New loco for new look railway

ANGLIA Railways is to trial a new electric locomotive in the hope of revolutionising its services to London.It is hiring a Class 90 locomotive, which could replace the existing Class 86 locomotives on its InterCity trains.

By Paul Geater

ANGLIA Railways is to trial a new electric locomotive in the hope of revolutionising its services to London.

It is hiring a Class 90 locomotive, which could replace the existing Class 86 locomotives on its InterCity trains.

The Class 90s are newer and more powerful than the existing locomotives.

Anglia has taken delivery of one Class 90 which will be tested on non-passenger duties between Norwich and Stowmarket over the next few weeks.

If that is successful, it will be used on regular passenger trains from August – and if that trial is successful a small fleet of these locomotives could be operating in the region by November.

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Further replacement locomotives could be introduced next year.

Anglia would be able to hire them because they are now surplus to requirements for freight operator Freightliner, which is standardising its services with powerful diesel locomotives.

Anglia's managing director Tim Clarke said the trial showed that the company was looking to the future: "The opportunity to potentially bring in a fleet of more modern and powerful electric locomotives for the Norwich to London mainline is extremely positive news.

"It will ensure that we can build on our reputation as one of the best performing train operators in the UK, continuing to improve train service punctuality and reliability for our customers in the region.

"Although our existing Class 86 locomotives continue to perform remarkably well, thanks to the efforts of the fleet team at our maintenance depot, this development demonstrates Anglia Railways on-going commitment to improving fleet performance."

Class 90 Factfile:

Built in Crewe between 1987 and 1990, initially for express trains between London and Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham.

Maximum speed: 110 mph (100 mph in East Anglia).

Brake horsepower: 4,500

Weight: 84 tons.

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