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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Rail link for plant workers

A CUMBRIAN rail company has ordered a new fleet of locomotives.

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NEW FLEET: Neil McNicholas, managing director at Direct Rail Services in Carlisle

Direct Rail Services (DRS), which is part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, ordered a fleet of 15 newly-designed mixed traffic diesel locomotives for use in its key freight and passenger train operations.

The Vossloh Espana Eurolight UK locomotives are a derivative of the Eurolight locomotive (already running in Germany) and have been developed for the UK in conjunction with Beacon Rail Leasing and DRS.

Due to arrive in the UK in late 2013, the locos feature a 3750hp Caterpillar c175 engine and ABB AC traction equipment delivering a top speed of 100mph and genuine mixed traffic haulage capabilities.

The locos will feature the latest emission standards and set new standards for driver environment. The initial order has been placed for 15 locos with further options for future orders.

DRS, based in Carlisle and with a depot at Sellafield, operates a number of services including passenger trains for Sellafield workers and freight trains to transport nuclear fuel.

In January, the company launched a six-week trial train service for the Sellafield workforce. The train was made up of three reserved carriages for Sellafield workers and an additional carriage for members of the public.

The return service ran Monday to Friday and provided Sellafield with seating capacity for up to 186 people. An additional 22 seats were available to the public from Carlisle to Sellafield.

After Sellafield, all carriages were made available to the public through to Barrow.

Nuclear Management Partners infrastructure director at Sellafield, Paul Foster, said: “We welcome this opportunity to work with DRS in providing alternative options for our employees to travel to work.

“This work will help us meet our environmental and travel plan commitments.

“The level of uptake in the trial service will be used to inform the development of future transport solutions, with the aim of reducing the number of vehicles accessing the Sellafield site on a daily basis.”

Neil McNicholas, managing director at DRS said: “Following on from DRS’ success of the award-winning Workington shuttle service during the period of flooding in 2009, DRS is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Sellafield Ltd and Northern Rail in providing this trial train service which will not only give the Sellafield staff a more relaxing and stress free way to travel to work but we will be able to assist Northern Rail in relieving demand for services at this peak time.”

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