Class 68 takes over Cumbrian diagram

THE switch from a DRS Class 37 to Class 68 on one of Northern’s Cumbrian Coast loco-hauled services took place from March 12.

The change of loco, first highlighted in the February issue, stems from reliability issues with Class 37s, following a number of failures.

On March 13, and working in top-and-tail mode, Class 68 Nos. 68018 and 68017 work train 2C34, the 14.35 Carlisle-Barrow-in-Furness across Eskmeals Viaduct, having taken over one of the 37/4 diagrams the previous day. CAMERON WALKER

Unlike the Class 37 diagrams, which worked in push-pull mode using a Mk2 DBSO, the new
Class 68 diagram is being worked in top-and-tail mode because of incompatibilities with the DBSO equipment to that of a Mk3 DVT used by Chiltern, as the locos are not fitted with AAR push-pull equipment.

The use of loco-hauled services is time limited, as Northern has ordered Class 195 two- and three-car units from CAF 55, which will allow alternative units to work on the Cumbrian Coast services.

In the case of the two diagrams, it is understood these will run between Barrow and Carlisle only from the May timetable change.

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