DRS Class 88s commence trials

Prometheus has become the first of the 10 Stadler-built dual-mode locomotives to operate test runs over Network Rail metals.

By Simon Bendall

WITH static tests largely completed at Carlisle Kingmoor, No. 88002 Prometheus became the first Class 88 to venture onto the main line on March 20.

The rather low-key outing was undertaken without a proper schedule, the loco running light from the DRS depot at Kingmoor to Upperby via Carlisle station so it could be turned in order to position the pantograph end under an inspection gantry.

No. 88002 had the honour of becoming the first of the class to haul a train on Network Rail metals, when it took insurance loco No. 68025 and a rake of box wagons from Carlisle to Crewe and back on April 3 – pictured passing Oubeck loop, south of Lancaster with the southbound trip. Cameron Walker

Departing Kingmoor around 12.30, it was back on shed some 45 minutes later, having run on diesel power throughout.

The following day saw the loco’s pantograph raised for the first time in Carlisle Yard as initial electric testing got underway. With this proving satisfactory, a week of main line light engine tests commenced from March 27, No. 88002 working the 0Z88/07.04 Kingmoor-Crewe via the West Coast Main Line before returning as the 0Z89/11.04 Crewe-Kingmoor via Rainhill, Edge Hill, Huyton and Wigan North Western. These runs were mainly conducted on electric power, switching to diesel in order to get off and on Kingmoor and also around Edge Hill.

Read more in the May issue of RE – on sale now!

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