the fleet around the Class 70's of which they have 17 and the Class 56 locomotives they have invested heavily in.

GBRf 60096 'Impetus' leads the 6E09 09:38 Liverpool Biomass Terminal - Drax Alternative Energy station through Acton Bridge this morning.
60002/021/026/047/056/076/085/087/095/096 all moved over to GBRf and entered service initially still in Colas livery. A gradual de branding saw the Colas name and logo removed and just the words 'Rail Freight' remaining. Maintenance remained contracted to DB Cargo at Toton as per the deal between DB and Colas at the time of the original sale. GBRf then sold the 10 'Tugs' to Beacon Rail Leasing and immediately took the loco's back on long term lease.  

Originally unsure if I'd get one 60, then two turned up! Running almost 40 mins late, 60026 'Jupiter' leads classmate 60076 'Dunbar' through Winwick with the 6E17 1230 Liverpool Biomass Terminal - Drax.

GBRf have started to paint the loco's now but this has been a gradual affair with (as of today) 3 loco's painted and 7 outstanding. All have been treated as Arlington's (Eastleigh Works) as is standard for GBRf.

Availability has seemed pretty poor as of late with a number of loco's out of service awaiting/receiving attention. At the time of writing this at 17:30 on Saturday 06/06/2020, 60% of the fleet are available for traffic with 4 loco's awaiting/receiving attention (60002/21/85/96).
60085 'Adept' 6E09 Daresbury 08/02/2020.

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