The Class 66 is a type of six-axle diesel electric freight locomotive developed in part from the 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.
The first locomotive shipped to the UK arrived at Immingham in June 1998, taken to Derby for testing. The second was taken to AAR's Pueblo Test Centre for endurance testing, before shipping to the UK. The locomotives then shipped at a rate of 11 per month into the UK via Newport Docks, until the order was completed in December 2001. After unloading, EWS engineers then simply took off the tarpaulin, unblocked the suspension, and finally as each was shipped with water and fuel, hooked up the batteries, before starting the engine and handing the locomotive into service. The ability to simply start up '66s' on the dockside and drive them under their own power to depots to enter service was nothing short of a revelation compared with many other BR locomotives.
The initial classification was as Class 61, then they were subsequently given the Class 66 designation in the British classification system (TOPS). In 1998 Freightliner placed an order for locomotives. They were followed by GB Railfreight, and then Direct Rail Services. The last of more than 500 built over an 18-year period was No 66779, Evening Star, delivered to GB Railfreight in spring 2016.
The Dapol Class 66 O Gauge model will have the following features:
• Operating front/rear lights (independent operation for DCC, (switched for DC use) Includes day/night mode)
• Operating ‘side’ lights (where lighting cluster is applicable)
• Cab light (independent operation)
• Illuminated cab control panel
• Two motors (balanced & matched) for maximum pulling power and slow speed running control
• DC control switches to be accessible via lift-off roof panel.
• DCC Ready (21 pin) with DCC & DCC Sound fitted options available
• Factory sound fitted models to be fitted with RealDrive
Chassis & Body
• Etched grills with ‘through body transparency
• Separate detail (Handrails, Handles, Grills etc.)
• Heavyweight Diecast chassis
• Diecast bogie frames
• Sprung centre wheel
• Rotating axle centres
• Appropriate couplings attached
• O gauge society wheel profiles
• Sprung buffers
• Expertly applied liveries