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Class 66 (ePub)

British History Transport Photographic eBooks Colour eBooks 20th Century Trains and Railways

By Fred Kerr
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
File Size: 35.5 MB (.epub)
Illustrations: 140 colour
ISBN: 9781526776266
eBook Released: 1st July 2020

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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.

This book is a photographic reference, full of a number of good quality colour photos of the many guises this workhorse locomotive class has carried over the period since introduced by EWS following BR’s privatisation. The book starts by looking at how the design followed from the lessons learned with the Class 59 fleet and goes on to look at the reasons for EWS ordering the first 250 locomotives. It follows this with brief histories of each of the operators of the class. The book featuring photographs of each of the principal operators of the class from EWS to Freightliner to GBRf and DRS amongst others as well as featuring some of the unique one-off liveries the class has carried over the 20 plus years since they were introduced. Members who model the post-privatisation era have to have some of these ubiquitous locomotives on their layout, and this book provides a very good photographic reference. Well worth considering.

Diesel and Electric Modellers United, Issue 95

… as an illustrated history of the class the book does an excellent job and is worthy of adding to the bookshelf.

Railways Illustrated, February 2021

This photographic tribute to the ubiquitous Class 66 Freight Locomotive would make a fine addition to the library of any self-respecting modern traction enthusiast.

Read the full review here

Donnas Book Blog

A locomotive as good as class 66 deserved a book as good as this. Each of his 144 photographs distills quality. In addition to the photographs it also includes the history of each of the machines.

Read the full Spanish review here

Unos Cuantos Trenes

About Fred Kerr

Fred Kerr is a photographer whose lifelong interest in railways began in Edinburgh during the early 1950s and continued when his parents moved to Corby in 1956. His interest in railways included the ‘new’ diesel locomotives that first appeared at nearby Kettering 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. These diaries record the ever-changing railway scene and, since privatisation of the railways in 1994, have noted the changes incurred by both new operators and operations. Now retired, Fred continues to take photographs and has begun sorting his extensive photography collection to create a series of ‘potted’ histories with this, Diesel Hydraulic Main Line locomotives in Preservation, being the latest. The diesel hydraulic designs had offered a solution to BR’s modernisation needs but its reluctance to modernise other parts of its operation led not only to the early withdrawal of the diesel hydraulic fleet but also the opportunity for examples to be preserved and enjoyed on heritage lines within the UK – as recorded within this album.

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