Vossloh has specially adapted its 160km/h mixed-traffic EuroLight design for operation in Britain, working in conjunction with DRS and Beacon Rail Leasing on the project.

The 2.8MW Bo-Bo locomotives have an axleload of 20.5 tonnes and are equipped with 16-cylinder Caterpillar C175 engines with advanced ac drive traction systems from ABB.

The initial batch of 15 units is now entering service on the British network. Five of these locomotives will be used by DB Regio subsidiary Chiltern Railways on passenger services from London Marylebone to Birmingham and Kidderminster from December.

In addition to the class 68s, DRS has ordered 10 class 88 UKdual bi-mode locomotives, which will be equipped for operation on the standard British 25kV ac electrification system. The 25kV ac locomotives, which will be classified class 88, will have a maximum output of 4MW and will be equipped with a 700kW diesel engine, delivering tractive effort of 317kN in both modes. The class 88s will share many major components with the class 68s.

The class 68s and class 88s are being assembled by Vossloh Rail Vehicles at its Albuixech plant near Valencia in Spain.