The Class 58 Locomotive Group was formed back in July 2001, at the time when Class 58s were beginning to disappear from the UK rail network. Formed so as to promote the importance of this historic type of heavy freight locomotive, the last Class of diesel built by British Rail, the organisation has since established itself as the key source for all things Class 58.
The Class 58s were derived in the late 1970s, at a time when British Rail were investigating possible designs for a brand new, low-cost, easily maintainable heavy freight locomotive, able to replace the aging first generation traction and subsequently handle the predicted rail freight growth of the 1980s.
58001, the first of the Class, was handed over on the 9th December 1982, with delivery of the remaining 49 following up until March 1987; with all being constructed at the British Rail Engineering Limited Doncaster Works.
Synonymous with hauling coal traffic throughout the Midlands, the influx of General Motors traction at the end of the 20th Century heralded the demise of the Class 58s; with all having been withdrawn by 2002. Since then the majority of the Class have seen use on the continent, operating freight trains in Holland, Spain and France.
By 2010, the remaining engines in the UK were facing an uncertain future, with many having been heavily stripped for spares. On the 19th April 2010 DB Schenker put seven Class 58s up for sale, creating the first chance for any of the type to be purchased privately.
Having held an ambition to preserve a Class 58 since its formation, the Class 58 Locomotive Group saw that this opportunity as too good to miss and following a hectic process and fund raising events culminated in the successful purchase of 58016.
Restoration work has now commenced on the locomotive at its base at Barrow Hill, with significant spares sourced from several of the other subsequent scrapped classmates, notably 58045, which was briefly owned by the C58LG.
We still have lots of work to do, everything from cleaning to heavy engineering, so if you’ve ever been interested in restoring an historic diesel locomotive here is your chance.
The invitation to work on 58016 is open to all C58LG members and to get involved please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information on the Class 58 Locomotive Group, including latest news and how to become a member please visit our main website.
Here is the Class 58 Groups Constitution (4x Pages) which is agreed as being up-to-date as of April 2014.