British Rail Class 59

Ranked #77 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 59

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The Class 59 Co-Co diesel-electric locomotives were built and introduced between 1985 and 1995 by Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of General Motors (now independent company Electro-Motive Diesel) for private British companies, initially Foster Yeoman. They were designed for hauling heavy freight and designated JT26CW-SS. In the light of Foster Yeoman's dissatisfaction with the availability and reliability of British Rail's Class 56 diesel freight locomotive, and their satisfaction with their EMD SW1001 shunter, four Class 59/0s were ordered from EMD and arrived in 1986. A new design to the British loading gauge and specifications, derived from the EMD SD50, it used the cab layout of the British Rail Class 58 to aid driver assimilation. They were the first United States-built and the first privately owned diesel locomotives to operate regularly on the British main line, although EMD powered locomotives have been the mainstay in both the Republic of Ireland since 1961 and Northern Ireland since 1980. Following Foster Yeoman's example, Amey Roadstone Construction bought four (Class 59/1) and National Power bought six (Class 59/2) locomotives. Foster Yeoman and ARC merged their rail

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