Written by: TrainSim-James
Since the Class 59 entered the UK there hasn’t been an end to the number of fantastic locomotives built around the world for service on Britain’s Railways. A number of manufacturers including EMD & Bombardier have put traction to the rails in the UK. Now Vossloh have joined the list with the Class 68 which is definitely no exception and this powerful, modern locomotive will soon be welcomed onto the rails in Train Simulator.
The Class 68 is branded as UKLight by Vossloh, a variant of the Eurolight design they unveiled to the world in 2010. The Eurolight needed various modifications to be Britain-ready, for example the body itself was too large for the UK’s loading gauge; a side effect of this was changes to the powerful Caterpillar C175 engine and the ABB traction equipment so they could fit in the smaller shell.
At the end of the production line came out a super-efficient, high speed locomotive that was ready to operate freight and passenger services across the UK. With 5000 Litre fuel tanks their range without refuelling is certainly desirable, keeping unneeded stops down to a minimum and providing more consistent, and fuel efficient services throughout.
DRS received their first batch of 15 Class 68 locomotives between 2013 and 2014 and they quickly proved themselves as haulers of heavy freight across the country, a total of 8 locomotives were sub-leased to passenger operators (2 for ScotRail and 6 for Chiltern Railways) as an environmentally friendly solution to express services across their respective networks. DRS’s second batch began arrival in 2015 with the final touching down on British soil in April 2016. A further 7 locomotives are on order, this upcoming batch well be sub-leased to TransPennine Express in 2019 and will further prove the Class 68 as the future of diesel locomotive-based operations in the country.
The ScotRail Class 68 for Train Simulator will feature the modern safety and eco-friendly systems found on the locomotive including an automatic sander with cancellation ability, train length controls plus the Day Guard System which automatically shuts the engine down when not in use. The ScotRail Class 68 will also feature authentic sounds recorded from 68015 at the Chiltern Railways Depot in Wembley, London.
Included with the ScotRail Class 68 will be the locomotive in ScotRail Saltire livery complete with ScotRail Saltire Mk2 coaches and a selection of Career scenarios for the Edinburgh to Glasgow route.
The highly anticipated Class 68 for Train Simulator is coming very soon, keep an eye out for updates! ■