Lo­co­mo­tive-hauled trains con­tinue Nor­folk coast op­er­a­tions

Rail (UK) - - Fleet News - Richard Clin­nick As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor richard.clin­nick@bauer­me­dia.co.uk @Clin­nick1

TWO lo­co­mo­tive-hauled trains are cur­rently op­er­at­ing for Abel­lio Greater Anglia on branch line trains be­tween Nor­wich and Great Yar­mouth/Low­est­oft, and will do so un­til at least Septem­ber 30.

One set, us­ing top-and-tailed Class 37/4s and Mk 2s hired from Di­rect Rail Ser­vices, has been in place since June 2015 and has been hired un­til the end of the cur­rent Abel­lio Greater Anglia fran­chise.

With no new trains to be de­liv­ered to the routes un­til 2019, when Stadler de­liv­ers bi-mode FLIRTs to the re­gion ( RAIL 807), it is ex­pected that this lo­co­mo­tive­hauled set will re­main on hire un­til diesel mul­ti­ple units are avail­able to cas­cade from other fran­chises where they have been re­placed by newer diesels or elec­tric trains.

AGA hires the ‘37s’ and Mk 2s be­cause it is al­ready short of DMUs, with the Depart­ment for Trans­port pay­ing for the train. As well as op­er­at­ing on week­days, the ‘37s’ are also used on Sum­mer Satur­day trains be­tween Nor­wich and Great Yar­mouth, op­er­at­ing four non-stop re­turn trips.

The ‘37s’ re­placed ‘47s’ hired from DRS and which have been used on an ad hoc ba­sis since 2011. DRS supplied mod­i­fied Mk 2s that en­abled the ‘37s’ to op­er­ate with through wiring, mean­ing that both lo­co­mo­tives were pow­er­ing - although this prac­tice has been

stopped in re­cent weeks to im­prove per­for­mance.

DRS sup­plies Class 37/4s from its XHAC pool. So far 37405/419/422/425 have been the four used, although the lat­ter has been com­man­deered in re­cent months to haul pas­sen­ger trains on the Cum­brian Coast, where DRS also sup­plies lo­co­mo­tives and stock for North­ern.

Also in the XHAC pool is re­cently re­in­stated 37403 Isle of Mull, which has re­mained in the North West, and soon-to-be-re­in­stated 37407 Black­pool Tower and 37558 Avro Vul­can XH558. It is un­der­stood that 37558 (which will re­vert to its 37424 iden­tity) will be used in East Anglia when it re­turns to traf­fic for the first time since March 2000.

AGA be­gan us­ing ‘68s’ on week­days from July 11, to cover for three-car 170204 that had been dam­aged in a level cross­ing ac­ci­dent near Thet­ford in April. The DMU will be out of ac­tion un­der­go­ing re­pairs un­til at least April 2017, leav­ing AGA with a fur­ther short­age of trains.

The ‘68s’ haul Riviera Trains Mk 2s that are supplied via DRS. Cur­rently this deal is un­til Septem­ber 30, and DRS crews drive the trains. It is ex­pected, but not yet con­firmed, that the con­tract could be ex­tended un­til De­cem­ber.

The first Class 68s used were 68016 Fear­less and 68023 Achilles. How­ever, the lat­ter failed and has been re­placed by 68019 Bru­tus ( RAIL 807).


Right: On Au­gust 16, Di­rect Rail Ser­vices 68016 Fear­less (left) and DRS 37405 (right) wait at Nor­wich on the rear of the 1205 to Low­est­oft and 1236 to Great Yar­mouth re­spec­tively. The trains were hauled by DRS 68019 Bru­tus and 37419 Carl Hav­i­land 1954-2012. The ‘68s’ are not booked to op­er­ate that par­tic­u­lar train un­less there is a short­age of diesel mul­ti­ple units on the day. Di­rect Rail Ser­vices 68016 Fear­less ar­rives at the idyl­lic Ling­wood station on Au­gust 11, with the 1717 Great Yar­mouth-Nor­wich. DRS 68023 Achilles ar­rives at Reed­ham on July 4 with a crew train­ing run from Nor­wich, bound for Low­est­oft. This ‘68’ was one of the pair that started the AGA hire con­tract, but it was re­placed by 68019 Bru­tus fol­low­ing a fail­ure. The sun sets as Di­rect Rail Ser­vices 37405 waits to leave Low­est­oft with the 1955 to Nor­wich on Au­gust 16. DRS 37419 Car­lHav­i­land1954-2012 was on the rear.


Class 153: 153306/309/314/322/335 Class 156: 156402/407/409/412/416-419/422 Class 170: 170201-208/270-273 Left: Dur­ing crew train­ing, DRS 68016 Fear­less and 68023 Achilles top and tail a crew train­ing run from Great Yar­mouth at Acle, pass­ing the 0836 Nor­wich-Great Yar­mouth with DRS 37422 trail­ing. DRS 37405 was haul­ing it. This scene is repli­cated ev­ery week­day. The need for ad­di­tional ve­hi­cles is clear on Au­gust 16, as pas­sen­gers pile onto the 1847 to Nor­wich at Great Yar­mouth. DRS 68016 Fear­less will haul the train via Ber­ney Arms, the only time each day that the ‘68s’ op­er­ate over that route. The set had ar­rived in Yar­mouth hauled by 68019 Bru­tus. Anglia DMU fleet

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