Clayton Bo-Bo for Tata

PERHAPS most readily associated with the Class 17 diesels of the 1960s, Clayton Equipment of Burton-upon-Trent is – unlike most of other UK locomotive builders – still going strong.

Away from the main line, the company has been producing a wide variety of mining, tunnelling and now shunting engines for the worldwide market across a multitude of track gauges and in battery, diesel and electric options. It provided seven 40-tonne low-emission diesel shunters for the Crossrail project and, more recently in 2018, one for the Ford car plant in Dagenham.

This year has seen Clayton produce one of its biggest locos to date, the CBD90, which is a 90-tonne, hybrid Bo-Bo locomotive for Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant. Power is delivered by the traction battery and 416kW high-torque electric motors, with battery charging from an on-board low emission, EU Stage V-compliant diesel engine.

This is the first of several ordered by Tata to replace its ageing shunter fleet and, with more than 300kN tractive effort (more than a main line locomotive, albeit at much lower speeds) it should prove ideal for the task of moving up to 2500 tonnes.

After testing on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, it moved to Port Talbot at the start of April.

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