The Class 59 is a Co-Co formation diesel locomotive and the first US produced, privately-owned locomotive to operate regularly in the UK. The ordering of the first Class 59 was a result of quarry company Foster Yeomans dissatisfaction with the performance of the BR Class 56.
The first 4 locomotives built by EMD, then owned by General Motors, were delivered to Foster Yeoman during 1986 with a fifth locomitove 59005 in 1989. The class proved very successful, one locomotive setting a new UK haulage record for a single locomotive of 4639 tonnes. Foster Yeomans' main competitor in the Mendips stone quarrying business the Amey Roadstone Corp.(ARC) also ordered four modified Class 59s (59/1) as did power station operator National Power who ordered six (59/2).
Following the privatisation of British Rail the new US-owned private freight operator EWS sought to replace their several different locomotive classes inherited from BR with one standard locomotive type. EMD built on their initial UK success by extensively modifying the class 59 design, fitting their newer 710 series engine to produce the Class 66, also hugely successful within both the UK and continental Europe.
Other than 59003 which had been loaned to HHPI in Germany and is now operated by GB Railfreight the Class 59 fleet is operated by Mendip Rail (59/0 & 59/1) and DB Schenker (59/2) normally on stone traffic from the two large Mendip quarries.
The Dapol Class 59 features:
Our latest Next Generation Diesel model, incorporating Dapol’s re-designed chassis and electronics. This model will also incorporate the same
iron cored 5 pole motor that is used in the N Gauge Class 50 and Class 68. This motor offers excellent slow running and exceptional pulling power
with reliability and robustness.
• Smooth running 5 pole next generation motor
• All wheel pickup
• All wheel drive via re-worked smooth drive low maintenance mechanism.
• Die-cast chassis
• DCC Sound ready, Next-18 decoder socket (recommended 6 function decoder)
• Independent directional front/rear main lighting control
• Independent directional front/rear cab lighting control
• Main lamp and cab lighting override switches for DC users (Independent front/rear control)
• Removable self-centring close coupling mechanism with NEM pockets
• Standard NEM fitting N Gauge couplers
• RP 25 wheels
• Detailed body and fittings
• Printed name plates
• Accessory bag with etched nameplates and detailed buffer beam fittings
• Clip-fit body for easy DCC fitting
• All Factory fitted DCC Locomotives will be fitted with Dapol’s new Imperium Next 18 decoder