Posted on

The final 59s…

Like the prototype, Revolution’s Class 59/1 and Class 59/2 locomotives are arriving a little after the pioneer Class 59/0 versions blazed a trail…

Time travellers… original ARC Southern 59/1, reliveried Hanson 59/1 and latest Heidelberg materials 59/1…
59/2s assemble! Right to left – original National Power livery, EWS, DB and most recent Freightliner

We expect to receive these models very shortly, and, as with the Class 59/0 models, will send them to fully pre-paid customers first. We will process balance payment requests as quickly as we can for other pre-order customers but rationalising these orders and processing them takes more time and we are always grateful for our customers’ patience as we work through them.

59/1 and 59/2 – what’s the difference?

The Class 59/1 locomotives were built for ARC Southern (then Hanson and now Heidelberg Materials) in 1990, while the Class 59/2 locomotives were ordered in the mid-90s by National Power and then sold to EWS, which became DB, and then Freightliner.

Superficially the locomotives do look similar, differing from the Class 59/0s by having the then-new BMAC standard light clusters. However the design evolved over time, and the main differences were in the roof and the underframe. The 59/2s, designed to carry coal into power stations, had frame mounted fire suppression cylinders and updated cooling tubes which are plainly visible on most images. Five of the six Class 59/2s also had two handles on each cab door.

Less obvious – but equally important to us! – are the roof differences in positioning of the radio pods and arrangement of catches on the access panels.

Class 59/1 – radio pods at outer ends of recesses and original panel catches.
Class 59/2 – radio pods in the centre of the recesses and additional roof catches. Note additional cab door handle.

As with the Class 59/0, we also have a limited supply of ESU E24 Lokpilot nano decoders pre-configured for this model to enable customers who do not wish to have sound to enjoy the full lighting functionality.

Kernow will also be receiving their exclusive models of 59101 in ARC revised livery, and Rainbow Railways will also be getting their ‘First and Last’ National Power twin packs featuring 59201 and 59206.

Rainbow Railways

Kernow have already received stocks of their exclusive model of 59002 in Mendip Rail livery, while Rails also have both original Europorte and current GB railfreight branded versions of 59003.

We’ve also received some more decorated samples of our upcoming Class 66, and these will form the subject of a post over the weekend as a reminder that the Class 66 pre-order deadline is looming, though we won’t close it fully until everyone has had a chance to select their Revolution Bespoke choices.

Posted on

EMD-esirable diesels arrive!

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its forthcoming Class 59 diesel locomotives. These models are now in the final stage of development before going into production.

59001 in 1986 original Foster Yeoman livery and 59101 in original 1990 ARC Southern livery

All the samples will be on display at the upcoming International N Gauge Show at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on September 10th-11th.

The first 59/0 locomotives were delivered with the exhaust port on the left side and single dampers on the outer bogie axles. With experience, this arrangement was changed. Foster Yeoman were presented with an American-style locomotive bell by EMD and this was fitted to the No. 1 end of 59001 as can be seen above.

Appropriately, the Class 59 locomotives themselves revolutionised the expectations of the UK railfreight industry in terms of both haulage and reliability when they entered service in 1986.

59003, Merehead 1986. Photo: Nigel Menzies, used under creative commons.

They were the first mainline diesel built for the UK market in the United States, and the first privately owned locomotives that British Rail permitted.

59001 + 59101 showing the differences between exhaust port location and bogie dampers.
Class 59/2 locomotives in original National Power livery.

The original four Foster Yeoman 59/0 locomotives arrived in 1986, the second batch of four ARC locomotives in 1990 (along with an addional loco for Foster Yeoman) and then in 1994-5 six more Class 59s entered service with National Power. These were designated 59/2 and again featured extensive differences to the earlier versions, with prominent fire suppression systems, buckeye couplers and altered end details and revised roof latches and radio pods.

The Class 59/2 locomotives in National Power livery are available to pre-order as a twin set of 59201 (with commemorative bell) and 59206 exclusively from Rainbow Railways here.

In the late 1990s the Class 59/0 locomotives received a revised Foster Yeoman livery. ARC was taken over by Hanson the Class 59/1s were repainted and the Class 59/2 locomotives passed into the ownership of EWS and were similarly reliveried.

59004 in revised Foster Yeoman livery.
59204 in EWS maroon and 59101 in Hanson livery.

In due course the Class 59/2 locomotives joined their sisters on Mendip stone traffic, and as repaints became due the Class 59/0 locomotives went into Aggregate Industries colours while the 59/2s received DB red.

59005 in Aggregate Industries livery. 59005 was built later than the other 59/0 locomotives and has a unique combination of details, which have been faithfully replicated.
59201 in DB red. The roof grille will be corrected to grey on production models!

In 2019 the contract to move stone from the Mendip quarries was won by Freightliner. While the 59/0s and 59/1s remain in their AI or Hanson liveries, Freightliner is progressively repainting the 59/2s into its own orange Genessee and Wyoming livery.

59203 in Freightliner G&W livery.
The present day – Aggregate Industries and Freightliner liveries.

The last chapter in the Class 59 story involves the single loco 59003. It was sent on long term hire to Germany in the late 1990s, and for this it was fitted with a UIC standard light above the cab windscreen and other modifications were made.

Then, in 2015, it was acquired by GB Railfreight and returned to the UK. Originally painted in GBRf’s Europorte scheme, it was later repainted into more standard GBRf colours. Both of these versions can be reserved exclusively from Rails of Sheffield here.

The Revolution Class 59 will have a full suite of lights, factory-fitted speakers in every model (and DCC Sound versions of all our variants available) and the DCC socket is accessed by a removable centre section – which replicates the arrangement of the prototype.

The switches that enable DC users to deactivate the red tail lights when running with a train can also be seen.

These decorated samples will be assessed and some small amendments to colours will be adjusted, and customers should also note that these were assembled and painted by hand using components from the first test mouldings, and as ever some small adjustments will also be made to improve fit and finish, especially of the etched parts.

Other than the exclusives you can pre-order any Revolution Trains Class 59 from our shop page here:

We are looking forward to showing these models off as the show season gets into full swing, and would be interested in any feedback. We expect the order book to close during the autumn, though we have not yet set a date.

Posted on

Revolution Class 59 – tooling completed

Revolution’s upcoming Class 59 diesel locomotive model in N is a step closer with our manufacturing partners in China advising us that tooling is complete and sending us some images of the first test mouldings.

59/0 bodyshells, in original form without roof radio pods, fuel tanks and pick-ups

The images also show the lift-off centre body panel to allow straightforward installation of a Next-18 DCC decoder and control of switchable lighting functions, and the fuel tanks with speaker recesses. Speakers will be factory-fitted to every model so upgrading to sound is simple.

The pin-point axle power pick-up can also be seen, with the ‘floating’ centre axle designed to maintain optimum contact even on uneven track sections.

EP samples are likely to follow shortly to allow us to inspect all the components for accuracy, crispness and fit, and to begin testing the chassis.

We would like to thank everyone who has already pre-ordered, enabling us to reach this point in the model’s production so quickly.

All Revolution Class 59 versions can still be reserved at our low Early-Bird price of just £114.95 with free postage until September 30th, after which the price increases to our standard pre-order price of £125. Models are expected to be available from partner retailers after production is complete, but these will be at the full RRP, which is likely to be around £150.

In the coming weeks we are expecting to receive EP1 running samples for testing and if possible we will have them on display on our stand at the Great Electric Trains Show at Milton Keynes on October 2nd and 3rd.