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11.05.16

GB Railfreight names last Class 66 locomotive ‘Evening Star’

GB Railfreight has named the last Class 66 locomotive to be built for the UK and European markets ‘Evening Star’.

Locomotive 66779, which has been liveried in lined passenger express ‘brunswick green’, was named after the last steam locomotive to be built by Swindon Works for British Railways in 1960.

The naming ceremony was also a celebration of GB Railfreight’s 15th anniversary. It was founded with just two employees and an infrastructure contract with Railtrack in 2001, and now employs over 650 staff, operates over 1,000 train loads each week and generates annual turnover in excess of £130m.

John Smith, managing director of GB Railfreight, said: “This is a hugely historic moment for the rail industry.

“The Class 66 locomotive is probably the most successful design to ever run on Britain’s railways, and we have decided to honour their achievements by naming the last 66 to be built after British Rail’s classic 92220 ‘Evening Star’.”

The ‘Evening Star’ was one of seven Class 66s that arrived in the UK from the USA in February. In addition to the 21 Class 66s that arrived in the UK last year, they bring the operator’s Class 66 fleet to 78 locomotives.

GB Railfreight will donate the ‘Evening Star’ locomotive to the National Railway Museum National Heritage Committee at the end of its working life.

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Comments

John Gilbert   15/05/2016 at 12:15

The obvious comment is that, while it is true beyond all doubt that the Class 66 is as noteworthy as you say, it remains the fact that it was NOT built in the UK. We were incapable of doing so. So a glaring nail - many - in the coffin of British rail engineering then.

Andrew Gwilt   17/05/2016 at 21:24

So in total. There is at least 494 Class 66's in the UK. Incredible. No wonder these freight locomotives and used on passenger services and track maintenance works used with Network Rail are the most popular locomotives that the UK has ever seen. 250 66/0 for DB Schenker 5 66/3 for Direct Rail Services 24 66/4 (10 66/4 for Freightliner & 14 66/4 for Direct Rail Services) 99 66/5 for Freightliner 25 66/6 for Freightliner 79 66/7 for GB Railfreight 5 66/8 for Colas Rail and 7 66/9 for Freightliner. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_66

Andrew Gwilt   17/05/2016 at 21:26

I think I have made a few errors on it.

David   19/05/2016 at 21:46

Yes you have made errors Andrew. Class 66 locomotives aren't used on passenger trains in Britain; and at least 500 Class 47s were built.

Alan   29/07/2016 at 21:43

There is a class 66 pulling the Inverness Sleeper - a passenger train - six nights a week. Both directions north of Edinburgh. Albeit double headed with a class 73/9.

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