Zephir depot shunter (Image Porterbrook)

UK: Leasing company Porterbrook has bought three Zephir LOK 16.300 depot shunters which will be leased to GB Railfreight for use at the Celsa Steel works in Cardiff.

The LOK 16.300 is intended as a more sustainable option than the Class 08 diesel shunting locomotives currently used, offering an expected fuel efficiency saving of up to 60% and road-rail capability for increased operational flexibility.

The Zephir shunters will be powered by EU Stage V engines able to run on HVO bio-diesel. Porterbrook explained that it was not currently possible to use battery or electric traction at the Celsa site, because of the duty cycles involved.

The shunters have been procured through Zephir’s UK distributor Depot Rail, which will provide support once they are in operation. The first unit is expected to be delivered in October.

‘With over 300 depot shunters currently operating in the UK and most due for renewal over the next five years, bringing these lower-emission Zephirs under our ownership for GB Railfreight marks a further diversification of our freight fleet’, said Porterbrook’s Head of Freight & Route Services Mark Wyborn on March 28, noting that it ‘underlines our dedication to support the sector with affordable, innovative and sustainable rolling stock.’ He added that Porterbrook was ‘committed to investing in rail freight for the long-term’.

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