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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone shed any light on a couple of aspects of Class 57 operations for me?

First, I was reading that Freightliner's 57/0s are being replaced with 66s - does this mean that **all** of their 57/0s are being replaced, or are there some still in service? And if there are, are they scheduled to remain in service for a while?

Second, I've seen a couple of pictures of Virgin 57s hauling freight. How rare is this? I was under the impression that Virgin's 57s were for Thunderbird duties mainly.

Thanks,

Dave.
 

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Dave,
The current (June) issue of 'The Railway Magazine' published this week has several items of news on these locos.
Page 77: Freightliner's latest batch of Class 66 locos has arrived, taking their fleet to 118 Class 66s and completes Freightliner's current purchase programme.
Page 78: Serco eyes purchase of 57/0s to run the test trains they operate for NR. At least six will be handed back to Porterbrook by Freightliner. Direct Rail Services also interested in 57/0s.

On page 76 there is a picture of a Virgin 57/3 with a timber train from Scotland to Chirk. The caption says that DRS Class 66s are reported to be taking over these workings.

Hope this helps,
Regards,
John Webb
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (John Webb @ 5 May 2007, 17:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Dave,
The current (June) issue of 'The Railway Magazine' published this week has several items of news on these locos.
Page 77: Freightliner's latest batch of Class 66 locos has arrived, taking their fleet to 118 Class 66s and completes Freightliner's current purchase programme.
Page 78: Serco eyes purchase of 57/0s to run the test trains they operate for NR. At least six will be handed back to Porterbrook by Freightliner. Direct Rail Services also interested in 57/0s.

On page 76 there is a picture of a Virgin 57/3 with a timber train from Scotland to Chirk. The caption says that DRS Class 66s are reported to be taking over these workings.

Hope this helps,
Regards,
John Webb

John,

Thanks for the info - it backs up what I'd read (in Rail Express Magazine btw).

The reason I was asking about this is that I was looking at maybe getting one of the nice new Farish Class 57s in the Freightliner livery to run along side a Freightliner 66 as a colourful alternative to EWS locos I'm planning to run (66, 60, maybe some others). But if they are being dropped by Freightliner, then I will probably not bother getting one for my layout (when I eventually get round to building it). Which leads me to the question about Virgin 57s hauling freight. If they are actually used in such services, then I might consider using one instead of the Freightliner version - I personally think they look slightly better than the Freightliner ones, what with the roof grilles and the smoother ends.

Cheers,

Dave.
 

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Dave,

The pictures of 'Thunderbird' 57's are from the timber contract Amec Spie Rail won from EWS in late 06/early 07, using any Virgin 57's that they can get their hands on (i have seen pics of 8 of them). They are using KFA Timber Flats that they have just brought for the traffic they were using cut down and modified IGA Cargowagons (dapol make these, could be an interesting conversion for you!!). They are looking in to using DRS 66's, carrying on using Virgin 57's, or the parent company of Amec Spie has also recently purchased of the EWS tender list a number of redundant 47's that could be used for the traffic but this is more unlikely as they want to move in to charter and Intermodial workings aswell. I would expect DRS 66's as they are able to move more.

Freightliners 57/0's are being phased out during this year, the first went last month, the last one sould be given back in winter. They are being returned to leasing company Porterbrook. The main group looking at them are DRS. Serco and Network Rail have been reportedly looking at them but have supposably given up on the idea as the can't be hooked up together to work in multiple as this was not something asked for in the specification.

Hope this helps

Alistair
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ooh, I just noticed that the new Dapol Class 66s are going to be DRS livery, so I think I might get one of those instead of a 57
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