The British Rail Class 60 is Co-Co heavy freight diesel-electric locomotive type built by Brush Traction. The 100-strong class are nicknamed Tugs by some rail enthusiasts. The class was the last to be constructed in the UK for domestic main line use, this and the network wide deployment of the locos is partly the reason for their immense popularity with rail fans.
They command a fanatical following, many of their daily workings are discussed and photographed, and they are seeing something of a renaissance with long-stored examples being restored to service with new operators, wearing new liveries; the well-liked Class 60 has much responsibility for sustaining enthusiast interest in the contemporary rail scene in the UK.
Members of the class have carried the following principal liveries during their 30 year life:
- BR Railfreight Sector Two-Tone Grey - Construction
- BR Railfreight Sector Two-Tone Grey - Metals
- BR Railfreight Sector Two-Tone Grey - Coal
- BR Railfreight Sector Two-Tone Grey - Petroleum
- BR Load Haul Black and Orange
- BR Transrail branded Two-Tone Grey
- DB Schenker
- Colas Rail
- British Steel Blue
- other one-offs
Following the large scale importation of Class 66, the de facto standard UK freight locomotive, the majority of the class 60 fleet was progressively stored; a number of these heavily stripped machines were ultimately sold for scrap in late 2019. However, others are being rejuvenated from the storage lines at Toton for further use by other operators, including GB Railfreight and DC Rail. It seems that the Class 60 story is far from over, and with large schemes such as HS2 in the pipeline, their ongoing role hauling vast tonnages of aggregates and suchlike is an essential one.