Recognition and Equipment information

Following purchase of freight operations in the UK by Wisconsin Central, trading as EWS, the quest began for a high-speed diesel locomotive as a direct replacement for the Class 47/7. Having ordered 250 Class 66s from General Motors, EWS planned to adapt this design, with a high-speed bogie (truck) suitable for 125 mph operation, with the provision of electric train supply (head end power). However, during the design stage, it was discovered that no suitable off-the-shelf high-speed Co-Co bogie was available, and EWS was thus forced to change its aspirations and go for a high-speed Bo-Bo . General Motors was awarded the contract for 30 locos, designated Class 67. GM's lack of experience in dealing with high-speed diesel traction in America, together with tight lead times, led to construction being sub-contracted to Alstom in Valencia, Spain. The two companies had a long-standing partnership in construction.
The Class 67 design shares the same engine as the Class 66, together with much internal equipment, but a total change was made in structural design; whereas the Class 66 employed a common underframe on which component modules were fitted, the Class 67 followed more traditional design, being a full load-bearing structure. For the first time on a production fleet of diesel locos, a new design of coupling was used; known as a 'combination auto-coupler', the device combines a standard draw-hook with a US-style knuckle , which can be swung into position for use when needed.
The entire Class 67 was assembled at the Valencia factory, close to the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to delivery to the UK, No. 67002 underwent a period of high-speed running in Spain, to conform with General Motors test policy. As much of the Spanish rail network was broadgauge, the loco was transported to Alstom's La Sagra site, near Toledo, where the company maintains the AVE high-speed TGV style sets. The Class 67 was authorised to operate in company with a RENFE Class 252 electric over the high-speed line from La Sagra towards Madrid to prove its 125mph speed capability and prove design/build performance to be in keeping with the specification set out by EWS. The factory began building the first loco in summer 1999, with all 30 under assembly by the year end. The first to be delivered to the UK, No. 67003, arrived at Newport Docks in early October. It had been projected that Railtrack would authorise the fleet for use within days of arrival, but gauge and weight problems saw the first loco not starting trials until late in December . All 30 locos were in the UK by spring 2000.
The deployment of the locomotives came quickly at the head of fast Royal Mail services throughout the country. They have also partly replaced Class 47/7s on charter work, and by mid 2001 were deplored on the Scottish legs of the Aberdeen and Inverness sleepers. Certification to allow the Class 67s to operate at a full 125mph took some time to receive from Railtrack and then only after modifications were carried out to bogie designs. Certification was granted in mid 2001. Soon after introduction a naming policy was agreed, with ground out 'stick on' plates applied on the cab side. The locos are painted in full EWS maroon an gold livery. The entire fleet are allocated on paper to Cardiff Canton.

The second loco of the build No. 67002 is viewed from its two grille body side, with the main cooler group being at the far end. This loco carries the name 'Special Delivery' on the cab side. The Class 67s are the first locos in the UK to sport a single large front window and are well liked by the drivers who operate them. No. 67002 is seen at Old Oak Common. CJM.

No. 67007, seen at Plymouth, is viewed from the opposite side to the illustration above and shows the single grille side, with the radiator compartment at the far end. The livery design on the 67 is such that the lower section of the gold side band is at the base at the radiator end. The white panel on the sole bar at the near end is a joint Alstom/General Motors makers plate. CJM.

Class 67 front end. A-top marker light (to provide triangulation front marker lights), B-warning horns behind grilles, C-GPS aerial, D-RCH jumper (for operation with PCV stock), E-AAR multiple jumper socket (multiple control cable kept in engine compartment), F-portable tail light/headlight bracket, G-ETS jumper socket, H-ETS jumper cable, I-air brake pipe, J-main reservoir pipe, K-combination coupler, L-screw coupling hanging on draw hook, M-marker light, N-headlight, O-tail light. No. 67017 is illustrated. CJM.

State of the art Class 67 driving cab, a slightly improved environment for drivers than a Class 47. The main power controller and master switch are on the drivers right side, while brake controllers are on the left. On the angled display plate a EM2000 computer system display is seen on the left and a Datacord event recorder interface on the right. The cab of No. 67003 is illustrated. CJM.

How things might look if a single cab version of a Class 67 was to be built. This drawing was produced by General Motors when the Virgin Trains plan was under consideration.