Rail Operations (UK) Limited has started the campaign to drive a modal shift from road to rail for logistics type goods. Brought about by the demise of heavy industry and an upsurge in ecommerce, the transportation of light goods on UK roads has increased dramatically over recent years. Light goods are typically conveyed in pallets or roll-cages. Such commodities lend themselves to being transported by a passenger type rail vehicle (similar to the Royal Mail class 325 fleet) as opposed to freight trains.
In recognition of this change, Rail Operations (UK) Limited have ordered the first two class 769 4-car bi-mode units (BMU) to pioneer this modal shift. Provided by Porterbrook, the intention of the first two trains was simply to showcase the potential of using a very versatile, 100mph, express logistics train. However, such is the interest in the new proposal, it is very likely that further class 769 BMUs will be ordered.
The longer-term aspiration is to have a UK-wide network of logistics operations serving both logistics centres as well as major stations. Rail Operations (UK) Limited are creating a new train operating company named Orion to undertake the logistics services. The first services are expected to start in early 2020.
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Abellio East Anglia have appointed ROG as the test operator for their new, Stadler built, class 745 EMU and 755 BMU train fleets. Testing commences in November 2018. ROG are supplying a range of services in support of the test programme. The picture shows a newly built class 745, 4-car BMU.
05 October 2018
The first Bombardier class 710 EMUs to operate on the mainline underwent testing between Gospel Oak and Barking and also on the West Coast Main Line this week. ROG are the test operator for this new, Transport for London, fleet of 45 trains. ROG also have responsibility for delivering the new trains from the manufacturer’s plant in Derby to the fleets’ new home at Willesden Traction Maintenance Depot. The picture shows 710 265 standing in Barking station in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
05 October 2018
ROG have been appointed as test operator for the new class 769 ‘Flex’ hybrid multiple units. Testing commences in early November on the West Coast Main Line. ROG will also be delivering the new units to various locations around the UK. The picture shows a class 769 Flex unit stabled at Loughborough.
05 October 2018
ROG have taken delivery of two class 57 locomotives on long-term lease from DRS. The locomotives are fitted with brake translation equipment and Dellner 12 couplers similar to that fitted to ROG’s class 37 locomotives.
The class 57s will support ROGs growing need for Dellner 12 fitted locomotives. The picture shows the locomotives arriving at Leicester locomotive depot after collection from DRS’s Gresty Bridge depot. The locomotives join ROGs existing class 37 and class 47 locomotives as the mainstay of ROG’s locomotive fleet provision and will remain so until the arrival of ROG’s new locomotive fleet.
05 October 2018
ROG were delighted to win the 2018 Engineering Business Excellence category at last weeks' prestigious Rail Business Awards. The award was in recognition of the way in which ROG has brought significant innovation and modernisation to the UK rail industry by the way in which it has transformed locomotive haulage of EMU fleets across the UK. ROG are the UK's leader in passenger rolling stock fleet haulage for delivery, testing and engineering projects.
ROG are pleased to be supporting Bombardier in the movement of new build class 345 Crossrail EMUs. Class 345 operations include various moves between Derby, Old Dalby Test Track, Central Rivers and Wembley. The picture shows one of ROG’s class 37 locomotives 37601 hauling a new Crossrail EMU whilst working 5Q72 Old Dalby - Wembley service.
On Friday 27 October, Rail Operations Group (ROG) operated its first main-line, locomotive-hauled Bombardier Aventra service. The service, from the Old Dalby Test Track in Leicestershire to London, utilised one of ROG’s newly modified class 37/6 locomotives for the 9-car class 345 delivery which allows for direct coupling to the unit without the need for barrier, brake force or translator vehicles, thus allowing for 90mph operation. The operation of Aventra trains requires additional brake translation equipment and ROG’s class 37/6 locomotives to have a modified main air supply system. The operation followed a period of testing at Old Dalby with a class 37/6 locomotive and a 9-car class 345 Aventra unit. The image shows the train stabled at Abbey Wood at the far south east end of the Crossrail network.
ROG have appointed Ben Andrew as their new Engineering Director. Ben, a career railwayman, started with British Rail in 1986 as an Engineering Sponsored Student based at the RTC in Derby. Having gained a degree from Loughborough University, Ben’s career has taken him through Railfreight Distribution as Technical Support Engineer, the Engineering Link at Derby, EWS, Alstom West Coast Train Care, LNWR, Head of Fleet Operations at Virgin Trains, GBRf as Head of Engineering and latterly, Head of Traction and Rolling Stock for DRS.
Ben’s role at ROG is to provide strategic direction on all engineering aspects of the business including traction and rolling stock, engineering based projects and business development.
On Friday 22 September, ROG successfully tested the locomotive haulage of a Bombardier class 345 (Crossrail) Aventra EMU. The operation, which negates the need for barrier, brake force or translator vehicles, uses the latest brake translation electronics to enable through control of the automatic air brake. This enables ROG to haul class 345 EMUs at their maximum permitted speed of 90mph. ROG already have the capability to locomotive haul 2nd and 3rd generation EMUs without the need for additional vehicles. The successful test now enables ROG to locomotive haul all 4th generation Aventra type EMUs. ROG are the only operator in the UK with such technical capability. The image shows ROG class 37 locomotive 37601 coupled to a class 345 EMU at the Old Dalby Test Track.
The first GWR (Great Western Railway) High Speed Train to be cascaded to Abellio Scotrail was transferred from St. Philips Marsh Depot in Bristol to Polmadie Depot in Edinburgh on Friday (01 September).
In total, 26 HST train sets will be transferred to ScotRail by Rail Operations Group between now and November 2018.
The image shows the first transfer running into Edinburgh Waverley station following its run via the East Coast Main Line.
Rail Operations Group operated their first scheduled passenger services over the August Bank Holiday. Due to the closure of Euston for engineering work, ROG operated a series of additional services between Birmingham Moor Street and London Marylebone to add capacity to the Chiltern main line.
The trains were formed of Mk2e coaching stock provided by Riviera Trains and hauled by ROG's 95mph class 47 locomotives. Mark Keighley. ROG's Passenger Services Manager said, "although we've operated a number of passenger charter services in the past, this was a significant step forward in establishing ROG as a key player in supporting the Train Operating Company (TOC) sector".
Rail Operations Group are developing plans to separate passenger operations from its core business.
The image shows ROG's class 47 locomotive 47813 at the head of 1R92, the 12.53 London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street service on Saturday 26 August. Thanks to Tom Stobbs for the photograph.
In 2015, ROG announced its vision to eradicate the use of barrier and translator vehicles from routine locomotive haulage of UK EMU train fleets. This required ROG to acquire and modify a small number of locomotives. The modification would equip the locomotives with electro-pneumatic brake translation equipment and also Dellner and Tightlock couplers compatible with EMU rolling stock.
ROG achieved that vision yesterday when it ran its first commercial service on behalf of one of the rolling stock leasing companies hauling a pair of class 319s EMUs using new, direct coupling, through its new drop-head Tightlock coupler arrangement. Although ROG have been operating similar EMU stock movements with Dellner couplers for 18 months, this was the first time employing the new Tightlock arrangement which had been designed, engineered and fitted by UKRL in Leicester. The movement illustrated above is the first of a number of similar moves taking off-lease class 319 EMUs into store. Many thanks to Tom Stobbs for the photograph.
The new class 710 series ‘LOTRAIN’ EMUs, currently being built by Bombardier in Derby, will be main-line tested and delivered by ROG. The first in class 710 is expected to undergo testing in the autumn with deliveries to Willesden TMD planned to commence at the end of the year. ROG will utilise its Dellner fitted class 37 locomotives to undertake deliveries.
ROG successfully completed field testing of its first Tightlock fitted class 37 locomotive. The locomotive enters service in July hauling 2nd generation EMU trains across the UK rail network. The introduction of ROG's Tightlock fitted locomotives negates the need for barrier or translator vehicles for EMU haulage.
On 21 February 2017, the British Standards Institute (BSI) issued ROG the ISO9001(2015) accreditation for its Quality Management System. Stephanie Ferry, ROG’s SQE Manager who led the project said “the work undertaken by ROG to achieve this is clear demonstration of ROG’s commitment to enhancing customer satisfaction through the effective application of its Quality Management Systems and processes”.
Rail Operations Group were announced as the 2017 Operator of the Year at this year’s UK Rail Industry Awards event held at the amazing Battersea Evolution in London.
“We’re absolutely blown away by such a prestigious award” said Karl Watts, ROG’s Managing Director. “If we can achieve this in only our second year as a train operating company, what can we achieve in the future”?
The company attribute the award to its industry leading customer service and innovative approach to solving emerging industry challenges.
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