UK: The bodyshell for the first of the Class 93 tri-mode electric-diesel-battery locomotives ordered by Rail Operations (UK) has been completed at Stadler’s factory at Valencia in Spain.
‘This is a project of firsts’, said Iñigo Parra, CEO of Stadler Valencia, on July 21. ‘The Class 93 is not only the first tri-mode locomotive to run in the UK, but it’s Stadler’s first tri-mode locomotive, illustrating our commitment to green technology and genuine desire to help governments and businesses around the world de-carbonise.’
The first Class 93 is scheduled to arrive in the UK in March 2023, for testing ahead of entry into service a few months later.
The mixed-traffic Bo-Bo design is based on the Class 68 UKLight diesel and Class 88 UKDual electro-diesel locos supplied to Direct Rail Services, but will have a higher maximum speed of 175 km/h rather than 160 km/h.
The Class 93 will have a rating of 4·6 MW using 25 kV 50 Hz electrification, with a 900 kW Caterpillar C32 diesel engine meeting EU 97/68 Stage V emission regulations for use on non-electrified lines. Two lithium titanate oxide battery packs will provide an extra 400 kW which can be used to supplement the diesel engine or for zero-emission shunting.
Rail Operations UK and Stadler signed a framework agreement for 30 Class 93 locomotives in January 2021, with a firm order for an initial 10.
Confirmation of the long-planned order came after STAR Capital Partnership acquired a majority stake in Rail Operations (UK), which owns operating company Rail Operations Group, freight subsidiary Orion and rolling stock storage and disposal business Traxion.
‘We’ve been working with Stadler for four years now to specify and design a locomotive for the future’, said Rail Operations (UK) CEO Karl Watts. ‘The end product, the Class 93 tri-mode, is a locomotive of great operating versatility, incredible energy efficiency and packed full of technology which not only allows us to transform UK train operations but lead the way in UK rail decarbonisation.
‘The locomotive also enables Rail Operations UK to penetrate new operating markets, in particular express freight, previously unavailable using its existing locomotive fleet.’