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Diesel locomotives - British Railways Class 60-68: books

Illustrated books on the history, types and technology of British Railways Class 60, 66, 67 and 68 diesel-electric locomotives.

British Rail Class 60 Locomotives

During the mid 1980s, in a drive for greater efficiency, British Rail required another heavy freight locomotive. The new Class 60 locomotive was to be constructed using lessons learned from the Classes 56 and 58.
Six organisations were invited to tender but only three did so. The contract was awarded to Brush Electrical Machines (today, Brush Traction, part of the Wabtec Rail Group) for a powerful 60mph Type 5 Co-Co design, which resulted in an order being placed for one hundred Class 60 diesel-electric locomotives.

Using original research from the National Archives, British Rail Class 60 Locomotives is a high illustrated guide that explores the commissioning of the Class 60s and their construction, testing and running.
It gives an in-depth technical appraisal of the class and details names, liveries, modifications and preservation and includes the 'Super 60' refurbishment and acquisition of ten Class 60s for Colas Rail UK, bringing the timeline to the present day.

Author:Edward Gleed
Specs:192 pages, 26 x 21.5 cm / 10.25 x 8.5 in, hardback
Illustrations:280 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:The Crowood Press Ltd (GB, 2016)
Book: British Rail Class 60 Locomotives

British Rail Class 60 Locomotives

Language: English

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Brush Type 5 - Class 60 Diesel Locomotives

The Class 60 diesel locomotives were built for heavy goods rains mainly used on Class 6 or 7 workings. Nicknamed 'Tugs' by rail enthusiasts, there were 100 of the class made, and these were split down into sectors such as coal, petroleum, metals and construction. But by the time the class entered service, the decals often didn't match the operating department.

With the cost of around £120 million to complete all 100 locomotives, the first of the class was sent to Derby for testing in June 1989, where a few teething problems were found. Having an eight-cylinder, 145-litre Mirlees Blackstone 8MB275T diesel traction engine and being one of the most fuel efficient engines available at the time, the class was introduced onto the mainline in 1990 and took over from several classes such as the 20, 26, 27, 31 and diesel electric 73.

Now run by two companies - DB Schenker and Colas Rail Freight - less than fifty are active and in working order. The Class 60s are still proving to be one of, if not the best diesel locomotives around for reliability and power.

Using his excellent collection of photographs, Ross Taylor explores this fascinating Class.

Author:Ross Taylor
Specs:96 pages, 23.5 x 16.5 cm / 9.25 x 6.5 in, paperback
Illustrations:180 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Amberley Publishing (GB, 2016)
Book: Brush Type 5 - Class 60 Diesel Locomotives

Brush Type 5 - Class 60 Diesel Locomotives

Language: English

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Class 60s

The Class 60 was the last truly British-built diesel locomotive design. From 1990, the locomotive was gradually delivered, with 100 in total going to the Railfreight sectors of Metal, Coal, Construction and Petroleum. Their introduction did not go smoothly, however, and they took almost three years to enter service due to various teething troubles. Once these were ironed out, the class became reasonably reliable, and examples of other classes that were getting very tired at the time were progressively withdrawn.

Privatisation saw all the class being sold on to English, Welsh & Scottish Railways and, in 2004, the first Class 60 was withdrawn. Towards the end of the 2000s, almost all of the locos were put into store with a seemingly very bleak future. However, in the early 2010s, a small fleet of the locos received a thorough rebuilding so they could haul DB Schenker's heaviest trains, and eventually 21 locos were refurbished for them, another ten for Colas Rail and a further four for Devon & Cornwall Railways. This has meant that although the majority of the class is still presently rusting away and unlikely to run again, at least a number of examples will still be visible on the national network for a few more years to come.

Illustrated with over 190 photographs, this volume looks at the Class 60s from their early days through to the end of the 2010s.

Author:Mark Pike
Specs:96 pages, 24 x 17 x 1.1 cm / 9 x 6.7 x 0.43 in, paperback
Illustrations:190 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Key Publishing Ltd (GB, 2022)

Class 66

When British Railways (BR) was privatised in April 1994 some of the freight companies were bought by English Welsh Scottish Railways (EWSR), which immediately reviewed the mixed locomotive fleet and led to the decision to purchase 250 locomotives from General Motors (USA), based on that company's earlier Class 59 design supplied to Foster Yeoman in 1985.
Delivered to Newport Docks each locomotive was lubricated, filled with fuel and water and released to traffic within hours of being craned onto the quayside.

The early privatised freight market was geared to the heavy industries but the changes of Government policies to counteract global warming has seen consequent changes in freight operations whilst global trading has seen massive growth in the movement of containers between ports and inland distribution centres.
This changing market has encouraged both existing and new operators to base operations on a reliable locomotive fleet which has been met by the Class 66 design.

The expansion of the locomotive's operating area has been recorded within the book through a regional analysis noting both the freight services operated within the region and the companies providing them. This also notes changes of operators, both by exchange of locomotives and exchange of hauler as contracts are re-negotiated at regular intervals.

Fred Kerr's book seeks to show, as at October 2019, the range of services that have been operated by class members, including the occasional passenger services despite the locomotives not being fitted with any heat generating equipment.

Author:Fred Kerr
Specs:153 pages, 21.5 x 28 x 2.5 cm / 8.5 x 11 x 0.98 in, hardback
Illustrations:140 colour photographs
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2020)

Class 66/0

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, most of the current locomotives in use on the national network were becoming very tired and evermore unreliable. It was during this time that EWS took over the large bulk of freight operations in the UK, and they quickly realised that major changes were needed.
In 1996, they ordered a whole fleet of 250 Class 66 locos, which followed on from the same basic design as the earlier Class 59, privately owned, locos used for the Mendip aggregates traffic.

The Class 66 was intended for more general use, rather than being used for just one specific purpose though. They have now been in service for over 20 years and have proved very reliable and capable locos. This volume covers the Class 66/0s from their early days up to the present at various locations around the UK.

Author:Mark Pike
Specs:96 pages, 24.5 x 17 x 0.7 cm / 9.7 x 6.7 x 0.28 in, paperback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Key Publishing Ltd (GB, 2022)

Class 66: 3/4/7/8

NEW

This second volume to cover the Class 66 takes a look at the Fastline/Direct Rail Services/Colas-operated Class 66/3/4/8/7 locos that were delivered during the mid to late 2000s.
This was a time when most of the current locos in use with Freightliner and English Welsh & Scottish (EWS) were Class 66s and were tried and tested as reliable locos.

Direct Rail Services closely followed EWS and Freightliner and very soon it ordered one batch, then another, then another, until the total was 34. However, DRS later sold the first 20 locos to both GB Railfreight and Freightliner and were left with just 14 locos that they continue to operate to the present day (late 2021).
Production numbers of the Class 66/3 only totalled five locos and lasted only a short while (2008-2010) when these five were taken on by DRS. The Class 66/8s also only numbered five locos and these supplement the Class 70s on various work around the UK.

This volume covers the locos from their early days up to the present time at various locations around the UK, with a special focus towards the south and its beautiful landscapes.

Author:Mark Pike
Specs:96 pages, 24.5 x 17 cm / 9.7 x 6.7 in, paperback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Key Publishing Ltd (GB, 2023)
Book: Class 66: 3/4/7/8

Class 66: 3/4/7/8

Language: English

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Class 66: 5/6/9

NEW

This third volume to cover the Class 66 takes a look at the Freightliner-operated Class 66/5/6/9 locos that were delivered during the early to mid 2000s. This was at a time when most of the current locos in use with Freightliner on the national network were becoming very tired and evermore unreliable.
Freightliner followed on from the example set by EWS with the Class 66/0, and very soon they started to order small batches of locos, which led to their current total of over 100 locos, although some have since been exported to Poland, sold to other operators and a few have been taken on from DRS.

The Class 66/5/9 took over the duties usually handled by Classes 47 and 57, whereas the Class 66/6 is a re-geared version capable of hauling heavier loads such as coal or aggregates. They have now been in service for over 20 years and have proved very reliable and capable locos.
This volume covers the locos from their early days up to the present time at various locations around the, especially looking at those in the South.

Author:Mark V. Pike
Specs:96 pages, 24.5 x 17 cm / 9.7 x 6.7 in, paperback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Key Publishing Ltd (GB, 2023)
Book: Class 66: 5/6/9

Class 66: 5/6/9

Language: English

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Class 67 and 68 Locomotives

Thirty Class 67 locomotives were ordered by EWS for use on parcels traffic to help replace the Class 47s that they had inherited. They were built in Spain, by Alstom at their Valencia factory, with the first locomotive appearing in the UK in 1999. These locos performed faultlessly on the parcels work until the contract was lost.

This allowed the class to spread further, and they have found a good use on hire to passenger operators, and also on charter traffic. All are still in use, most with DB Cargo and two having been sold to Colas.

Also built in Spain, the Class 68 locomotives were ordered by Direct Rail Services in 2012, with the first loco arriving in 2014.
Thirty-four have so far been ordered so far, and are used on a variety of freight and also passenger workings, finding regular use with ScotRail and Chiltern. They will also soon be used by TransPennine Express. This book shows the diversity of these two mainline classes.

Author:Andrew Cole
Specs:96 pages, 23.5 x 16.5 x 1.5 cm / 9.25 x 6.5 x 0.59 in, paperback
Illustrations:180 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Amberley Publishing (GB, 2019)
Book: Class 67 and 68 Locomotives

Class 67 and 68 Locomotives

Language: English

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Class 67s

In the late 1990s, English, Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) ordered a large fleet of 250 Class 66 locomotives to replace a variety of freight locomotive types that had been in service with British Rail for many years.
However, EWS also required something with a bit more performance, as well as electric train supply, for hauling charter and mail trains, which were still quite common at that time.
A partnership with Royal Mail resulted in the Class 67s moving post around the country. When Royal Mail ended that arrangement in 2004, the Class 67s were pushed into other areas of work, including light freight and occasional passenger services, as well as continuing with charters.

Although the design of the Class 67s has not been to everyone's taste, they do at least add a bit of variety to the modern scene. During the 20 years that they have been in service, they have been very reliable with only occasional failures. Containing 220 images, this book illustrates all 30 locos in the class during their first two decades in service.

Author:Mark Pike
Specs:96 pages, 23.5 x 17.5 x 1 cm / 9.25 x 6.9 x 0.39 in, paperback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Key Publishing Ltd (GB, 2022)

Class 68 and Class 88 Locomotives

NEW

In 2012, Direct Rail Services (DRS) placed an order with Vossloh (now Stadler Rail) for its first Class 68 diesel locomotives. The fleet size has now grown to thirty-four. Their later order was for ten Class 88 locomotives, an electro-diesel variant of the Class 68.
Since delivery, the 68s have worked alongside the operator's fleet of ageing, so-called 'heritage', locos. With these locos now at their disposal, they are surely destined to be the mainstay of the company's fleet for some time to come.

In addition to their use as a mixed traffic locomotive for DRS themselves, the company lease these locos to passenger train operators such as Scotrail and Chiltern Railways. Their wide range of duties is covered in this book. Here, John Jackson tracks the first few years of their use on an increasing variety of workings.

Author:John Jackson
Specs:96 pages, 23.5 x 16.5 x 0.8 cm / 9.25 x 6.5 x 0.31 in, paperback
Illustrations:180 colour photographs
Publisher:Amberley Publishing (GB, 2023)
Book: Class 68 and Class 88 Locomotives

Class 68 and Class 88 Locomotives

Language: English

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Related titles:

Class 70 Locomotives

Class 70 Locomotives

John Jackson

English | paperback | 96 p. | 2017

Class 70s

Class 70s

Mark Pike

English | paperback | 96 p. | 2020

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Last update:20-04-2024