Prototype Class 18 heads to GBRF
GB Railfreight (GBRF) has taken delivery of the first Clayton CBD90 Class 18 hybrid battery-powered shunting locomotive from Beacon Rail Leasing on a three-month trial to test the locomotive’s suitability and performance.
18001 was delivered to Whitemoor Yard, Cambridgeshire, on February 1, where it will undergo testing to understand its capabilities and performance.
It had previously been on test at the Chasewater Railway in the West Midlands following its construction, and Railways Illustrated was given a detailed inspection of the locomotive in November (issue 229). Manufactured by Clayton Equipment Ltd, the Class 18 is powered by an on-board battery that provides emissions-free operation where charging facilities are available, or through a regenerative braking system.
When challenges with range or operation occur, an efficient on-board diesel engine can be utilised to increase the locomotive’s running time.
GBRF asset director David Golding said: “The Class 18 hybrid+ shunting locomotive has the power to play a key role in the decarbonisation of our future fleet.
“Going forward, it will offer a wide range of sustainable benefits capable of significantly reducing the environmental impact of our operations.” Beacon Rail Leasing chief commercial officer Rob Dee said: “We are very pleased to have delivered the first of our order of 15 Class 18 hybrid+ shunting locomotives from Clayton Equipment to GB Railfreight.
"This is a key milestone in our delivery programme and we look forward to working with GB Railfreight through the trial period. This locomotive will offer our customers a greener and sustainable option for railfreight operations in the UK against the backdrop of targets to reduce emissions.” Beacon has ordered 15 Class 18 CBD90 shunting locomotives from Clayton and hopes the success of the design will lead to further orders as the railway seeks more environmentally-friendly locomotives. The firm sees the design as a possible successor to the popular but ageing Class 08 diesel shunter.