Cover art for Class 66
Pen & Sword Books, November 2020
Hardcover, 160 pages
21.5cm × 27.6cm

Class 66

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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 is a photographer whose lifelong interest in railways began in Edinburgh during the early 1950s noting both LMS and LNER companies serving local train services and continued when his parents moved to Corby in 1956. His interest in railways included the new' diesel locomotives that first appeared at Kettering on workings from late 1950s as steam traction gave way to diesel traction. When he began work in the 1960s his income allowed an introduction to photography, which enabled him to begin recording the rail scene as an adjunct to his diaries of locomotive sightings recorded from 1963. Now retired, Fred continues to take photographs and has begun sorting his extensive photography collection to create a series of potted' histories with this, the Class 66 history, being the latest. The Class 66 design was designed for freight workings and the book shows how it has become the standard freight locomotive leading to the encouragement of new operators as the class became the de facto' standard workhorse of the UK's Rail Freight industry during the 21st Century. 140 colour illustrations

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