Rheilffordd arfordir Gogledd Cymru Trenau

Class 67 locomotives & coaches

Last update October 2020

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Preface | Technical | Operational | Names | Historical

Older locomotives are slowly disappearing from the UK railway scene; 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 Cargo (formerly English, Welsh and Scottish Railway) The diesel engine is the same as that of the Class 66 freight locomotives in the DB 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 as built was not compatible with that provided in normal passenger coaches, or the Driving Van Trailers (DVTs) originally built for 'push-pull' working on InterCity services. However, modifications have been made to allow Arriva / Transport for Wales and Chiltern to to make use of 'push-pull operation with ex-Virgin Trains driving van trailers.

Operational history

Class 67s have been used over the years on a wide variety of trains, including:
Charter trains run by the EWS/Riviera alliance, the 'Northern Belle' services of the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express organisation, and other charters worked by EWS/DB Cargo.

'Caledonian Sleeper' trains when on non-electrified routes north of Edinburgh, and also a few outer-suburban services in Scotland.

Peak-time commuter services round Edinburgh

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.

Transport for Wales Mon-Fri express from Holyhead to Cardiff and back, and from December 2014 a 67 also 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 these workings. 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.  Oddly, the three blue locos were rarely seen on this service.

Light freight trips from Warrington Yard.

Network Rail trains, including measurement trains when 100 mph running is required.

Operations in 2020

The appearance on the scene of the new Class 68 locos, along with franchise changes, have severely reduced the workload of the Class 67s.  Their only regular passenger by 2018 were for Arriva Trains Wales  and succesor Transport for Wales, with two Monday - Friday diagrams: one for the 'premier express' from Holyhead to Cardiff and back, and one which works trains between Crewe / Manchester and North Wales.  The 'Covid' crisis saw the loco-hauled trains suspended and the Mk3 vehicles sent to storage.

One some normality returned, we should see ex-LNER Mk4 coaches replacing the Mk3s on this service, and additional loco-hauled workings. Three four-coach sets plus driving van trailer have been acquired, for the two proposed diagrams; loco-haulage to Manchester will not return. The Class 67s require fitting with additional cabling for the push-pull workings which use a different system id control from the driving trailer.  The TfW locos will receive TfW red and grey livery, 67 025 being the first.

Two locos, 67 023 and 67 027 have been sold to Colas, who now provide power for most Network Rail trains, and are used when 100 mph running is needed.

The Royal Train still has its two locos, which appear on railtours and other charters at times.

67 004 was given Caledonian Sleeper livery and named Cairn Gorm for use by the new franchise, but GB Railfreight now provide power for these trains and it has been de-named and given DB Cargo livery.

67 021 and 67 024 were given a Pullman (brown and cream) livery in 2017 for use on the Belmond British Pullman luxury train.


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 retirement 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 found further use with Chiltern Railways. The locomotives lost their W&S branding, but retained their silver livery, but have been displaced by Class 68s from Chiltern, and are gradually being repainted in DB livery.

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.

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.

Compiled by Charlie Hulme. Comments welcome.

Class 67 fleet list

See below for codes

67 001 ATW    
67 002 ATW
67 003 ATW
67 004 DBC (R)

67 005 ROY Queen's Messenger

67 006 ROY Royal Sovereign
67 007 EWS (R)(S)
67 008 EWS (W)
67 009 EWS (R)(S)
67 010 DBC

67 011 EWS (R))S)

67 012 WSR  
67 013 DBS 
67 014 TFW (W) 
67 015 DBS (W)

67 016 EWS   
67 017 TFW (W)
67 018 ECN Keith Heller  (S)
67 019 EWS (S)
67 020 EWS

67 021 PUL    
67 022 EWS  (S)
67 023 COL Stella 
67 024 PUL  
67 025 TFW (W)
67 026 EWD (S)
67 027 COL Charlotte
67 028 DBS

67 029 EWX Royal Diamond

67 030 EWS (R)(S)

Livery codes:

EWS: EWS maroon/gold
ROY: Royal claret
WSR: Wrexham and Shropshire
/ Chiltern Grey and silver
EWX: EWS executive silver
EWD: Royal Diamond Jubilee silver
ECN: Canadian National Red
ATW: Arriva blue
DBS: DB Schenker Verkehrsrot
DBC: DB Cargo Verkehrsrot
COL: Colas Orange and Yellow
PUL Pullman brown and cream
TFW Transport for Wales red and grey

(R) indicates a loco fitted with radio signalling equipment for use on the West Highland line
(W) indicates a loco fitted for use with TfW Mk4 carriages
(S) Loco stored out of service

TfW Mk 4 coaches
In 2020 TfW obtained three rakes of coaches previously part of LNER East Coast sets. Each set is formed of a Driving Van Trailer and four coaches (one including a kitchen/buffet).

The three sets are:
HD01: 12225 12454 10325 11323
DVT 82226

HD02: 12219 12447 10328 11324
DVT 82229

HD03: 12217 12446 10312 11325 DVT 82216

TfW Mk 3 coaches (historic)

Initially, Mk2 coaches were used on the Premier Express, later replaced by the newer, and longer, Mk3 design, which also featured (minus restaurant car) on the Manchester - North Wales loco-hauled diagram.

The standard class coaches were former Virgin Trains first-class coaches, purchased by DB (owner of Arriva) and refurbished with standard class interiors. The first class / kitchen buffet cars and Driving Van Trailers are also ex-Virgin Trains.

In 2020 all these were withdrawn and sent for storage.

Standard Class
12176 - 12185

Restaurant First

Driving Van Trailers
82306 - 82308