Class 88 named as Train of the Year 2018

Direct Rail Services (DRS), scooped their fourth award of the week, with their Class 88 locomotive being named as Train of the Year – freight/ mixed traffic at the prestigious National Rail Awards held in London on September 13. With over 1,200 attending, the event is one of the biggest events in the rail industry’s calendar.

The Class 88 locomotive was described as a potential ‘game-changer’ in terms of electric freight train operation. The class 88, built by Stadler, is an electric locomotive that also boasts a powerful 750kW Caterpillar diesel engine which provides unrivalled flexibility allowing it to run on electrified and non-electrified parts of the rail network.

DRS, subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, is using single Class 88 locomotives on its intermodal freight services which run daily between Daventry and Mossend.

Class 88s have also been used to operate DRS’ nuclear flask services nationwide, using electric power on the West and East Coast Main lines and diesel power for long stretches of track that aren’t electrified.

The judges felt that the Class 88 has provided an excellent solution to efficient freight train operation into rail terminals. The ability to use metered electric power where available has also achieved considerable fuel cost savings.


This latest success comes hot on the heels of the Rail Freight Group Awards on Tuesday, where DRS received the ‘Business of the Year’ award. This accolade is presented to the company that the judges consider to be the overall best performing business in the rail freight sector.

Chris Connelly, Chief Operating Officer for DRS, said: “The DRS team is incredibly proud of the awards it has won over the past few days.

“The recognition is testament to what can be achieved through effective teamwork together with huge support from our customers and suppliers. I would like to give my personal thanks to everyone involved as we look forward to many more exciting times ahead.”

Class 88 locomotive

Photograph by David and Jo Clough


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