Class 58

Following the conventional Class 56 heavy freight locomotive British Rail went much more radical for the next design. The Class 58 dispensed with a lot of traditional British monocoque locomotive building practice with the aim of producing a highly exportable locomotive. It had a modular design with the main structural load bearer being the underframe with major components fitted to the frame[1]. The design made the Class 58 around 14% cheaper to build than the 56 [2].

Number built: 50
Built: 1983-87
Builder: BREL Doncaster
Engine: Ruston Paxman 12RK3ACT diesel
Power: 3, 300 hp (2, 460 kW)
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co

The Class 58 also followed common US style in that it dispensed with a walkway through the locomotive, the body being narrower than the cabs. This was done because of the space problems with the Class 56 trying to fit a larger engine into what was essentially a Class 47 shell. The bonnet design has access doors all along the side[3]. In the event no export orders were received and only 50 were built (as opposed to 135 Class 56s), the last Class 58 was also the last diesel locomotive to be built at BREL Doncaster.

The Class 58 was built for heavy coal trains though also could be seen on other freight types. Most Class 58s were withdrawn at the turn of the millennium, surplus to requirements as the Class 66 began to arrive in numbers. While a small number have been scrapped most of the class has seen further use in the 2000s on the continent especially in France working on TGV construction though some of these have now returned home or been put into storage both home and abroad [4].

One Class 58 (58 022) will be used to help create a replica of the pioneer LMS diesel locomtive 10000.
58 007 at Bescot 1985, photographer unknown

58 022 at Rowsley South

58 022 will be used to build a replica LMS 10000 class diesel locomotive

[1] Colin J Marsden, Motive Power Recognition: Locomotives (3rd Edition) (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 92
[2] Brian Harsenape, Production Diesel Electrics Types 4 and 5 (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 80
[3] Barry Edwards, Class 58s: Their Development and Introduction (Link Rail, 1984) p. 6
[4] Colin J Marsden, Traction Recognition (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 58