Class 57s

While remanufacture of existing locomotives is common practice in other countries it is quite rare in the UK. The Class 57, however, is an exception, having been rebuilt from the Class 47 two decades ago. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes a look at this successful conversion and its subsequent service history.

Provision of motive power is always a difficult issue for railway operators. New locomotives are very expensive to buy or lease while those at the end of their life often have maintenance requirements that make them uneconomical to run.

One answer to this problem is to put in place a life-extension programme in which existing locomotives are fitted with reconditioned parts. Another, which is much favoured in countries such as the USA is to completely rebuild a locomotive using upgraded or new equipment and in effect provide a much newer machine in an existing bodyshell.

57310 'Kyrano' 390017 Rhosneigr Angelsey North Wales Coast Mainline Virgin Trains Class 57/3 'Bodysnatcher' Class 390 'Pendolino' June 2009

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