After a hiatus of a few years RAIL EXPRESS Modeller has returned to offering its well-regarded exclusive models. Our choice is GB Railfreight No. 66720 in ‘Rainbow’ competition livery based on the Bachmann ‘OO’ gauge Class 66.
The unmistakable colour scheme carried by GB Railfreight’s No. 66720 came about after the company held a competition for the children of employees to design a locomotive livery. Unveiled in July 2011, the winning entry was provided by Emily Goodman, then aged six, who entered two alternative designs.
Both of these were selected for application to the General Motors locomotive, the transformation from its previous Metronet livery being carried out at March using specially commissioned technicolour vinyls. One side depicts the ‘day’ and features the sun, birds in flight and an extensive rainbow, while the opposite ‘night’ side includes the moon, a shooting star and an alien.
Often dubbed the ‘rainbow’ livery, the scheme is expected to be carried by No. 66720 for a number of years and it remains a colourful sight on the network today. The loco has found employment on the vast majority of GB Railfreight’s diverse range of duties since its transformation, including coal and biomass workings in Northern England, engineer’s and gypsum services in the South East and container traffic to Felixstowe. It has also found itself atop aggregates, automotive and petroleum workings as well.
Limited edition return
After an absence of several years, No. 66720 was thus an obvious choice for the first Rail Express limited edition under the auspices of Mortons Media. The ‘OO’ gauge model has been produced with the kind co-operation of GB Railfreight using the same drawings from which the full size vinyls were prepared along with the exact paint specifications for the many colours.
Re-created in exacting detail by Bachmann, the model has required the use of special printing techniques in order to reproduce the complex scheme accurately. This includes printed representations of the bodyside plaques that detail how the livery came about.
Limited to 512 pieces, the limited edition features the usual specification for the Bachmann Class 66, including directional lighting, a 21-pin DCC socket, bufferbeam accessory pack and numerous separate parts. Available in pristine form only, the model is available to order now, priced £159.99. Release is expected in spring-summer 2016.