British Rail Class 67

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British Rail Class 67
Kingswear - DB Cargo 67030 on the level crossing.JPG
67023 in EWS livery (Kingswear 2017)
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder Meinfesa: Alstom, Valencia, Spain
Model JT42HW-HS
Build date 1999–2000
Total produced 30
 • UIC Bo'Bo'
 • Commonwealth Bo-Bo
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Wheel diameter 965 mm (3 ft 2.0 in)
Minimum curve 75 m (3.7 ch)
Wheelbase bogie wheelbase : 2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
bogie pivots : 11.63 m (38 ft 2 in)
Length 19.71 m (64 ft 8 in)
Width 2.71 m (8 ft 11 in)
Height 3.93 m (12 ft 11 in)
Loco weight 88–90 tonnes (87–89 long tons; 97–99 short tons)
Fuel type Diesel
Fuel capacity 5,400 litres (1,190 imp gal; 1,430 US gal)
Prime mover EMD 12N-710G3B-EC
Alternator EMD AR9AC6HEX
Traction motors EMD D43FM
MU working AAR system (Classes 59, 66 & 67)
Train heating Electric Train Supply (index: 66 / 330 kW)[1]
Loco brake Electropneumatic
Performance figures
Maximum speed Design speed : 125 mph (201 km/h)
Power output Engine: 3,200 bhp (2,386 kW) @ 900rpm
At rail: 2,500 hp (1,864 kW)[citation needed]
Tractive effort Maximum: 144 kN (32,000 lbf)
Continuous: 92 kN (20,700 lbf) @ 75km/h
Brakeforce 780 kN (78 long tons-force)
Operators Colas Rail
DB Cargo UK
Numbers 67001–67030
Nicknames Skips, Buckets, Cyclops
Axle load class Route availability 8
Current owner DB Cargo UK
Sources:[2][3] except where noted

The Class 67 locomotives are a class of Bo-Bo diesel electric mainline locomotives which were built for the English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) between 1999 and 2000 by Alstom at Meinfesa in Valencia, Spain with drive components (engine, generator and traction motors) from General Motors' Electro-Motive Division.

EMD's designation for this locomotive type is JT42HW-HS.[4]


Design, testing and introduction[edit]

EWS ordered thirty locomotives via leasing company Angel Trains[5][6] in a £45million contract split between Alstom and Electro Motive Diesel,[7] for use as Class 47 replacements for hauling high-speed Royal Mail trains and passenger trains.[8] The locomotives were obtained on a 15-year lease from Angel Trains.[8] At the end of the fifteen-year contract, ownership of the locomotives was transferred to DB Cargo UK.[6]

The bodyshell is a monocoque load bearing Alstom design,[8][9] the bogies are an "H" frame Alstom design,[8] The engine, traction motors and control electronics are GM-EMD products, and the same as used in the British Rail Class 66. Unlike the Class 66, the traction motors are frame mounted rather than axle hung to reduce unsprung mass and the gear ratio is increased allowing higher speeds.[8] The cab design has a central driving position.[9]

The locomotives are able to supply electric head end power for passenger train heating and air-conditioning, and are equipped for buffer and screw coupling and also coupling via a buckeye coupler attached on a swing arm mount.[9]

High speed running tests were undertaken with 67002 starting at Alstom's facility at La Sagra (Toledo, Spain) and running on the standard gauge Madrid-Toledo high-speed rail line.[9] A top speed of 143 miles per hour (230 km/h) was obtained.[8]

The first locomotive to be delivered was 67003, which arrived in October 1999. Initially plans were for a rapid acceptance into service, but problems with the locomotives being slightly out of loading gauge[8] caused delays. Acceptance trials began in December, and all 30 units had been delivered to the UK by early 2000.[9]

The high axle load of the locomotive caused an initial speed restriction to 110 mph (177 km/h) and modifications to the bogies were required; locomotive 67023 was passed for 125 mph (201 km/h) running in July 2001,[10] and all 30 units had been modified by June 2003.[11] Rail enthusiasts have nicknamed the Class 67 "Skips" because of its design.[citation needed]


DB Cargo UK[edit]

Initially the class were used primarily on mail trains.[12] In June 2003 EWS lost the Royal Mail mail train contract, with services diminishing to complete cessation in March 2004.[13][14]

The locomotives have since been used by First ScotRail on the Caledonian Sleeper on non electrified lines north of Edinburgh. In April 2015, GB Railfreight commenced a contract to haul the Caledonian Sleeper with 67004 repainted and renamed for use on the service. Class 67s ceased being used on the service in June 2016 when replaced by GB Railfreight Class 73/9s.[15]

Class 67s are also used as Thunderbird rescue locomotives for failed trains on the East Coast Main Line, on some freight trains, and for use on chartered tourist trains.[10][12] Two locomotives were assigned to, and received special liveries for use with the Royal Train from 2003,[10][16] and a third had a commemorative jubilee livery applied for use with the Royal Train during the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2012.[17]

Five locomotives were also dedicated to Wrexham & Shropshire's services until it ceased operating in January 2011.[18]

Chiltern Railways began using ex Wrexham & Shropshire Class 67 hauled passenger sets in December 2010,[19] in September 2011 after improvements to the Chiltern Main Line infrastructure, Chiltern began running a 100 mph (160 km/h) service from London to Birmingham branded Mainline using Class 67 powered sets.[20][21] Chiltern Railways leased six Class 68s from December 2014, to replace Class 67s on its Chiltern Main Line services.[22][23][24]

In March 2012 Arriva Trains Wales began the lease of three Class 67s from DB Schenker to replace its Class 57s on its North-South Wales Premier Service.[25]

Colas Rail[edit]

In January 2017, 67023 and 67027 were sold to Colas Rail and repainted at Toton TMD for use on Network Rail infrastructure monitoring trains.[26][27]

Status table[edit]

Locomotives that do not currently carry their names are shown with the name in brackets.

Number Name Livery Operator Status
67001 (Night Mail) Arriva blue DB Cargo UK Stored
67002 (Special Delivery) Arriva blue DB Cargo UK Operational
67003 Arriva blue DB Cargo UK Operational
67004 Cairn Gorm (Post Haste) Caledonian Sleeper blue DB Cargo UK Occasional Operation
67005 Queen's Messenger Royal claret DB Cargo UK Operational
67006 Royal Sovereign Royal claret DB Cargo UK Operational
67007 EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Operational
67008 EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Operational
67009 EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Stored
67010 (Unicorn) DB Cargo UK Red DB Cargo UK Operational
67011 EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Stored
67012 (A Shropshire Lad) Wrexham & Shropshire silver DB Cargo UK Operational
67013 (Dyfrbont Pontcysyllte) DB Cargo UK red DB Cargo UK Operational
67014 (Thomas Telford) Wrexham & Shropshire silver DB Cargo UK Operational
67015 (David J Lloyd) DB Cargo UK red DB Cargo UK Operational
67016 EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Operational
67017 Arrow EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Stored
67018 Keith Heller DB Cargo UK red with maple leaf DB Cargo UK Operational
67019 EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Stored for Parts retrieval.
67020 EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Operational
67021 Belmond British Pullman brown and cream DB Cargo UK Operational
67022 EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Operational
67023 Stella Colas yellow & orange Colas Rail Operational
67024 Belmond British Pullman brown and cream DB Cargo UK Operational
67025 Western Star EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Stored
67026 Diamond Jubilee Jubilee Silver DB Cargo UK Stored
67027 (Rising Star)
Colas yellow & orange Colas Rail Operational
67028 DB Cargo UK Red DB Cargo UK Operational
67029 Royal Diamond DB Cargo UK silver DB Cargo UK Operational
67030 Schenker EWS maroon & gold DB Cargo UK Operational

Liveries and namings[edit]

The locomotives were initially painted in EWS's maroon and yellow livery.[9] In 2003, 67005 and 67006 replaced the two previous Class 47 locomotives hauling the Royal Train. These were repainted in the Royal Claret colour, and named Queen's Messenger and Royal Sovereign in December 2000 and February 2005, respectively.[16][28]

In October 2004, 67029 was repainted silver to haul the EWS Company Train.[29] On 12 October 2007, 67029 was named Royal Diamond at Rugeley Trent Valley railway station, in honour of the 60th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.[30]

In 2008, 67012–67015 were repainted in Wrexham & Shropshire's silver and grey livery.[31][32] In 2008, these were named A Shropshire Lad (3 July), Dyfrbont Pontcysyllte (9 July), Thomas Telford (14 July) and David J Lloyd (16 May), respectively.[33] These were joined by 67010 in March 2009.[34]

In January 2010, 67018 was repainted into DB Schenker red with a maple leaf and named Keith Heller at the National Rail Museum. in honour of the Canadian-born former EWS and DB Schenker UK chairman.[35]

In 2011, 67001–67003 were repainted blue, for use by Arriva Trains Wales.[36]

In March 2012, 67026 received a silver livery, union flag and Diamond Jubilee logo for use during the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II celebrations, being named Diamond Jubilee by Queen Elizabeth II on 23 March at London Victoria station.[17]

In March 2015, 67004 received the Caledonian 'Midnight Teal' livery and named 'Cairn Gorm'. This, along with similarly repainted 67010, was used on the non-electrified parts of the Serco Caledonian Sleeper until the release of sufficient Class 73/9s for use by GB Railfreight. 004 is (as of Nov. '16) stored, and 010 has been repainted into DB red.[37]

In June 2017 Colas Rail duo 67023 and 67027 received the names Stella and Charlotte respectively, on nameplates carried centrally on the bodysides.

19th / 20th October 2017 saw 67021 and 67024 rolled out in (unbranded) Belmond British Pullman brown and cream livery.


67002 at Lawrence Hill

A serious crash occurred with 67002 at Lawrence Hill (Bristol) on 1 November 2000, when a Royal Mail train passed two red signals and ran into the back of a coal train at around 3:30am. The mail train, hauled by 67002 "Special Delivery" with 67012 at the rear, was travelling at 50 mph when the incident occurred. The locomotive climbed over the back of the coal train, coming to rest 40 yards (37 m) later on top of a coal wagon and against the A420 Church Road bridge. The driver of the mail train suffered a broken arm and cuts to the face and chest, but there were no other injuries.[38][39][40][41] The incident was initially suspected to be caused by faulty brakes, but was later found to be caused by misunderstanding and incorrect use of the locomotive's brake pipe isolation valve by railway staff.[39][42]

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]


  1. ^ "Class 67 Diesel Photo Gallery - Class Info". The Class 67 Diesel Photo Web Site / Colin Birch. 
  2. ^ "Diesel-Electric Locomotives Class 67" (PDF). Retrieved February 2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "Technical". The 67 Depot. Archived from the original on 30 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Waller, Mike (December 2010), "Skips for Hire", p.14
  5. ^ "67 - GM Diesel Electric Locomotive". Angel Trains. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "JT42HW-HS". Main Line Diesels. Retrieved 5 November 2016. All thirty units were ordered via leasing company Angel Trains Ltd. and subsequently leased on a fifteen-year contract to DB Schenker Rail UK (formerly EWS). At the end of the contract, ownership of the locomotives was transferred to DB Schenker Rail UK, which is now known as DB Cargo UK. 
  7. ^ The Railway magazine, Volume 150. IPC Business Press. 2004. p. 12. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Class 67". Southern E-Group. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Class 67". The RailwayCentre.Com Ltd. 
  10. ^ a b c Gareth McMurray. "rolling stock : class 67". Archived from the original on 11 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "EWS completes 125mph locomotive upgrade programme". EWS. 26 June 2003. Archived from the original on 23 February 2004. 
  12. ^ a b Charlie Hume. "North Wales Coast Railway: Class 67". 
  13. ^ "Mail trains to be scrapped". BBC News. 6 June 2003. 
  14. ^ Butcher, Louise (13 Apr 2010). "Railways: Royal Mail services, 2003-" (PDF). House of Commons Library. 
  15. ^ "Rebuilt 73/9s take over all Caledonian Sleeper work" Rail Magazine issue 805 20 July 2016
  16. ^ a b Sources:
  17. ^ a b Sources:
  18. ^ Chris Milner (26 January 2011). "Wrexham & Shropshire to cease operation". The Railway Magazine. 
  19. ^ Gareth Bayer (14 December 2010). "Chiltern commences Birmingham loco-hauled". Rail Express. 
  20. ^ "Chiltern introduces its new 'Mainline' timetable" (PDF). Railway Herald (282): 4. 5 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "Chiltern Railways Launch 'Mainline' Silver Service Between London, Banbury and Birmingham". 2011. 
  22. ^ "Chiltern to lease six Class 68 locomotives from DRS". Railway Herald. 10 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "Chiltern leases six Class 68 locos for Mainline services in £15m deal",, 15 Apr 2014 
  24. ^ "[GB] Chiltern Railways chooses Class 68 in favour of Class 67",, 10 Apr 2014 
  25. ^ Clark, Rhodri (May, 2012). "Class 67 haulage in Wales". Modern Railways, p. 84.
  26. ^ "Power by the Hour" Rail Express April 2017
  27. ^ Bright outlook for Colas Class 67s released by Toton The Railway Magazine April 2017 page 91
  28. ^ "Queen names 67005 Queen's Messenger" Rail issue 399 27 December 2000 page 13
  29. ^ Rail Magazine (499): 22. 27 October 2004.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ Rail Magazine (577): 17. 24 October 2007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ News Archive March 2008
  32. ^ News Archive April 2008
  33. ^ Rail Magazine (597): 68. 30 July 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ News Archive March 2009
  35. ^ "First DB-Schenker liveried Class 67 named Keith Heller" (PDF). Railway Herald (208): 4. January 2010. 
  36. ^ Derek Porter. "Old Pictures of the Day - October 2011". Picture of the Day 6 October 2011. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Notes and News". Cardiff and Avonside Railway Society. January 2001. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 01/11 Disaster at Lawrence Hill! Services already affected by the weather were subject to further delays when the previous nights 5V17 23.48 Bristol Parkway-Barton Hill formed of 8 RES empty vans and top n' tailed by 67002 Special Delivery and 67012... 
  39. ^ a b Marston, Paul; Savill, Richard (2 November 2000). "Runaway mail train hits coal wagons". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  40. ^ Falconer, Adrian (1 November 2000). "67002". Flickr. 
  41. ^ "Driver escapes unhurt in Bristol train crash". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 1 November 2000. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  42. ^ "Rail Accident Report: Locomotive runaway near East Didsbury, 27 August 2006" (PDF). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. May 2007. p. 21. The misunderstanding and incorrect use of the BPPCUIC cock on an EWS class 67 locomotive led to a serious accident at Lawrence Hill near Bristol (1 November 2000). This resulted in serious injury to a driver and significant damage to equipment. 


  • Fox, Peter; Hall, Peter; Pritchard, Robert (2004). British Railways Locomotives & coaching stock 2004. Sheffield: Platform 5. ISBN 1-902336-39-9. 
  • Waller, Mike (December 2010). "Skips for Hire" (PDF). The Marlow Donkey. Marlow & District Railway Society. pp. 13–16. , some minor inaccuracies in article

Further reading[edit]

  • Holley, Mel (19 November – 2 December 1997). "EWSR's 125mph Class 67 locomotive revealed!". Rail. No. 318. EMAP Apex Publications. pp. 20–22. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.