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Class 59 D-Day…

It’s Decision Day if you still haven’t pre-ordered your Revolution Trains Class 59 locomotive at the low advance price of £124.95 (DC Silent) or £219.95 (DCC Sound.)

At midnight tonight the order book closes and we will shortly begin production. After the Class 92 this is our second locomotive and once again we are raising the bar in terms of features and details.

For a small class, there are a remarkable number of variations and adjustments made and we have endeavoured to incorporate all of these to produce the most accurate Class 59 – in any scale.

These diagrams illustrate the various differences between the sub-classes, and also changes made during their lives.

The first four Class 59/0 locomotives were built by EMD in 1985-6 and, being US locos shoehorned into the British loading gauge, were very different to BR-designed machines, even if the cab design was based, in part, on that of the Class 52 Westerns.

After a short time it was decided to move the two bogie dampers from the outer axles to the centre, and fit a body yaw damper to improve running. As NRN pods came into use these were added to fixed bases above each cab roof. And following complaints from drivers the exhaust port was moved across from the driver’s side.

59002 available as a Kernow exclusive

When ARC decided to order four Class 59s for themselves in 1990, the familiar standard lighting cluster was designed into the front end. In addition, recesses were created for the NRN pods, lashing loops were added to the frame and the altered exhaust and damper arrangement was retained.

Foster Yeoman took the opportunity to add a fifth loco to its fleet and while 59005 retained the original design of light clusters, its body had the NRN roof pod recesses designed in; making its bodyshell closer to a 59/1 than an original 59/0. Again, all these variations are faithfully reproduced on our model.

In 1994, when National Power ordered six more locomotives, further changes were made to create the Class 59/2 subclass. As well as the obvious addtion of drop-head buck-eye couplers at each end, these locomotives had their NRN pods slightly repositioned, revised arrangement of catches on the roof hatches and fire suppression equipment fitted on the outside of the frame.

The Class 59 story has one final twist: In the late 1990s when Foster Yeoman sent 59003 to operate in Germany, it had to conform to UIC standards with the addition of a top centre marker light (similar to soon-to-be-built Class 66) and rectangular buffers. These changes were retained when the locomotive was repatriated by GBRf.

59003 in GBRf and GBRf Europorte available as Rails exclusives

In addition to these many subtle detail variations and changes, the Revolution Class 59 will feature, for the first time in British N, the full array of lighting present on the real locomotives, enabling those with DCC controllers to operate in day or night mode (night mode 59/1 and 59/2 only), light engine, shunt mode and park mode and to have directional cab interior lights which, according to regulations, will turn off once the loco moves.

A full video describing the lighting functions can be seen here:

For those who prefer not to pre-order, we anticipate that the Class 59’s will be available from our usual retailers.

Look out too for the Rails exclusive 59003, Rainbow ‘First and Last’ twin pack of 59201 and 59206 and two exclusives from Kernow Model Rail Centre: 59002 in Mendip Rail livery and 59101 in ARC revised livery.

59201 and 59206 twin pack exclusive to Rainbow Railways
Copyright Kernow Model Rail Centre. Photography by Chris Nevard.