British Rail Class 59
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|British Rail Class 59|
59001 Yeoman Endeavour at Doncaster Works in revised Foster Yeoman livery on 27 July 2003
|Builder||General Motors Electro Motive Division|
|AAR wheel arr.||C-C|
|Gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Wheel diameter||45 in (1,143 mm)|
|Length||21.40 m (70 ft 3 in)|
|Width||2.65 m (8 ft 8 in)|
|Height||3.91 m (12 ft 10 in)|
|Locomotive weight||126 t (124 long tons; 139 short tons)|
|Fuel capacity||1,000 imp gal (4,550 l; 1,200 US gal)|
|Prime mover||EMD 16-645E3C|
|Multiple working||AAR system (Classes 59, 66 and 67)|
|Top speed||60–75 mph (97–120 km/h)|
|Power output||Engine: 3,300 bhp (2,460 kW)|
|Tractive effort||Maximum: 508 kN (114,000 lbf) at 11 km/h (7 mph)
Continuous: 290 kN (65,000 lbf) at 23 km/h (14 mph)
|Number||59001–59005, 59101–59104, 59201–59206|
|Axle load class||Route availability 7|
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 Electro-Motive Diesel, a part of the Caterpillar group) for private British companies, initially Foster Yeoman. They were designed for hauling heavy freight and designated JT26CW-SS.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Class 59 derivatives
- 3 Notable workings and accidents
- 4 Export
- 5 Enthusiast nicknames
- 6 Fleet details
- 7 References and sources
- 8 External links
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 SD40-2, 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 concerns into Mendip Rail, and the rail interests of National Power were taken over by EWS, now DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd.
Ultimately EMD's diligence and flexibility in designing and constructing such a small order paid off in opening the way for the later, much larger, Class 66 order. This design uses the same body shell but is internally different. The only livery shared between the classes is EWS red and gold, but whereas the 66s have a zigzag gold stripe, the 59s' stripe is straight.
The better to manage their fleet availability and scale needs, Hanson ARC and Foster Yeoman founded Mendip Rail. The assets are still owned by both parent companies and the staff are seconded. Subsequently Mendip Rail has obtained train operating company status. Mendip Rail's Class 59s work services between various destinations, which have changed over time according to demand and specific contracts. They have worked regularly in the Southern Region, most notably to the Foster Yeoman terminals at Eastleigh and Botley, as well as on Channel Tunnel construction work.
Class 59 derivatives
Class 59/0 - Foster Yeoman
Because of poor reliability and low availability of the various locomotives used by British Rail to haul the stone trains from the West Country, Foster Yeoman began negotiations with British Rail to improve service. Having already supplied their own wagons with a reliability level of 96%, they suggested to British Rail that they could operate their own locomotives. British Rail's problem was the hard tie-in and control of the rail unions, but accepted the proposal in principle.
Foster Yeoman invited tenders for the supply of six locomotives from a manufacturer with a proven availability record of 95%. It is untrue that British Rail refused to tender, but withdrew having conceded that they had nothing which was of the required combination of power and reliability. Having already operated an EMD SW1001 shunter in the Merehead Quarry with good results, Foster Yeoman approached General Motors who were able to demonstrate the required long-term 95% availability. Derived from the EMD SD40-2, the cab layout was based on the British Rail Class 58 for easier driver assimilation. To meet the British loading gauge, an estimated 40,000 to 80,000 man-hours of design work was carried out by EMD. Some compromises were required; the large exhaust silencer required to meet BR noise levels left no room for Dynamic Braking equipment. However, it was possible to retain the all-important Super Series wheel creep control, which because of its superior traction can eliminate the need for double heading. Foster Yeoman therefore reduced their original requirement from six to four locomotives, ordering four in November 1984, and a fifth in 1988. All five locomotives were custom built by General Motors Diesel Division at their La Grange, Illinois, USA, plant.
In their first ten years of operation, the five locomotives between them hauled over 50 million tonnes of aggregates away from Merehead.
Class 59/1 - Amey Roadstone Construction
Built by General Motors Diesel Division at their London, Ontario, Canada, plant in 1990. The four Class 59/1 locomotives owned by Hanson (parent company of the former owners Amey Roadstone Construction) are similar to the Class 59/0 locomotives of Foster Yeoman, the main differences being a revised head light and marker light layout and the fitting of yaw dampers to permit the maximum speed to be increased to 75 mph (121 km/h).
Class 59/2 - National Power
Following Foster Yeoman, National Power decided to investigate the possibility of running its own trains, by ordering a single pilot locomotive. Following the trial, National Power ordered a further five locomotives and a fleet of hopper wagons to carry coal and limestone.
Again built at the London plant in 1994 and 1995, the six Class 59/2 locomotives differ from the Class 59/1s in several ways. A carbon dioxide fire control system replaces the original Halon system, NiCd batteries replace lead-acid, and the fleet all have drop-head knuckle couplers fitted. A more advanced slow speed control suitable for merry-go-round power station coal train operation has been fitted, as well as yaw dampers for a higher top speed.
In April 1998 EWS took over the National Power rail operations. With the locomotives under EWS management, they were used more widely over the network until 2005 when they were allocated to work beside the Mendip Rail fleet. The 59/2s are also now maintained by Mendip Rail at Merehead.
Notable workings and accidents
Designed for reliability and 95% availability, the Class 59 has achieved a 99.8% level during ten years evaluated from the first four engines. On 26 May 1991 class member 59 005 set the European haulage record for a single locomotive, with a stone train weighing 11,982 tonnes (11,793 long tons; 13,208 short tons) and 5,415 feet (1,650 m) long.
On 19 September 1997 locomotive 59101 was involved in the major Southall railway accident. The locomotive had just passed across the main line, under clear signals, and escaped damage, but the oncoming Inter City 125 train struck the hopper wagons in its train immediately behind.
While working the 6A20 Whatley to Acton (West London) stone train locomotive number 59 103 and the first ten hopper wagons derailed at 23:20 on 12 September 2000 between Great Elm Tunnel and Bedlam Tunnel on the single track branch line to the Hanson Quarry at Whatley. The locomotive and the first two hoppers rolled and 59 103 came to rest on the parapet of a small bridge on the driver's side (left by direction of travel) with the trailing bogie partially torn off by the following hopper car. The locomotive was pulled upright on 19 September 2000 and removed to Whatley Quarry where an initial assessment of the damage was made and repairs made to make the locomotive safe for removal by road. The locomotive was then moved by road to Derby on 2 November 2000 for further assessment before moving to Eastleigh for repairs.
In 1997, one of the Foster Yeoman locomotives, 59 003 Yeoman Highlander was exported to Germany, renumbered as 259 003, and operated by Yeoman/Deutsche Bahn (DB), pulling stone trains. It has since moved on to Heavy Haul Power International where it is still working on coal trains and pulls the highest train weight of any loco presently in Germany.
Class 59 locomotives are known by some enthusiasts as 'Daddy Yings', due to the noise of the engine and that they are the design on which the later Class 66 locomotives (sometimes called 'Yings') were based. They are also occasionally referred to as 'GM', due to the General Motors powerplant. Another nickname is 'Super Shed', again based on a Class 66 nickname ('Shed' because when viewed head-on, it resembles the profile of a garden shed roof) and the fact the Class 59 is more powerful.
|Built for:||Foster Yeoman||ARC, daughter company of Hanson plc||National Power|
|Currently owned by:||Foster Yeoman||Hanson||DB Schenker|
|Operated by:||Mendip Rail||Mendip Rail||DB Schenker|
|Built:||1985 and 1989 by General Motors, USA||1990 by General Motors, Canada||1994-1995 by General Motors, Canada|
|Engine:||General Motors 16-645E3C two stroke of 2,460 kW (3,300 hp) at 900 rpm|
|Main alternator:||General Motors AR11 MLD-D14A|
|Traction motors:||General Motors D77B|
|Maximum tractive effort:||506 kN (114,000 lbf) until 14.3 mph (23.0 km/h)|
|Continuous tractive effort:||291 kN (65,000 lbf)|
|Power at rail:||1,889 kW (2,533 hp)|
|Train brakes:||Air brakes|
|Brake force:||69 t (67.9 long tons; 76.1 short tons)|
|Dimensions:||21.35 × 2.65 m (70.0 × 8.7 ft)|
|Mass:||121 t (119 long tons; 133 short tons)|
|Wheel diameter:||42 inches (1,067 mm)|
|Design speed:||60 mph (97 km/h)||60 mph (97 km/h)||75 mph (121 km/h)|
|Maximum speed:||60 mph (97 km/h)||60 mph (97 km/h)||75 mph (121 km/h)|
|Fuel capacity:||1,000 imp gal (4,550 l; 1,200 US gal)|
|Route availability:||RA 7|
|Electric train supply:||Not equipped|
|Multiple working:||AAR System|
|Number||Works No||Commissioned by||Build Date||Ship||Arrive UK||Revenue||Owner||Name||Notes|
|59 001||848002-1||Foster Yeoman||1985||MV Fairlift||21 January 1986||February 1986||Foster Yeoman||Yeoman Endeavour|
|59 002||848002-2||Foster Yeoman||1985||MV Fairlift||21 January 1986||February 1986||Foster Yeoman||Alan J Day||Renamed from Yeoman Enterprise at Merehead Quarry on 21 June 1996 by Alan J Day, Managing Director of Day Aggregates|
|59 003||848002-3||Foster Yeoman||1985||MV Fairlift||21 January 1986||February 1986||Heavy Haul Power International||Originally named Yeoman Highlander. Transferred to Germany in 1997 and renumbered 259 003.|
|59 004||848002-4||Foster Yeoman||1985||MV Fairlift||21 January 1986||February 1986||Foster Yeoman||Paul A Hammond||Renamed from Yeoman Challenger at Merehead Quarry on 21 June 1996 by Paul A Hammond, Managing Director of Yeoman Aggregates|
|59 005||Foster Yeoman||1989||MV Fairlift||4 June 1989||June 1989||Foster Yeoman||Kenneth J Painter|
|59 101||878029-1||Hanson (formerly ARC)||1990||MV Stellamare||20 October 1990||11 November 1990||Hanson||Village of Whatley|
|59 102||878029-2||Hanson (formerly ARC)||1990||MV Stellamare||20 October 1990||11 November 1990||Hanson||Village of Chantry|
|59 103||878029-3||Hanson (formerly ARC)||1990||MV Stellamare||20 October 1990||11 November 1990||Hanson||Village of Mells|
|59 104||878029-4||Hanson (formerly ARC)||1990||MV Stellamare||20 October 1990||11 November 1990||Hanson||Village of Great Elm|
|59 201||918273-1||National Power||1994||MV Haskerland||16 February 1994||26 April 1994||DB Schenker||Carries DB Schenker Livery|
|59 202||948510-1||National Power||1995||MV Condock V||4 August 1995||October 1995||DB Schenker||Carries DB Schenker Livery (Was the last 59 to carry EWS livery.)|
|59 203||948510-2||National Power||1995||MV Condock V||4 August 1995||October 1995||DB Schenker||Carries DB Schenker Livery|
|59 204||948510-3||National Power||1995||MV Condock V||4 August 1995||October 1995||DB Schenker||Carries DB Schenker Livery|
|59 205||948510-4||National Power||1995||MV Condock V||4 August 1995||October 1995||DB Schenker||Carries DB Schenker Livery|
|59 206||948510-5||National Power||1995||MV Condock V||4 August 1995||October 1995||DB Schenker||John F Yeoman||Carries DB Schenker Livery (First locomotive to carry the verkehrsrot livery. Previously named Pride of Ferrybridge under EWS.)|
All of the DB Schenker locomotives apart from 59206 are nameless.
References and sources
- Fox, Peter; Hall, Peter & Pritchard, Robert (2004). British Railways Locomotives & coaching stock 2004. Sheffield: Platform 5. ISBN 1-902336-39-9.
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