A total of 30 Class 67 locomotives, numbers 67001 - 67030, were built between 1999 and 2000 by Alstom in Spain for GM Electro Motive division and were requested by EWS as replacements for the ageing Class 47s. These Bo-Bo configured diesel electric locomotives have a fuel capacity of 1,200 imperial gallons (5,300 litres) and are fitted with Electropneumatic brakes with the locomotives having a top speed of 125mph (200km/h).
They were designed primarily for mail, parcel and travelling post office service and several of the Class received mail related names, such as No. 67001 'Night Mail' and No. 67004 'Post Haste'. However, their high axle loading restricted the routes on which they could be used, resulting in poor route availability. The fleet was originally allocated to Cardiff Canton and later to Toton and Bristol.
With the demise of the rail mail services between 2003 - 2005 the locomotives became redundant after only five years service and were stored for future needs. Gradually they were moved to freight duties and during winter months they had a role as 'top and tail' treatment trains for clearing leaves and ice from tracks.
Two of the Class, No. 67005 and No. 67006 (the model represented here), were re-liveried in 'Royal Claret' for hauling the Royal Train when required and in October 2007, No. 67029 was dedicated 'Royal Diamond' at Rugeley Trent Valley to celebrate the Diamond Wedding Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Others of the Class were moved to the 'West Highland' route for sleeper duties but the slower speeds and frequent braking required on this route caused constant problems with the seizing up of brake blocks. The problem was solved by imposing a maximum speed limit of 80mph (130km/h) and fitting cast iron brake blocks to those locomotives regularly working this route.