Class 201 (Irish Rail) Profile and Models

Class 201 (Irish Rail)

No. 234 in September 2004. ©Manfred Kopka

The Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) / Northern Ireland Railways 201 Class locomotives are the newest and most powerful diesel locomotives operating in Ireland and were built between 1994 and 1995 by General Motors. A freight version, the EMD Series 66, with the same engine, is used on throughout the UK and Europe. By the early 1990s the locomotives operating passenger services in Ireland were becoming increasingly obsolete, with the newest type in service being the 071 Class introduced in 1976. The economic boom in Ireland in the mid-1990s allowed Iarnród Éireann to begin significant investment in the infrastructure of the railways, which began with an order for 32 brand new express locomotives from GM-EMD. Northern Ireland Railways also purchased 2. The locomotives were primarily used for push-pull and main intercity passenger services throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. Following displacement by modern multiple units and a decline in push-pull traffic, many of the class moved onto freight duties instead.

(Information provided by Wikipedia)

Type of Locomotive



General Motors Locomotive Group, Canada

Build Dates

1994 to 1995

Total Built


Power Output

3,200 hp

Top Speed

102 mph

Wheel Configuration


Operated By

Iarnród Éireann
Northern Ireland Railways

Main Duties

Primarily Intercity passenger
(Later used on freight workings)

In Service Until


Surviving Examples