Final Caledonian Sleeper ‘73/9’ rebuild delivered

GBRf’s last rebuilt electro-diesel has been released to traffic in Scotland, while a modification programme for the rest of the fleet is now underway.

The last of GB Railfreight’s Class 73 rebuilds belatedly started main line testing on November 4 when
No. 73971 undertook a run to Derby and back.

Although the former No. 73207 was completed in early summer, it had been held back at Loughborough as Brush Traction investigated the vibration issues afflicting the new Lechmotoren alternators, this being identified as the primary cause of the type’s reliability issues, particularly on the Caledonian Sleeper services.

The rebuilt and subsequently partly upgraded ‘ED’ was noted at Derby on the 7th before traversing the Coalville line back to Brush, and then it was seen at Crewe the next day. The loco departed Loughborough for Crewe again on November 9, where it picked up No. 92038 and continued north on the West Coast as the 0S73/15.13 Crewe-Craigentinny light engine move.

No. 73971 was then put straight into service, being coupled behind No. 66739 to provide train power to the 1A25/04.43 Edinburgh-Aberdeen sleeper portion early on November 10.

Ten days later, the two locos were still together when departing
Fort William with the 1B01/19.00 sleeper to Edinburgh.

Read more in January’s issue of Rail Express

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