DRS Class 68 to power Chiltern Railways’ Mainline route
DRS are delighted to announce that they have signed an agreement with Chiltern Railways to provide six Class 68 locomotives which will service the Birmingham to London Marylebone Mainline route. The deal is part of Chiltern’s programme of continued investment in the route and has received the approval of the Department for Transport.
Chiltern will introduce the Class 68 into their entire Mainline silver locomotive hauled Mark 3 train fleet, which operates between London Marylebone and Kidderminster. Future expansion was an important consideration for Chiltern and thanks to the Class 68’s superior haulage capability, DRS were able to help cover this requirement with ease.
The new locomotives have been supplied under a sub lease from DRS and will be numbered 68010 to 68015. The first vehicles will arrive with Chiltern in Autumn of 2014 for driver training and the plan is to begin using them in passenger services from Winter 2014.
DRS will provide a fully maintained service to Chiltern and also assist in the commissioning and introduction of the locomotives prior to service commencement.
Rob Brighouse, Managing Director of Chiltern Railways said, “The introduction of the new locomotives marks yet another key milestone as part of our investment into the Birmingham to London Marylebone route. Their addition not only updates our fleet with the most up-to-date diesel locomotives in the UK, it allows us to prepare for future expansion as demand for our line increases.”
Neil McNicholas, Managing Director of DRS said, “DRS are proud to support Chiltern Railways in this exciting project that will see the Class 68 locomotive delivering industry leading levels of performance, reliability fuel efficiency as well as environmental credentials. Working in partnership we are focused on delivering the highest possible standards to meet Chilterns long-term franchise requirements and provide exceptional service delivery to the customer.”