British Rail Class 58

Ranked #48 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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Based on 3 votes

About British Rail Class 58

  • Locomotives of this class:
  • Parent class:
  • Built by: BREL

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 20 years in service, and 30 were subsequently hired abroad – four to the Netherlands, eight to Spain and twenty to France. 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 Rail Board, the contract to build the locomotives was awarded to British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL) in Doncaster 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

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