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Class 67

photograph by Colin Duff

High speed 67002, named Special Delivery for the class' association with Royal Mail trains, on display at Old Oak Common on 6th August 2000. This locomotive was damaged on 1st November 2000 when it collided with the rear of a coal train at Bristol

The 30 strong class of General Motors class 67 Bo-Bo locomotive was ordered by EWS to meet their fast mail and charter passenger train requirements so they are principally class 47 replacements. Therefore they can supply ETS (or HEP to its manufacturers) to coach stock and can potentially run up to 125 mph, however 110 mph is the current limit. The top speed ever reached on test was 143 mph by 67002 on the AVE high speed line in Spain.

Although a General Motors product the locomotives were built under licence by Alstom in Valencia, Spain. A standard Alstom stressed monocoque body design is employed, as are the H frame bogies, but otherwise standard GM components are used. The type 710 prime mover is the same as used on the class 66 as are the D43/FM traction motors. The on board computer system is also the same as used on the class 66. The principal differences - other than two fewer axles - are that the four traction motors are frame mounted to reduce the unsprung mass of the locomotive, the motors have an express gear ratio, and as previously mentioned the HEP generator. The 67s have a swing knuckle coupler so can couple with chain link, buckeye and swinghead fitted stock. They can work in multiple with classes 59 and 66.

The locomotives were built in Valencia between 1999 and 2000. The first member of the class arrived in the UK at Newport Docks 7 October 1999. They are built very tight to the loading gauge - so much so that their name plates are especially thin and stuck (with industrial adhesive) rather than bolted - and early members of the class were found to be fractionally out of gauge when placed on their bogies. This required investigation and rectification before they could be used.

For TOPS purposes all 67s are allocated to Cardiff although they will be used throughout the system. Early use was in the West Country. Such is the reliability and increased intervals between maintenance allied to their greater top speed that it is expected that 30 locomotives can perform the work of the much larger ailing and retiring RES class 47/7 fleet. Needless to state that this newer state of the art locomotive is more economical to operate than the heritage traction previously in use. EWS have their class 67 fleet on a 15 year lease from GM and Angel Trains.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.
  • 67006
    With its ETH (HEP) capability charter/excursion work always was envisaged as part of the class' workload but with reduction in mail work these duties are now a greater proportion of their working lives. In fact these days charter/excursion trains can be among the longest on the railway network, so justifying such power. 67006 is pictured here at Minehead, West Somerset Railway, having brought in a Hertfordshire Railtours Charter service. Note the BR(S) green coaches behind! .
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 67006
    Side grille detail on 67006, providing plenty of ventilation for the cooling group.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.

This page was last updated 22 May 2003

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