Latest Rail News


Chiltern leases six Class 68 locos for Mainline services in £15m deal

Chiltern Railways is spending £15m to lease six new Class 68 diesel locomotives for use on its Birmingham to London Marylebone services.

Forming part of its Mainline silver train fleet, the 85-tonne Class 68s will be supplied and fully maintained by Carlisle-based Direct Rail Services (DRS). DRS will also assist in the commissioning of the engines prior to them being introduced for service.

The new locomotives are expected to be in operation by winter 2014, and it has been reported that the first Class 68 to arrive in the UK is currently undergoing tests, with another on trial at a rail technology centre in the Czech Republic.

Rob Brighouse, managing director of Chiltern Railways, said: “The introduction of new locomotives marks yet another key investment milestone for our Birmingham to London Marylebone route.

“Their addition not only updates our fleet with the most up-to-date diesel locomotives in the UK, it allows us to prepare for future expansion as demand for our line increases.”

Chiltern has so far invested £130m upgrading the Mainline route since its launch in 2011. The intention was to reduce journey times between Moor Street and Marylebone and make the service a viable competitor to the West Coast Main Line.

(Image of 68002 Intrepid at Derby on 6 February 2014 copyright Rob Reedman, used here under a Creative Commons licence)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email


Steve Mcgregor   30/04/2014 at 09:50

Chiltern are certainly a market leader, unprecedented innovation and investment. The Chiltern route was on the verge of closure 25 years ago, now a true inter city route and the latest exciting Evergreen project linking Oxford to Marylebone via Bicester will certainly be offering greater choice to the travelling public.

Mr.R.E.Goodman; President;Lincoln Railway Society   24/08/2014 at 11:14

Chiltern Railways rate high in customer service and we will look forward to even faster journeys behind class 68 locos. I will be in London on September 3rd-if I go to Marylebone Station will I have any chance of seeing any of this new locomotives?On test for example or driver training. Thank you in advance for your attention. Yours Bob Goodman

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

18/12/2018Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

“Ineffective” safety arrangements and a number of unofficial working practices contributed to a group of track workers narrowly avoid... more >
Structural steelwork begins on Glasgow Queen Street transformation

18/12/2018Structural steelwork begins on Glasgow Queen Street transformation

The transformation of Glasgow Queen Street has been revealed as engineers have finished the installation of the west truss and have begun buildin... more >
Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

18/12/2018Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

Passengers will have the choice of choosing which train operators they travel with under new plans to allow rival TOCs to operate on the same rou... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News


HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >
Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >
Taking to the skies

30/10/2018Taking to the skies

Network Rail’s commitment to driving innovation is best encapsulated by its latest scheme involving high-definition imagery drones, or UAVs... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >