British Rail Class 66

Ranked #103 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 66

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The Class 66 is a type of six axle diesel electric freight locomotive developed in part from the British Rail Class 59, for use on the railways of the UK. Since its introduction the class has been successful and has been sold to British and other European railway companies. In Continental Europe it is marketed as the EMD Series 66 (JT42CWR). On the privatisation of British Rail's freight operations in 1996, EWS bought most of British Rail's freight operations. Many of the locomotives that EWS inherited were either at the end of their useful life or of doubtful reliability. EWS approached General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD), who offered their JT42CWR model which had the same bodyshell as the EMD built Class 59; this gave the advantage of having a locomotive of known clearance. The engine and traction motors were different models from those in the Class 59. Additionally, the Class 66s incorporated General Motors' version of a "self-steering bogie" ("radial truck", in American usage) - designed to reduce track wear and increase adhesion on curves. The initial classification was as Class 61, then they were subsequently given the Class 66 designation in the British

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