Positive moves on Class 66 cabs

21 March 2007

Both GB Railfreight and Freightliner have responded positively to the union’s demands concerning 66 locos.

GB Railfreight has told the union it is actively exploring a number of initiatives to improve the Class 66 cab environment. Specifically the company has trialled 4 pneumatically cushioned and adjustable seats manufactured by Grammer in Germany – and installed 2 into locomotives. The company points out the notable features including lumbar support, back rest adjustment and soft/hard damping. They have also shared their findings with DRS and shared them with Freightliner.

Freightliner has said that subject to ASLEF confirmation that the trials have been satisfactory, it plan to change the seats to this enhanced design. GB Railfreight has already committed itself to roll out this modification across its Class 66 fleet.

In addition, on a trail basis it has installed a cab cooling device, directing cool air onto the drivers’ upper torso. It is similar to that now used on the Victoria Line underground fleet. They are awaiting the result of the trial during the oncoming warmer weather this summer but say they are confident that it will import an effective cooling solution to the Class 66 cab. Freightliner will evaluate a fitment schedule across its fleet if the trial proves a success.

GB Railfreight currently provides bottled water and wet-wipes in the cab, has developed a cab cleaning module at Peterborough and also begun fitting side window blinds.

Full reports of progress made with all companies will be submitted to the executive this month and the updates will considered next month.

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