Diesel Locomotive Class 66 (EMD JT42CWR)
In 1985, the American builder Electro-Motive Division (EMD), a 100% subsidiary of General Motors (GM), built an affordable diesel locomotive for the first time for the British market. The result was a six-axle diesel electric unit of the type EMD JT26CW-SS in a squared off design and with a 2,460 kilowatt / 3,297 horsepower GM 16-645E3C diesel motor. It was designated as the class 59 and its external dimensions fit the smaller British clearance gauge. As a basis, EMD used the type SD40-2 American diesel locomotives built in large quantities, which were very reliable due to their proven, simple construction. EMD initially overhauled and improved the class 59 in the mid-Nineties for British rail companies as externally largely unchanged locomotives with a 2,350 kilowatt / 3,150 horsepower GM motor, type 12N-710G3B-EC as the class 66 (Type JT42CWR), which initially went into operation starting in 1998 on the British EVU. Its diesel motor powered an M AR8/CA6 type three-phase generator, which provided the electrical power for the six series-wound commutator traction motors, which were mounted in the trucks and drove the wheelsets by means of an axle-hung gearbox. Their three-axle trucks had radially adjustable end wheelsets and a middle wheelset with side play. The two end cabs were connected with each other by a corridor through the engine room. The engineer sat on the left side instead of the right because the locomotives were originally designed only for use Great Britain. With a maximum speed of 120 km/h / 75 mph, they could keep up with other trains on electrified main lines.
Due to tougher exhaust regulations starting January 1, 2009, in 2005 this type series had to be overhauled in order to comply with the exhaust standard in effect at that time, EU Level IIIa. The result by the end of 2005 was the lower emissions variation as JT42CWRM (in Great Britain: JT42CWR-T1) with an improved 2,420 kilowatt / 3,244 horsepower type 12-710G3B-T2 diesel motor. The locomotives also had better sound insulation in the cabs, optional installation of an air conditioning system, a third door on one side due to partial removal of the continuous side corridor in the locomotive body, two-part side cab windows, as well as larger ventilation fan louvres.
The first railroad company to bring the class 66 to Germany was the Cologne Harbor and Freight Service, Inc. (HGK), today RheinCargo, Inc. (RCH). In 1999, this railroad company initially leased 2 locomotives as road numbers DE 61 and 62, which it then bought in 2000/01. At almost the same time, the class 66 came into other European countries and you can thus presently find these locomotives in France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. Forty-one of the JT42CWRM even reached Egypt. By the time production was stopped in 2016, 651 units had been delivered to European customers, 436 units as JT42CWR and 215 units as JT42CWR(M/-T1). Many class 66 locomotives belong to leasing companies such as Porterbrook Leasing Company, Eversholt Rail, Beacon Rail Leasing, or Macquarie European Rail, which lease the locomotives to third parties in numerous European countries. Paint schemes and lettering therefore vary a great deal and change constantly.