DIRECT RAIL Services has been awarded a contract to transport cars from the Ford factory at Dagenham to the rail terminal at Garston, near Liverpool. The operator will use its Class 88 locomotives to haul the services; apart from the terminals the route is electrified throughout, and the ‘88s’, supplied by Stadler, incorporate a diesel engine for last-mile operation away from overhead wires. Under the previous operator this flow was often worked by diesel locomotives throughout.
DRS will work with automotive transport specialist STVA UK, which runs the Garston terminal. Each service will carry around 190 vehicles on a mix of double deck and single deck wagons. Trains will operate six to eight times a week, with potential for this to rise to 10 services.