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Revolutionary EMD from Revolution!

Revolution Trains is offering the iconic Class 59 diesel as its next locomotive model in N gauge.

On their introduction in 1986 they heralded a revolution in traction on Britain’s railways. They were the first privately owned and American-built diesels to operate in Britain and set unprecedented levels of reliability; their success led directly to the now ubiquitous Class 66 – arguably the most successful design of the modern era.

59005 at Hothfield in 2014. Photo used under Creative Commons.

CAD is complete and the model is ready for tooling to begin. We anticipate that first moulded samples will be here in 6-8 weeks, and the model will be available to pre-order for a low EarlyBird price of £114.95 with Free Postage for a short period, before moving up to the standard pre-order price of £124.95, with a subsequent MSRP after production of £150.

Revolution’s tooling allows for all sub-classes to be correctly depicted, with numerous differences in lighting, roof and bogie details, and unique locomotives 59003 and 59005 are also being offered.

59/0 in updated condition with yaw dampers, revised bogies, NRN pods and altered exhaust.
59/1 with revised lighting, underframe, bogies and roof details.
59-2 with drop-head buckeye coupler, sub-class specific roof details and external fire extinguishers.

The Class 59 is Revolution’s second N gauge locomotive, and follows on from our highly regarded Class 92 described in one review as …the best ‘N’ gauge model yet? We think so: nothing can match the fidelity of detail which Revolution Trains has achieved…

With the Class 59 we plan to go even better – with all grilles photo-etched, including the distinctive front air horn grille, with numerous separately fitted detail parts and supports on the distinctive solebar area, separate windscreen wipers, full interiors, photo etched lashing loops and front footsteps.

We are also building on our experience of the Class 92 chassis. The Class 59 will have a heavy diecast mainframe, internal lighting connections via tabs to minimise wiring, low gearing for smooth and powerful running, factory-fitted speakers in a fuel tank designed to act as the baffle and Next 18 DCC socket and lighting switches accessed by a simple lift-off centre panel – which replicates the engine access panel on the real thing.

NEM coupler sockets in kinematic mounts will be fitted, with a Rapido type N gauge coupler fitted at one end and the other supplied super-detailed. A spare Rapido will be included in the accessory bag for those who wish to have operational couplers at both ends.

The model has been in development since last year, and we are expecting first samples in the next few weeks. We’d like to thank GBRf, Freightliner, Arlington Fleet Services, Progress Rail (EMD) and Mendip Rail for their help and assistance so far.

The order book will be opening very soon, with our EarlyBird price available for a short period.

The Class 59s – a short history

59003 at Merehead in 1986. Photo used under Creative Commons.

The Class 59 represented a revolution when it made history on its entry to service in 1986 as the first privately owned mainline locomotive to operate on the British network.

Foster Yeoman, which operated heavy stone trains from quarries in the Mendips, had decided to buy its own locomotives as there was nothing in British Rail’s traction fleet that could meet its needs for power and reliability.

Built by Electro-Motive Diesel at its plant at La Grange, Illinois, the first four Class 59/0s – in their striking silver and blue livery – were an immediate success offering exceptional haulage and previously undreamt of availability and a fifth was duly ordered. In use some changes were made to the bogies to improve ride quality and NRN roof pods were added.

Amey Roadstone Corporation (ARC) decided to follow suit and in 1990 took delivery of four locomotives designated 59/1 in the ARC house colours of grey and mustard.

59101 at Hallam in 1991. Photo used under Creative Commons.

The ARC locomotives saw the exhaust port moved away from the driver’s door and alterations to lighting arrangements and roof hatch catches.

The final batch of six locomotives were built for National Power and arrived in Britain in 1994-5. In a striking blue and pale grey livery, with red and white detailing, the Class 59/2 fleet was used to supply power stations in the Aire valley at Drax, Eggborough and Ferrybridge with limestone from Tunstead and coal from collieries including Maltby, Gascoigne Wood and Kellingley.

59204 at Burton Salmon. Photo used under Creative Commons.

In all fifteen Class 59s were built and all remain in service with a variety of operators and in liveries including Hanson, Freightliner G&W, GBRf and DB.

59202 at Dundas in 2010. Photo courtesy Graham Roose.

They are primarily used on heavy stone trains from the Mendip quarries to destinations in the south of England, however GBRf’s 59003 is used more widely, and the class is also often seen on engineer’s trains. In the past the Class 59/2s – under National Power, EWS and later DB – were seen widely across the north of England.

The 59s are often seen hauling the JNA box wagons and HOA hoppers previously produced by Revolution, making it an ideal addition to our range.

The PTA box wagons and KPA hoppers used in the 1980s and 1990s are available from the NGS as kits.

59001 at Southcote Junction in 2017. Photo courtesy Steve Poole.
59101 at Farnborough in 2020. Photo courtesy NathTrains.

In 1997 Foster Yeoman agreed for 59003 to be sent to Germany. To work abroad it was fitted with a top marker light and UIC buffers. The locomotive was acquired by GBRf in 2014 and repatriated and repainted. With the assistance of GBRf Revolution Trains has tooled the correct detail variations for this version too.

CAD for 59003 in present-day condition following its return from Germany. Note top marker light and rectangular buffers.
59003 at Eastleigh in 2020. Photo used under Creative Commons.
59202 Avonmouth-Whatley.
59206 and 59005 at Langley Burrell. Both above photos courtesy Jo Alder.

The Class 59 will become Revolution’s second N gauge locomotive, moving ahead of the previously announced Class 93 which will go into CAD design alongside the real things toward the end of this year.

Although relatively small in number, our extensive research has revealed large numbers of detail differencies and idiosyncracies within the class which we will be replicating where possible.

The CADs are the result of many hours of work and the analysis of dozens of precise measurements to accompany works drawings.
59206 at Bedworth in 2020. Photo courtesy Steve King.

What’s on offer

For a small class, the Class 59s have carried numerous liveries. Revolution has secured licences including the very latest Aggregate Industries, GBRf and Freightliner G&W schemes and these will be among the models offered.

Please note these graphics are for illustrative purposes only; some small markings are omitted, colours are representative and some details may be altered for production models. To see which models are available to order now please follow the link above to our shop. Please note that dates given do not apply to every locomotive, but cover the period the livery was in use on at least one of the class.

Class 59/0

Foster Yeoman originalperiod 1986-2000
Foster Yeoman revisedperiod 1998-2015
Aggregate Industriesperiod 2008-present

Class 59/1

ARC originalperiod 1990-2000
Hansonperiod 1999-present

Class 59/2

EWSperiod 1998-2012
DB Schenkerperiod 2009-2020
Freightliner G&Wfrom 2020

Retailer Exclusives

Revolution is also delighted to be offering these retailer exclusives.

59003 with Rails of Sheffield.

Revolution is teaming up with Rails of Sheffield to offer GBRf’s 59003 featuring all the detail amendments mentioned above. When it entered service with GBRf it featured red/blue roundels at each end, however in 2020 the locomotive was repainted and given a more standard GBRf with a rectangular centre blue panel. Both versions are being offered.

59201/59206 twin pack with Rainbow Railways.

In addition, Revolution is joining with Rainbow Railways to offer the Class 59/2’s stylish original ‘National Power’ livery in an exclusive ‘First & Last’ twin pack comprising both 59201 ‘Vale of York’ and 59206 ‘Pride of Ferrybridge’. Both locomotives feature prototypical variations; 59201 features the bell at the No1 end and single handled cab doors, while 59206 has twin handled cab doors and revised end air pipe positions. These models will also include cosmetic buck-eye couplers; these were removed when the locomotives were taken on by EWS.

It is anticipated that samples will be ready for testing in the next 6-8 weeks with production expected in Q2 2022.