An internal traction strategy has been produced by Direct Rail Services that plans to gradually eliminate the heritage part of the companys fleet - starting with Class 20s and 37s. DRS Managing Director Debbie Francis told RAIL that the speed and extent of the plan will depend on customer demand for the traction, with Network Rails requirement for Class 20s for seasonal railhead treatment work being an example. Except at a clients behest, no further heavy maintenance will be carried out on these classes. The locomotives will not be sold, but will be offered to heritage railways for service off the national network at a peppercorn charge. This approach has previously been used successfully.
Heritage traction to be gradually withdrawn by DRS