Our local station is generally only frequented by the dull and characterless EMUs and DMUs that have invaded and completely sterilised our railway networks here in the UK. With the exception of express services, locomotive pulled passenger stock is now rare in most parts of the country. Having any big heavy slow noisy diesel locomotive on our line is a real treat for the senses, and 'permanent way' workings further up the line have meant a steady stream of Class 66 pulled freight every night and most weekends. This one waited in the station for an hour or so, engine running, whilst the two drivers took a lunch break.
The Class 66 Locomotive, first introduced in 1998, is pivotal to the success of the UK rail freight industry, and is now responsible for working 80% of all freight trains, and even occasionally seen working passenger services too. The US General Motors designed Canadian built Class 66 is of course blamed by many railway enthusiasts as being responsible for the retirement or drastic reduction of a great many other classes of locomotive on our railways (Class 31, 33, 37, 47, 56, 58, and 73). On the other hand, many are grateful that we at last have an advanced, extremely reliable (in fact, reliability never seen before on the UK railways), and incredibly versatile locomotive, able to drag UK rail freight operations back into viability.