Hornby: Co-Co Diesel ‘DP World London Gateway’ ‘66185’ Class 66
The Class 66 owes its existence to EWS as, following the privatisation of British Railway’s rail freight operations in 1996, the company bought up a number of the newly privatised companies, giving them a 93% share of UK rail freight and a fleet of over 1,600 ageing locomotives. These needed to be replaced with reliable diesel locomotives and EWS were aware that Electro-Motive Diesel, part of the General Motors Group in Chicago, had already supplied fifteen Class 59 locomotives to three operators in the United Kingdom.
The result was the Class 61 locomotive, later re-classified as Class 66 under TOPS, a development of the Class 59 and an order for 250 new locomotives was placed. This involved an outlay of some £375 million, the biggest investment ever in one order, for locomotives.
Hornby is a household name and is famous as the UK brand leader in the model railway hobby. The company’s founder was Frank Hornby (1863 – 1936) who applied for a patent in 1901 to protect an invention he called ‘Improvements in Toy or Educational Devices for Children and Young People’. Nobody then could have imagined how this product would influence the model railway hobby that we know today.
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