The first GB Railfreight Class 69 loco to be painted is 69002. It has been outshopped in large loco livery
GBRf purchased a number of redundant Class 56 Locomotives in 2018 from UK rail leasing in various conditions. These are now being repowered in a programme being undertaken by Electro Motive Diesels at their Longport UK facility. The locos have been given Class 69 allocations.
The previous Ruston RK3 engine and Brush controls are removed and a new EMD 710 power unit with cleaner 3A emissions and electronic control is being fitted.The EMD12N-710 engine is what is fitted in a Class 66 so the 'new' locos will be as close to running 66's which are no longer available for sale new, due to tighter emission controls on brand new locos.
The project allows the locos to be classed as upgrades as many components are retained
Retaining the main structure, weights, bogies, motors and drawgear enables GBRf to retain the track dynamics and rail interface of a Class 56, and thus the project can be classified as an upgrade, rather than a new loco which would require a more modern power unit.
The cost of conversion is much lower than buying brand new locomotives. The resultant Class 69 is very similar to the Class 66 that has proven so successful for the GBRf business.
Testing of the first of ten locos Class 69 was carried out on the Severn Valley Railway in January
See the GB Railfreight Loco Fleet here