Hatton’s all-new ‘66s’ roll in!

IT was 1998 or 1999 when i first saw a Class 66.I was at Peak Forest in Derbyshire taking in the limestone workings at the quarries when all of a sudden 66001 rumbled into view at the head of a rake of VAA box vans. Back then there was no Realtimetrains: all we had to hand was a copy of Freightmaster as a guide to regular workings and a keen ear to hear the next train approaching.

Fast forward 20 years, and on December 15 was at Peterborough station to capture some of the last HST workings for LNER on the East Coast Main Line. could plan ahead using my phone and I knew what to expect at the head of freight trains, even when the working notice didn’t provide that much information. While was there no less than five DB Cargo Class 66s ran through – two pairs on Railhead Treatment Trains and one at the head of an aggregate train. It was in stark contrast to two decades before when the ‘66s’ were in the minority and running alongside classes 37, 56, 58 and 60 and showed the progress of time.

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