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The railways in the United Kingdom are among the busiest in Europe and with growth in demand from both passenger and freight services over the last 20 years, large parts of the rail network at capacity.
This constrained capacity means that any disruption to the rail timetable can lead to extensive and expensive delays. Reliability of both rolling stock and infrastructure becomes ever more important and companies continue to look at ways of improving the reliability of their assets.
The Class 66 diesel-electric locomotive, manufactured by Electro-Motive Diesel in the USA, is one of the most widely used locomotives in the United Kingdom, primarily for freight use with a total of 455 produced.
Each locomotive is specified and guaranteed to 95% availability, with a target of a minimum of 180 days mean time between failures and to have the ability to cover 1.6 million km between major rebuilds, the equivalent to 18 years of service.
With 3,300 bhp being generated from its V12 two-stroke diesel, the locomotive has proven to have a high reliability which has helped the rail freight companies to remain competitive.