British Rail Class 86 AL6 - Yellow Freightliner 86622 electric engine at Crewe, Cheshire, England, UK, built 1960s

British Rail Class 86 AL6 - Yellow Freightliner 86622 electric engine at Crewe, Cheshire, England, UK, built 1960s Stock Photo

Image details


Tony Smith / Alamy Stock Photo

Image ID:


File size:

57.1 MB (1.4 MB Compressed download)


Model - no | Property - noDo I need a release?


5472 x 3648 px | 46.3 x 30.9 cm | 18.2 x 12.2 inches | 300dpi

Date taken:

3 September 2022


Crewe,Cheshire,England,UK, CW1

More information:

The British Rail Class 86 is a class of electric locomotives built during the 1960s. Developed as a 'standard' electric locomotive from earlier prototype models, one hundred of these locomotives were built from 1965 to 1966 to haul trains on the then newly electrified West Coast Main Line (WCML) from London Euston to Birmingham, Crewe, Liverpool, Manchester and later Glasgow and Preston. Introduction of the class enabled the replacement of many steam locomotives, which were finally withdrawn by British Rail in 1968. Under the earlier BR classification system, the type was given the designation AL6 (meaning the sixth design of AC locomotive) and locomotives were numbered E3101–E3200. In 1968, this was changed to Class 86 when British Rail introduced the TOPS classification system. The class was built to haul passenger and freight trains alike on the West Coast Main Line; however, some members of the class also saw use on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) between London Liverpool Street and Norwich, after the remainder of the line north of Colchester was electrified in the mid-1980s. The type has had a generally long and successful career, with some members of the class seeing main line service lives in the UK of up to 55 years. Most regular passenger duties of the class came to end on both the WCML and the GEML in the early-to-mid-2000s, after a career of up to 40 years. Some members of the class remained in use for charter work and for freight work with Freightliner until 2021. A number of the class were exported to Bulgaria and Hungary and remain in use. As of 2022, three Class 86s remain preserved in usable condition in the UK; all are in private ownership. The order for 100 locomotives was placed in 1963; it was split between two manufacturers, with the English Electric Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows building 60 locomotives and British Rail Doncaster Works producing 40. The Doncaster and Newton-built locomotives were not identical