Network Rail’s re­built Class 73s ac­cepted into traf­fic

Rail (UK) - - Fleet News - As­sis­tant Editor richard.clin­nick@bauer­me­ @Clin­nick1

TWO Class 73s re­built and re-en­gi­neered for Network Rail have been ac­cepted into traf­fic more than two years af­ter work to con­vert them be­gan.

The lo­co­mo­tives (73951 Mal­colm Brinded and 73952 Ja­nis Kong) were re­built by LORAM UK at Derby. They have been fit­ted with Cum­mins 755hp gen sets, re­plac­ing a sin­gle 600hp English Elec­tric en­gine.

They were re­built from 73211 and 73104 re­spec­tively, and have un­der­gone months of test­ing be­fore be­ing ac­cepted into traf­fic. Rail Ve­hi­cle En­gi­neer­ing Ltd (which LORAM bought last year) ini­tially pro­posed the ‘73’ re­build in 2011.

NR spokesman Dan Dono­van told RAIL on March 21 that they com­pleted their first in­fra­struc­ture mon­i­tor­ing (IM) record­ing trip in mid-March, at which time they were ac­cepted into ser­vice. He said that NR was now car­ry­ing out a com­pre­hen­sive driver train­ing pro­gramme.

While the lo­co­mo­tives will be a na­tional re­source, Dono­van said that ini­tially they will be de­ployed on NR du­ties in the Mid­lands. They have also ven­tured to the West Coun­try in re­cent weeks on train­ing runs. The ‘73/9s’ are based at Derby, and were de­signed to re­place NR’s Class 31 fleet.

The in­fra­struc­ture com­pany has con­firmed to RAIL that the ‘31s’ will be with­drawn this month, with the last one (31233) used on the main line be­fore be­ing switched off. NR also owns 31105, which had been used for shunt­ing at Derby, and which is to be sold in due course.

LORAM owns 73101/139. These could be con­verted into ‘73/9s’, but there has been no con­fir­ma­tion of any new deal.

NR owns a wide range of lo­co­mo­tives in­clud­ing Class 08s, ‘31s’, ‘37s’ and a ‘73/1’. It has also con­tracted Co­las Rail to sup­ply lo­co­mo­tives for its IM op­er­a­tions, and the ‘73s’ will work along­side the Class 37s hired from Co­las for these du­ties. Ad­di­tion­ally, NR hires five Class 73/9s from GB Rail­freight (73961-73965) for in­fra­struc­ture du­ties on the for­mer South­ern Re­gion. The GBRf ‘73/9s’ are fit­ted with 1,500hp MTU en­gines.

At Derby on March 7, Network Rail 73951 Mal­colm Brinded and 73952 Ja­nis Kong top and tail a Derby-Derby test train that ran via the West Mid­lands. Af­ter months of test­ing, the re-en­gi­neered Class 73/9s have been ac­cepted into traf­fic by NR. STEVE DON­ALD.

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