British Rail Class 58
The British Rail Class 58 is a class of Co-Co diesel locomotive designed for heavy freight. Introduced in 1983, they followed American practice of modularisation. EWS withdrew them in 2002 after 19 years in service, and 32 were hired abroad – four to the Netherlands, eight to Spain and twenty to France.
|British Rail Class 58|
58036 at Saltley in April 1987.
In the late 1970s, British Rail wanted to develop a new, low-cost, easily maintainable freight locomotive that would handle the predicted rail freight growth during the 1980s. The Class 56 had a troublesome entry into service, and BR was also keen to enter the export market. Pre-production drawings of the Class 58s referred to them as "Standard Export Locomotives".
Once a design for the new Class 58 had been approved by the British Railways Board, the contract to build the locomotives was awarded to British Rail Engineering Limited's (BREL) Doncaster Works where work started on a major multi-million pound upgrade of ‘E2’ shop where the locomotives would be manufactured. BREL dropped traditional locomotive construction methods in favour of an entirely new approach – an innovative modular design. This offered savings on construction and maintenance compared to previous locomotive builds. The load-bearing underframe was fitted with exchangeable modules - number 1 cab, radiator, power unit, turbocharger, electrical equipment and number 2 cab. If required, each module could be easily removed from the underframe and replaced.
The narrow body with cabs at either end led to them being given the nickname "Bone" by rail enthusiasts, but the design also made an American-style single cab version possible.
The first locomotive, 58001, was handed over to British Rail at Doncaster Works on 9 December 1982 and delivery of the remainder of the locomotives continued until early 1987 with the final delivery of 58050. This loco was temporarily fitted with a SEPEX wheelslip control system, but upon completion experimental testing the equipment was removed before the locomotive entered traffic. SEPEX was central to the design of the Class 60. No export orders were received and so the jigs at Doncaster were dismantled and 58050 became not only the last Class 58 to be built, but the last diesel locomotive to be built at ‘The Plant’.
Since they were introduced in the early 1980s, the 58s saw service on a variety of freight duties. Despite claims made at the time, their performance was actually inferior to Class 56s on many types of freight train due to their increased tendency to wheelslip, largely as a result of bogie design. Although originally allocated to coal traffic, their arrival coincided with the miners' strike, and British Rail apparently only tolerated the construction of so many units because the components were already on order. As a result, the 58s could also be seen working other types of freight traffic. With the advent of privatisation in the 1990s, Class 58s greatly extended the geographical scope of their operations and were used on general freight traffic until withdrawal.
In their day, Class 58s were powerful and capable freight locomotives, although not without their flaws. However, by the turn of the century they compared unfavourably with the new generation of locomotives and were quickly supplanted by Class 66s. In comparison, Class 58s were expensive to maintain and operate, and delivered much lower availability.
Accidents and incidents
During the late 1990s, it was almost certain that the entire Class 58 fleet would see in the next millennium as working locomotives. However, despite being quoted as EWS's most reliable and consistent Type 5s, it was announced in 1999 that a large number of Class 58s were going to be placed into long-term storage: 58017 was the first to be stored, quickly followed by 58022.
Since then, the remainder of the Class 58s were stored at various points around Britain. This was hastened by the introduction of 250 Class 66s. The last few Class 58 locomotives were withdrawn in September 2002 after working the last charter train, the "Bone Idol" from King's Cross to Skegness and return.
Seven Class 58s were put on the DB Schenker April 2010 disposals list. This is the first time stored Class 58s have been put up for sale. One of these, 58016, has entered preservation at Barrow Hill with the Class 58 Locomotive Group (C58LG).
Five class 58s were listed for disposal by DB Schenker October 2015 disposals list. Namely 58008, 58012, 58022, 58023, and 58048.
According to Railways Illustrated for August 2014: "..the story of the 58s has been one of a shocking waste - they were nowhere near life-expired when withdrawn and to see them sitting in depots in France when there is a shortage of locos in the UK is baffling..."
Service in Continental Europe
EWS announced in 2000 that eight Class 58s were to be moved to Spain (on hire to Spanish infrastructure operator GIF) and later, a large number of Class 58s (alongside Class 56s) operated in France for Fertis, TSO and Seco Rail.
In May 2007, all of the locomotives from the French contract were returned to the UK and placed back into storage. The Spanish locomotives remain active however now under the ownership of Transfesa . The locomotives that were returned to the UK were sent back abroad to France from May–October 2009 on hire to operators TSO and ETF. The Dutch locomotives were prepared for further use in France before being transported to France in July 2009.
Names and numbers
|Key:||In Service||Withdrawn/Stored (UK)||Withdrawn/Stored (Exported)||Preserved||Scrapped|
|58001||09 Dec 82||08 Oct 99||13 Aug 09||Stored (France)|
|58002||Daw Mill Colliery, 17 Mar 88||9 May 83||09 Nov 00||Scrapped||EMR Southampton, Jan 2014.|
|58003||Markham Colliery, Jul 88||31 Jul 83||29 Nov 99||Scrapped||EMR Kingsbury, Aug 2010.|
|58004||30 Sep 83||09 Jan 02||15 Oct 04||Stored (France)|
|58005||Ironbridge Power Station, 12 May 96||31 Oct 83||13 Oct 00||20 Jun 09||Stored (France)|
|58006||31 Oct 83||11 Jan 00||24 Nov 09||Stored (France)|
|58007||Drakelow Power Station, 25 Aug 90||31 Nov 83||19 Jan 00||14 Oct 04||Stored (France)|
|58008||31 Dec 83||29 Nov 99||Scrapped||Eastleigh Works in 2016.|
|58009||31 Jan 84||16 Jan 02||03 Nov 04||Stored (France)|
|58010||Audrey Newton, 12 Dec 87 (Worn for 1 day only)||29 Feb 84||08 Dec 99||23 Jun 04||Stored (France)|
|58011||Worksop Depot, 05 Sep 93||31 Mar 84||07 Dec 99||30 Jun 05||Stored (France)|
|58012||31 Mar 84||05 Dec 99||Stored||Purchased for Preservation in 2016 from Ron Hull Jr's scrapyard and now stored at the Battlefield Line awaiting restoration.|
|58013||31 Mar 84||26 Apr 01||24 Jun 01||Stored (France)|
|58014||Didcot Power Station, 11 Jun 88||30 Apr 84||17 Nov 00||Scrapped||EMR Kingsbury, Aug 2010.|
|58015||30 Sep 84||08 Oct 99||07 Oct 04||Stored (Spain)|
|58016||05 Oct 84||05 Aug 02||14 May 05||Under Restoration||Purchased for preservation on 28 Jun 10 by the C58LG and now undergoing restoration at Barrow Hill Roundhouse. Owned by UK Rail Leasing Locomotives at Leicester where it will be used on hire to Heritage Railways.|
|58017||Eastleigh Depot, 26 Apr 95||31 Oct 84||30 Apr 99||Stored|
|58018||High Marnham Power Station, 21 May 88||31 Oct 84||07 Dec 99||23 Aug 05||In Service (France)|
|58019||Shirebrook Colliery, 01 Oct 89||30 Nov 84||07 Apr 01||Scrapped|
|58020||Doncaster Works BRE, 07 Nov 84 & Doncaster Works, May 87||30 Nov 84||02 Sep 02||23 May 04||In Service (Spain)|
|58021||Hither Green Depot, 28 Oct 85||31 Dec 84||03 Aug 02||13 Jul 05||In Service (France)|
|58022||31 Dec 84||11 Mar 02||Stored||Owned by Ivatt Diesel Recreation Society. The chassis will be used for the re-creation of the LMS pioneer diesel 10000.|
|58023||Peterborough Depot, 02 Jun 95||31 Dec 84||24 Jul 99||Operational.||Purchased in 2016 along with 58012 and 58048. Based at the Battlefield Line and returned to service on November 2016. Now operational in private ownership.|
|58024||31 Dec 84||02 Sep 02||23 May 04||In Service (Spain)|
|58025||31 Jan 85||05 Aug 02||23 May 04||Stored (Spain)|
|58026||31 Mar 85||16 Jan 2||20 Jun 09||Stored (France)|
|58027||31 Mar 85||05 Sep 99||21 Oct 04||Stored (Spain)|
|58028||31 Mar 85||29 Oct 99||Scrapped||EMR Kingsbury, Aug 2010.|
|58029||31 Mar 85||25 Jun 02||23 May 04||In Service (Spain)|
|58030||30 Jun 85||01 Aug 02||23 May 04||In Service (Spain)|
|58031||Cabellero Ferroviario, Jun 08||30 Sep 85||06 Apr 02||23 May 04||In Service (Spain)|
|58032||Thorsby Colliery, Oct 95||30 Sep 85||12 Jan 00||19 Oct 04||Stored (France)|
|58033||30 Sep 85||31 Aug 02||28 Oct 04||Stored (France)|
|58034||Bassetlaw, 12 Dec 85||30 Nov 85||18 Aug 99||21 Oct 04||Stored (France)|
|58035||31 Jan 86||30 Jun 99||27 Oct 04||Stored (France)|
|58036||28 Feb 86||10 Mar 00||11 Sep 99||Stored (France)|
|58037||Worksop Depot, 26 Jun 00||28 Feb 86||08 Apr 02||EMR Southampton, Jan 2014.|
|58038||28 Feb 86||04 Dec 99||7 May 05||Stored (France)|
|58039||Rugeley Power Station, 13 Sep 86||31 Mar 86||30 Dec 99||25 Jun 03||Stored (France)|
|58040||Cottam Power Station, 20 Sep 86||31 Mar 86||07 Dec 99||13 Nov 04||Stored (France)|
|58041||Ratcliffe Power Station, 06 Sep 86||31 Mar 86||08 Jul 02||03 Apr 03||In Service (Spain)|
|58042||Ironbridge Power Station, 29 Sep 86 & Petrolea, 05 Feb 96||31 May 86||13 Apr 02||20 Aug 09||Stored (France)|
|58043||Knottingly, 25 Apr 93||31 Jul 86||01 Aug 02||03 Apr 03||In Service (Spain)|
|58044||Oxcroft Opencast, 9 May 92||31 Aug 86||24 Jul 99||16 Oct 03||Stored (France)|
|58045||30 Sep 86||31 Aug 02||Scrapped||Purchased on 07 Jul 10 by the C58LG to provide spares for 58016. Later cut up at EMR Kingsbury in Oct 2010.|
|58046||Thoresby Colliery, 29 Jun 91 & Ashfordby Mine, 27 Sep 95||31 Oct 83||13 Jan 00||09 Sep 04||In Service (France)|
|58047||Manton Colliery, 28 Apr 92||31 Oct 86||04 Sep 02||28 Oct 04||In Service (Spain)|
|58048||Coventry Colliery, 11 May 91||30 Nov 86||19 Jan 00||Under Restoration.||Purchased in 2016 from Ron Hull Jr's scrapyard at Rotherham with 58012 and 58023. This engine is being restored and will be joining 58016 in preservation. Will be used by UK Rail Leasing Locomotives at Leicester where it will go into hire on Heritage Railways.|
|58049||Littleton Colliery, 14 Mar 87||31 Dec 86||29 May 02||17 Nov 04||Stored (France)|
|58050||Toton Traction Depot, 9 May 87||31 Mar 87||05 Aug 02||18 Sep 08||Stored (Spain)|
On 28 June 2010, DB Schenker confirmed that the Class 58 Locomotive Group's bid for 58016 had been accepted and thus the locomotive would become the first preserved example of its type. Shortly afterwards, on 7 July, the group announced they had also acquired another locomotive, 58045, as a spares donor. A subsequent posting on the group's website said that the stripping of 045 had proceeded apace and all parts recovered were to be initially stored until the restoration of 016 commences properly.
In 2016 both 58012 and 58023 were both saved from Ron Hull Jr's scrapyard at Rotherham and are now at the Battlefield Line, privately owned in preservation. 58023 is now in running order, and there are also plans to restore 58012 to running order as well.
58048 is also owned by the Battlefield Line however it is planned that it will be saved for preservation to join the heritage roster at UK Rail Leasing Locomotives in Leicester where it will be on hire to Heritage Railways.
Class 58022 was saved by the Ivatt Diesel Recreation Society with plans to build a replica of LMS 10000. The group intends to use the chassis of 58022 for the rebuilding of the locomotive with the rest being scrapped.
In 2002, 58050 was nominated by the Railway Heritage Committee for preservation at the conclusion of its service life.
As of 2018 five members of the class have been preserved.
List of preserved locomotives
|58012||N/A||N/A||Stored||Battlefield Line||Purchased from Ron Hull Jr's scrapyard in 2016 and now stored awaiting restoration.|
|58016||N/A||Fertis Grey||Under Restoration||Barrow Hill Roundhouse||Purchased for preservation in Oct 2010 to become the First member of class to be preserved.|
|58022||N/A||N/A||Stored||Peak Rail||Purchased from Ron Hull Jr's scrapyard in 2016 and now stored awaiting deconstruction, with the frames destined for the LMS 10000 replica.|
|58023||Peterborough Depot||Mainline Blue||Operational||Battlefield Line||Purchased for preservation in 2016 from Ron Hull Jr's scrapyard along with 58012 & 58048 and moved to the Battlefield Line. This was the first Class 58 to be started in preservation.|
|58048||Coventry Colliery||N/A||Under Restoration||Battlefield Line||Purchased from Ron Hull Jr's scrapyard in 2016 along with 58012 & 58023 and now undergoing restoration.|
From new, all locos were outshopped in Railfreight grey, with yellow ends and red solebars. The introduction of Railfreight sector liveries from October 1987 saw 58050 outshopped by Stratford in the new triple grey scheme, complete with the Railfreight coal sub-sector logo. Eventually the majority of the fleet were repainted in triple grey livery. Upon shadow privatisation of the UK freight business, Mainline Freight became the owners of the 50 strong fleet, which saw a small number re-painted into the operator's aircraft blue and silver livery, while others had Mainline Freight branding applied to the triple grey bodywork. With full privatisation and the takeover of the freight operations by EWS, maroon and gold became the standard livery for repainted examples from mid-1997 and beyond.
In 1979, prior to the building of the first locomotive by British Rail Engineering Limited, a 1:25 scale model was made by a member of the staff of the Locomotive Drawing Office at the Railway Technical Centre (RTC) in Derby, using the General Arrangement drawings of the proposed design. The model formed part of an exhibition at the RTC to illustrate the work of the Locomotive Design Office to the then Chairman of British Rail, Sir Peter Parker. In 1982 Hornby Railways released 00 gauge model of a Class 58, with variants produced over the next two decades. Heljan released an OO model in 2008. In 2011 Dapol released a model in N scale.
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