The standard freight locomotive for the UK, the Class 66 first made its début in 1999 as an initial order by EWS for 250 locomotives. Since then nearly every other UK rail freight operator uses or has used at least one of this highly flexible and incredibly powerful machines.
Working a light engine movement from Felixstowe to Peterborough North Yard are GBRf Class 66’s, 66711 ‘Sense’ and 66742 ‘Port of Immingham’, stopping for a red light at Peterborough.
Slowing for a crew change at Peterborough with a rake of coal hoppers from Cottam Power Station near Retford to Acton in West London is DB Schenker Class 66, 66040.
Working a rake of loaded stone north from Middleton Towers near King’s Lynn to Warrington Arpley yard is DB Schenker Class 66, 66068.
An incredibly busy 10 minutes at Nuneaton. While changing trains I was treated to not one, not two, not three, but four intermodal freights passing on each of the stations lines.
First to appear we have Freightliner Class 66, 66596, approaching Nuneaton from the Coleshill direction with the late running Southampton M.C.T. to Daventry intermodal freight.
Second to appear, Freightliner Class 66, 66517, slows to take the corner onto the Leicester line with an intermodal freight from Coatbridge to Felixstowe via Peterborough.
Next up, and running wrong-line through Platform 7 at Nuneaton is Freightliner Class 66, 66590, working an intermodal freight from Felixstowe to Ditton in Merseyside.
Finally, running north with an intermodal freight from Felixstowe to Hams Hall is GBRf Class 66, 66758.
Speeding south with the Garston Car Terminal to Dagenham Dock empty car-flats is GBRf Class 66, 66712.
Powering north with the Southampton Docks to Halewood Jaguar empty car wagons is DB Schenker Class 66, 66101, one of only a handful of these locomotives painted in DB Schenker red.
Arriving for a quick stop at Peterborough with a loaded coal train from Cottam Power Station to Acton is DB Schenker Class 66, 66126.
Working a rake of Railflats from Denbigh near Bletchley to Bescot through the back streets of Sutton Coldfield is DB Schenker Class 66, 66030.
Running light engine up the Sutton Park line is EWS Class 66, 66149, on a positioning move from Burton to Bescot.
Not exactly proving its environmental efficiency, DB Schenker Class 66, 66115, kicks out some smoke as accelerates away from a brief stop at Peterborough while working the Middleton Towers to Arpley Sidings loaded stone train. On this particular day I passed this train three times, the first when it was waiting for my Class 170 to overtake it at Ely, the second here at Peterborough, and the third time at Leicester as it awaited my Class 170 to overtake it again!
Working an intermodal freight from Lawley Street yard to Felixstowe Container Port is GBRf liveried Class 66, 66724 ‘Drax Power Station’. This train had followed my Cross Country Class 170 from Hams Hall through Nuneaton, and was an interesting sight appearing so soon after the preceding unit had departed.
Seen roaring through Lichfield Trent Valley with an intermodal freight from Daventry to Grangemouth is DB Schenker Class 66, 66147.
Ambling slowly through Peterborough with the 4L20 Hams Hall to Parkeston SS is GBRf Class 66, 66755.
Trundling south through the greenery of Sutton Park with a late running intermodal service from Bescot to Wembley is DB Schenker Class 66, 66025.
Rumbling through Exeter St Davids with a light engine movement from Exeter Riverside to St Blazey is DB Schenker Class 66, 66176.