Hornby R30025 GBRf Class 60 Co-Co No 60095

Hornby R30025 GBRf Class 60 Co-Co No 60095

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The last mainline diesel locomotive type built for British Rail, the Class 60 arose from the arrival, and subsequent success, of the Class 59 locomotive. With a haulage capacity and reliability superior to the Class 31, 37 and 47 locomotives in sector service at the time, Trainload Petroleum, Metals, Construction and Coal were prompted to lobby for a new UK designed locomotive to match it. British Rail Board eventually secured the necessary treasury funding and following a difficult procurement process, the contract was finally awarded to Brush Electrical Machines in Loughborough on May 17, 1988 for 100 locomotives. Brush's design incorporated many features from the Class 59's specification, as well as their own Sepex traction control system, tested on the Class 58, to improve adhesion.

The Class 60s were geared for a maximum speed of 62mph, the power units being eight cylinder, 145 litre Blackstone 8MB275T diesel traction engines built by Mirrlees at their Stockport works, delivering a maximum power output of 3,100hp at 1000rpm. The bodyshell, shared with the Class 92 locomotives, was a monocoque, stressed skin construction with diagonal trusses, the external bodywork providing support for the internal components and all were built by Procor (UK) of Wakefield. The first locomotive was handed over the Railfreight on time, in June 1989, but extensive teething problems (many involving computer software), meant that it took sixteen months before the first of the Class were accepted and nearly four years to introduce all 100 of the Class 60 locomotives to service. By the time the Class 60 fleet entered service, Trainload's Sector businesses had given way to 'shadow' privatisation and the formaiton, in 1994, of Loadhaul, Transrail and Mainline Freight witht he Class 60 fleet split equally between them. English, Welsh and Scottish Railway brought the whole Class 60 fleet as part of British Railway's privatisation, reallocating the entire Class 60 fleet to Toton as a cost cutting measure and to pool common parts.