Rheilffordd arfordir Gogledd Cymru Trenau

Class 67 locomotives

Last update July 2015

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Preface | Technical | Operational | Names | Historical

Older locomotives are slowly disappearing from the UK railway scene, and the 30 Class 67s were the recent arrival of the Class 68, the only 'modern' diesels with the necessary electrical train supply equipment to work passenger trains.


Class 67 is a Bo-Bo diesel-electric locomotive with a General Motors / Electro Motive Diesel 12N-710G3B-EC twelve-cylinder (V12) turbocharged 2-stroke engine with a rated power of 3200 HP (nominally 2.5 MW) at 900 rpm driving a GM alternator which powers four GM traction motors, one per axle, and also supplied up to 300 hp for train heating and air-conditioning as required.

As delivered, their maximum speed is 125 mph (200 km/h), although they seldom, if ever, run at this speed. Owned by Angel Trains, all 30 are leased to DB Schenker (formerly English, Welsh and Scottish Railway) The diesel engine is the same as that of the 250 Class 66 freight locomotives in the EWS fleet.

Some other data: Length 19.71 m,Width 2.71 m; Height 3.93 m Weight 90 tonnes; Route Availability 8.

As built, 67s are fitted with cables to allow two locos coupled together to be driven by one driver (multiple working) but the type of wiring is not compatible with that provided in any passenger coaches, or the Driving Van Trailers (DVTs) built for 'push-pull' working on InterCity services. The vehicles used with 67 029 have been modified, and Chiltern's coaches and ex-Virgin DVTs have also been modified during their refurbishment.


Class 67s are the normal power for:
  • Charter trains run by the EWS/Riviera alliance, the 'Northern Belle' services of the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express organisation,and any other charters worked by EWS;
  • 'Caledonian Sleeper' trains when on non-electrified routes north of Edinburgh, and also a few outer-suburban services in Scotland;
  • Chiltern Railways services between Birmingham Moor Street and London Marylebone
  • The EWS 'corporate' or 'executive' train, a short rake of Mk3 coaches and driving van trailer used by EWS management for special duties. Normally 67 029, which has a special silver livery;
  • The Royal Train. Usually 005 and 006 which have 'royal' livery;
  • 'Thunderbird' standby duty - to rescue any failed trains on the East Coast Main Line.
  • Arriva Trains Wales Mon-Fri express from Holyhead to Cardiff and back, and from December 2014 a 67 also works a Monday-Friday passengers diagram between Manchester and North Wales. Mk3 coaches are used on both, push-pull with driving van trailer. See our Railfan page for details of Arriva Trains Wales workings.
When not required for the above duties they can also be found on a variety of jobs, including freight trains - especially the lighter trips from Warrington yard to various terminals. Some can be found stored out of service at Toton depot.


Names have been applied to Class 67s at various times for various reasons, starting with a few postal-related ones (004, 005) from the days when they were on their intended mail trains. It was said that the locomotive width was such that the normal type of nameplate would make them too wide, and special 'thin' ones were fitted at the cab ends, although there may also have been concern about the fitting of plates to the corrugated sides of the 67. The two Royal engines, which took over from 47 798 and 799, were given suitably Royal names (from ye olde stagecoaches?).

67 010 Unicorn was named in 2001 at Bristol Barton Hill depot after the depot's logo, but the name was removed in 2009 on repainting into W&S livery. Others, sometimes celebrating various events and partnerships have gained names revived from Britannia class steam locomotives with the equivalent numbers, e.g. 67 027 Rising Star was previously steam loco 70027. 67 018 became Rapid, which is a warship name - perhaps Flying Dutchman, the name of 70018, was not approved of! In early 2010 67 018 was repainted in DB (or is it Canadian National?) red livery and re-named Keith Heller on the reitirement of Mr Heller as chief executive of EWS/DB Schenker.

The naming of 67 029 as Royal Diamond at Rugeley Trent Valley station on Friday 12 October 2007 commemorated the diamond wedding anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. At this stage, the idea of non-standard nameplates was forgotten, and a nameplate in the usual locomotive position was provided, and this policy was followed again when 67 015 was named David J.Lloyd at Gobowen on 16 May 2008. By July 2008 the other three original W&S-liveried locos had also received names, from of a competition organised among primary schools in Wrexham and Shropshire. Sadly, the Wrexham & Shropshire operation was closed down in April 2011, and the locos and rolling stock have found further use with Chiltern Railways. The locomotives have lost their W&S branding, but retain their silver livery.

At the beginning of 2012, three 67s were painted blue, and at the end of March took over the working of the Cardiff - Holyhead expresses from Class 57/3 locos.

March 2012 saw 67 026 given a silver livery to haul the Royal Train during the Diamond Anniversary of the Queen's reign.


The origin of the Class 67 fleet lies in the takeover in 1996 of the Rail express systems (Res) sector of British Rail by US company Wisconsin Central, who merged it into EWS. Res principally operated trains for Royal Mail, and it was thought that a high-speed locomotive was required for the faster operation of such trains in the future.

The Class 66 design, with its three-axle bogies, was unsuitable, and a new locomotive type was created, sharing the engine and other components of the 66 but with a european-style body, to be built at Alstom's factory in Valencia, Spain (since bought by Vossloh) and bearing a family resemblance to the GM-engined JT42BW 'Prima' series locos being built at the same works at the time of the order. Their shape, which is said to resemble the eponymous item, has led to their nickname of 'skips' in some railfan quarters; nobody could call them beautiful, but at least they do have something of the classic British loco about them, and there's no doubt that their workings are interesting.

The locos were delivered from 1999, and worked on the mail trains as intended. Unfortunately, in 2003 EWS lost their contract with Royal Mail, and ran their last mail trains in early 2004. Since then, EWS have been doing their best to find uses for them, with some degree of success, although their high axle-loading is a problem. For example, they are not allowed on the Cambrian Coast line north of Machynlleth.

67 001-003 are been painted in a blue livery for use by Arriva Trains Wales, and in March 2015 67 004 was repainted in blue for the Serco Caledonian Sleeper franchise. The first 67 loco to receive the standard version of DB Schenker livery was 67 027 in February 2014.

No more 67s will be built, although at one time it was apparently planned so build a fleet of single-cab versions for Virgin Cross Country, which would have worked 5-coach push-pull trains. For some reason, this plan was cancelled and replaced by a larger order for 'Voyager' diesel railcars.

Class 67 fleet list

See below for codes

67 001 ATW    
67 002 ATW
67 003 ATW

67 004 SER Cairn Gorm (R)

67 005 ROY Queen's Messenger

67 006 ROY Royal Sovereign
67 007 EWS (R)
67 008 EWS   
67 009 EWS (R)
67 010 WSR

67 011 EWS (R)

67 012 WSR  
67 013 DBS 
67 014 WSR  
67 015 DBS 

67 016 EWS   
67 017 EWS Arrow
67 018 ECN Keith Heller  
67 019 EWS   
67 020 EWS

67 021 EWS    
67 022 EWS 
67 023 EWS  
67 024 EWS   
67 025 EWS Western Star
67 026 EWD   
67 027 DBS
67 028 EWS

67 029 EWX Royal Diamond

67 030 EWS (R)

Livery codes:

EWS: EWS maroon/gold
ROY: Royal claret
WSR: Wrexham and Shropshire
/ Chiltern Grey and silver
EWX: EWS executive silver
EWD: Ryal Diamon Jubilee silver
ECN: Canadian National Red
ATW: Arriva blue
DBS: DB Schenker Verkehrsrot
SER: Serco Caledonian Sleeper 'Midnight Teal'

(R) indicates a loco fitted with radio signalling equipment for use on the West Highland line

* De-named aftrer one nameplate stolen

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Compiled by Charlie Hulme