Direct Rail Services (DRS) has named locomotive 66303 “Rail Riders 2020” in honour of the rail members club.
Originally running from 1981 to 1991, Rail Riders was reformed into the rail enthusiasts’ club it is today. It relaunched on 29 February 2020 and has had to battle Covid restrictions ever since, while all the while growing to 600 members in just over a year, and this marks the first official naming event to take place in public.
Yesterday, (Wednesday 7 July 2021) DRS’s class 66, 66303 was unveiled at York station wearing its new nameplate to a select audience of Rail Riders members and representatives from DRS.
Chris Connelly, NTS Deputy CEO and Rail Director, said: “It’s fantastic to work with the rail enthusiast community on this project and it will be great to see Rail Riders 2020 cover Britain’s railway network.
“66303 was chosen as it can cover the entire rail network and can be used on DRS’s entire portfolio of work from nuclear to intermodal, ensuring the country’s lights stay on and supermarket shelves are full.”
Simon Buxton, Rail Riders Director, added: “We’re thrilled to be working with DRS and would like the thank them for their support. It’s been a long time coming, having been originally planned for last year but to have the locomotive actually named in York station is incredible. I look forward to seeing photos of this special locomotive on social media travelling around the country.
“We’ve now got two named locomotives flying the flag for the club which is beyond my wildest dreams when I first started the process of bringing it back to life. The club will go from strength to strength over the next 12 months and the response we have received across the railway family has been outstanding.”