US-based Electro-Motive Diesel has delivered the last batch of seven new Class 66 locomotives to UK rail freight company GB Railfreight (GBRf).
The new Class 66s are currently being transported to Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
The seven new locomotives are numbered 66773 to 66779, and will increase GBRf’s fleet of Class 66 locomotives to 78.
The new locos are in addition to 21 EMD Class 66s that arrived in the UK last year, and will support operations across several GBRf market portfolios.
GBRf managing director John Smith said: “Today is a significant moment for GB Railfreight. It marks the culmination of over two years of collaboration with EMD on the 66s build project and I want to thank them for all their hard work and dedication in reaching this point.
“Today also marks the end of the Class 66 builds and these locomotives will be the last to arrive on UK soil. The rail freight industry now needs to work together to deliver a new generation of diesel locomotives that are legally compliant with the EU’s new diesel emissions regulations.”
“We are very pleased to have been able to secure these last seven Class 66 locomotives. They support the company’s continued growth and enable us to carry on serving our customers across various markets, particularly aggregates, reiterating our commitment to supporting the government’s Building Britain agenda.”
The new locomotives support the company’s ability to continue to grow its share in the UK market and showcase the level of investment being carried out in its fleet.
Due to changes in EU emissions standards, the new locos will be the last Class 66 units to be built.
The company has invested heavily in completely reengineering Class 73 locomotives, with brand new power units, to have other diesel options with improved fuel economy and increased versatility.
Progress Rail Services president and CEO Billy Ainsworth said: “Today serves as a milestone with the delivery of our last Class 66 locomotives.
“The Class 66 ranks as a top performer in its category. We are currently developing new generations of locomotives to meet our customers’ demands around the globe, just as we did through this offering.”