The first prototype of Network Rail's new 'Ultra73' locomotive was unveiled on Friday the 13th June at Railway Vehicle Engineering Limited (RVEL) in Derby.
The locomotive is substantially complete and was presented to Network Rail to allow inspection and approval of the re-engineering works, cab layout and general design.
The new design comprises two Cummins powered diesel generator sets supplied by National Railway Equipment Corporation of the US, electronically controlled power conversion equipment and a brand new EP brake scheme.
This means that the Ultra73 ‘packs the same punch’ operating under diesel power, as it does via the third rail. The loco is also cleaner, quieter and has greater fuel economy and, more importantly, meets all the requirements for electromagnetic and signalling compatibility.
The next steps are to complete the works in the second cab, now that the layout meets the client’s approval. And then begin the process of careful checking and sequence testing prior to moving to track testing in the Autumn.
© Paul Bigland Photography