Clayton Equipment, the only British independent locomotive manufacturer in the UK capable of designing and manufacturing locomotives up to 150 tonnes, has agreed a contract to supply a further two Hybrid+™ CBD90 locomotives to Tata Steel, Port Talbot. The steelworks fleet will eventually include a total of seven Hybrid+™ locomotives supplied the company.

In 2019 Tata Steel UK, one of Europe’s leading steelmakers, placed an initial order for three 90 tonne CBD90 Hybrid+™ Bo-Bo locomotives capable of moving 2,500 tonnes at its Port Talbot works in Wales. Subsequently Tata confirmed purchase of a further two locomotives to be delivered in July 2021.

The latest contract is for two additional locomotives to be delivered early 2023.

The CBD90 locomotive is a self-contained, 90-tonne Bo-Bo locomotive with on-board battery charging. Clayton claims that costs and emissions are significantly reduced by Hybrid+™ technology. Battery charging is undertaken from a 3-phase supply, providing 100% emission-free solutions, or from the low emission, EU Stage V Diesel engine.

As part of Tata Steel’s requirement to replace its ageing Port Talbot fleet, many of which are over 60 years old, and to deliver further growth, the steelmaker is now investing in a further two CBD90 locomotives. The sixth and seventh instalments of new Hybrid+™ locomotives, the largest built in the UK for over 20 years, will represent both Tata Steel and British-based Clayton Equipment working together.

“We are very proud to work with Tata Steel UK and to supply an additional two CBD90 locomotives. This enables Clayton Equipment to provide Tata Steel with sustainable, low-emission, environmentally compliant locomotives which meet their commitment to invest in new technology and provide cost savings”.

Clive Hannaford, managing director at Clayton Equipment.

The locomotives built will go straight to work, and the new configuration will allow Tata Steel to realise significant commercial benefits from its investment in greener technology including reduced emissions, reduced carbon footprint, reduced noise levels, greater haulage capacity and increased reliability.

Clayton Equipment claims to ‘lead the way’ in offering low-emission rail locomotives. The company also provides the additional benefit of UK-based customer support.

Since the initial Tata Steel contract, Clayton says that the market has grown significantly and the interest and demand for its hybrid designs have led to a record of new contracts and forward orders. Clayton has increased its workforce by 40% to cope with demand. “We’ve had to employ a lot more people including fitters, contract managers and design engineers across all departments to just meet that demand” Hannnaford added.

In a market dictated by regulations and driven by customers, the shift from Diesel to low emissions is to an extent being forced upon people. Clayton claims that it adopts a broad approach to customer interest by being flexible and small enough to design in partnership to individual requirements.

Clayton Equipment is currently celebrating 90 years in the business and, it claims, there continues to be plenty of expressions of interest in the company’s products.

“We continue to provide the highest quality service by innovative thinking, excellence of execution and solid, yet flexible, partnerships with our clients with Tata Steel being a prime example,” says Hannaford.