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|Seen today, a double-headed Class 66 Freightliners with a container ]train going South on the ECML.
Must remember to stick the camera through the wire fence first!!
The Mermaid Inspector
|When class 66 first arrived they were thought to be a huge step-change in traction from the BR classes which mostly dated from the 1960s they ran alongside.
Longer and heavier loads could be shifted in one train with a single locomotive and driver.
Class 66 has been around for some time now and has become the standard freight traction type in the UK. As demands change so there is a need for heavier trains and freights which will pull away faster and be able to brake and stop in less time in order to maximise track capacity.
This has resulted in some trains being diagrammed for a pair of 66s for either reason or a combination of both.
There are other reasons why locos are run in tandem these days. Track access charges make it undesirable to run a light-engine movement when a second loco can be coupled into a revenue-earning train and moved at no extra cost.
In April this year I watched a super-power pairing of classes 66 and 70 shunting at Southampton Maritime Terminal. They would have worked the train in and been diagrammed to take another out later.
When there is significant imbalance in locomotive movements it is becoming fairly common to see "trains" of locomotives on the move. Last year I was witness to such a working with no fewer than seven class 66 locos running into Westbury from the north with only the lead one powering.
It may seem odd to have two such locos leading a train but it is definitely become more commonplace. Just as twin (and sometimes triple) class 86 electrics are now tasked with heavy freights between Thames-side and the north of England when we once accustomed to them working singly at the head of WCML express passenger trains.
Last edited on Tue Jun 9th, 2015 01:55 pm by Gwiwer
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