The railway-based service provider is now moving forward with the introduction of a TP-UK locomotive range for the UK and European markets
Railway Support Services launched the concept at Rail Live 2022 which took place at Long Marton Rail Innovation Centre in June. In order to demonstrate the benefits of the range effectively, a current North American TP70 locomotive carried out demonstrations at the event.
The company revealed that the design is ideal for the ever-changing demands of shunting operations whilst providing reduced emissions and lower maintenance costs alongside a larger tractive effort when compared to other current shunting locomotives.
RSS managing director Andrew Goodman says:
“We are delighted by the interest in this first example of what will be a range of locomotives for the UK market, early indications suggesting there is a strong demand. It is a versatile upgrade from the Class 08, which has been the industry standard for shunting operations across the UK for over 60 years.
“We have taken serious enquiries from clients in the UK and mainland Europe. As rail operators face a combination of rising running costs, increasing train weights and stricter emissions standards, the TP-UK locomotives offer a long-term shunting solution by providing a robust platform for current low-emission diesel and HVO-ready engines with potential for other propulsion methods as the technologies advance.”
Exclusively built for Rail Support Services by the Tractive Power Corporation and TP-UK, the range will meet full UK specifications with total customisation available in order to complement customers' specific needs. The range will see locomotives available in 3, 4 and 6 axle arrangements.
Andrew Goodman continues:
“They offer significant improvements over the Class 08, lower fuel consumption is an obvious benefit – for example, to move a 1,000-tonne train, the TPUK 3-63 (comparable with the TP-70 shown at Long Marston) will consume just 34 litres of diesel per hour, compared with a Class 08 which will consume 437 litres.
“Over a 16-hour working day (including five hours' idle time), this could potentially save more than £4,000 compared with a Class 08.
“Additionally, planned maintenance intervals are halved and, as components are “off the shelf”, will reduce lead times and the subsequent downtime of locomotives”
The locomotives have been designed in order to enable alternative power choices such as battery-electric, hybrid and hydrogen, which could be used on current locomotive chassis. With technologies moving forward to offer a wider range of viable alternative power solutions, the current power units are able to be replaced in order to extend the lifetime of the locomotives.
2023 Will see production begin for the TP-UK locomotives with leasing options available in conjunction with Porterbrook.
Whilst the TP-UK locomotive range moves into operation, a current demand for Rail Support Services shunting locomotives continues to grow. The company has a fleet of more than 60 shunting locomotives which has recently seen the addition of further Class 08s.
Andrew Goodman goes on to say:
“With greater emphasis on the economic and environmental benefits of moving freight by rail there is a corresponding increase in demand for locomotives to handle freight at each end of the bulk transport cycle – in manufacturing, raw materials, mineral extraction or chemical environments, to sorting vehicle loads at distribution or processing facilities or ports.
“This has led to a steady stream of enquiries for our existing Class 08 fleet from industry and from rail operators.”
In order to match the growth in demand, Rail Support Services has acquired several Clayton CD40 two-axle low-emission diesel locomotives which had previously worked on the construction of the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) and have now been overhauled and branded and are out in action within the industry.
Further to this, Rail Support Services has moved forward with hire agreements with Telford & Horsehay Railway, East Midlands Railway Centre and Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway who own Class 08 shunters.
Andrew Goodman says:
“While the transition to TP-UK locomotives starts, the RSS fleet of robust Class 08 locomotives continues to be trusted and able to address the immediate demand of the UK shunting industry,” Mr Goodman says.
“After many years of development, we are excited to bring long-overdue modernisation to UK shunting operations.”