The Back’bone’ of British Rail is Coming Soon to Train Simulator

Written by: TrainSim-James

Main Image Above: 58001 is on display at an open day at Doncaster Works in July 2003, featuring a full repaint into the original BR RailFreight livery. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Phil Scott.

The Class 58 was built between 1983 and 1987 by BREL in Doncaster Works as British Rail wanted a new freight locomotive that would be lower in cost and maintenance whilst being able to cope with the potential growth in rail freight in the 1980s. It was in the 1970s when BR started looking for this new locomotive when they turned to the American design of a modular structure, meaning the loco would be made up of standardized sections that attach to the underframe, allowing for easy maintenance and lower building costs.

50 Class 58s were built in total and were initially used on coal trains, however that was short lived as they were entering service around the same time of the miner’s strikes of 1984/5 and so were used on a variety of freight services. Contrary to the claims made in the 1980s, the Class 58s proved less successful on various types of freight services when compared to the Class 56s due to an increase in the amount of wheelslip occurred, which was mainly caused by the design of the bogies.

Despite being built for exclusively freight use, the Class 58s did haul various passenger services for example when a loco failed and a backup was required. They also played a key role in ‘Spin and Win’ charters, with 58017 being the only member of the class to have not hauled a charter service. Having started life in the BR RailFreight livery, the 58s have seen a variety of different liveries following sectorisation and privatisation including Coal Sector Triple Grey, Mainline Freight and EWS.

The Class 58s started to be withdrawn from service in in the late 1990s and by 2002, the last few finished operating in the UK. This wasn’t the end of the Class 58 though, in 2000 the Spanish infrastructure operator GIF hired eight Class 58s from EWS, where they have been constantly used up until today and other Class 58s were sent for work in France and the Netherlands. This cascade of Class 58s saw them in a unique set of liveries not usually found on British locos including GIF and ACTS.

Today, the Class 58s that were sent to Spain are still in service under Transfesa, a majority of the remaining Class 58s are stored in France in varying conditions, with only one loco confirmed for preservation, 58016 which was bought by the Class 58 Locomotive Group, they also bought a second loco, 58045 however this was scrapped for spare parts in the hope of restoring 016 in the future.

Soon you will have the chance to revisit this fantastic locomotive and welcome the Bone  back to UK rails as the BR Class 58 from Skyhook Games is coming soon to Train Simulator!

58016 is seen here at Bescot hauling a short rake of coal wagons on a driver training service, October 1984. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Robert Cooke.

58016 is seen here at Bescot hauling a short rake of coal wagons on a driver training service, October 1984. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Robert Cooke.

During the Miners' Strike of 1984, the Class 58s had very little coal to move. 58010 heads towards Bescot playing host to another driver training run in April of the eerily quiet year.

During the Miners’ Strike of 1984, the Class 58s had very little coal to move. 58010 heads towards Bescot playing host to another driver training run in April of the eerily quiet year. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Robert Cooke.

1992 was the final year of the classic 'Freight Sector' liveries before Mainline and later EWS reigned supreme. 58002 is captured at Walsall wearing a coat that would soon be lost forever. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Matty P.

1992 was the final year of the classic ‘Freight Sector’ liveries before Mainline and later EWS reigned supreme. 58002 is captured at Walsall wearing a coat that would soon be lost forever. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Matty P.

Later in 1992, many 'sector' locomotives were awaiting re-branding to their respective companies, 58034 stands around a collection of Class 56s in Leicester awaiting a new logo.

Later in 1992, many ‘sector’ locomotives were awaiting re-branding to their respective companies, 58034 stands around a collection of Class 56s in Leicester awaiting a new logo. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Matty P.

The modular design of the Class 58 is apparent as 58050 awaits her next call to action in the early 1990s.

The modular design of the Class 58 is apparent as 58050 awaits her next call to action in the early 1990s. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Matty P.

Double headed action, 58048 and an unidentified Class 58 haul a rake of freight wagons through Saltley in the 1990s.

Double headed action, 58048 and an unidentified Class 58 haul a rake of freight wagons through Saltley in the 1990s. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Matty P.

The cab of the Class 58 was unlike any other before it on British Rails, when the Class 59 was ordered its cab design was derived off the class 58.

The cab of the Class 58 was unlike any other before it on British Rails, when the Class 59 was ordered its cab design was derived from the classic 58. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Matty P.

At Old Oak Common, 58050 wears the distinct EWS Maroon and Yellow livery while coupled up to some empty container freight wagons in 2000.

At Old Oak Common, 58050 wears the distinct EWS Maroon and Yellow livery while coupled up to some empty container freight wagons in 2000. Photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Matty P.

Skyhook Games' modelled interpretation of the Class 58 in the form of a clay render, confirmed as coming soon to Train Simulator. Continue to watch the site for more news and details on upcoming content for Train Simulator. Tell us about your Train Simulator collection below, we’d love to hear about how you’ll be putting this loco to work on your routes!

Skyhook Games’ modelled interpretation of the Class 58 in the form of a clay render, confirmed as coming soon to Train Simulator. Continue to watch the site for more news and details on upcoming content for Train Simulator. Tell us about your Train Simulator collection below, we’d love to hear about how you’ll be putting this loco to work on your routes!

TrainSim-James

14 Comments

  • I can’t wait for this to come out. What are Skyhook games going to release for TS next I wonder?

  • Been looking forward to this since I spotted it on the Skyhook website.

  • Which route will have scenarios for this. I’m guessing WCML Trent Valley, but I could be wrong.

    • Unfortunately, we have no information on where this loco will be running as it is one of our Partner developed locos. We’ll have some more information on this soon hopefully and will share it here on train-simulator.com. Given when this loco operated, it would be quite at home on many routes in the library.

  • Look forward to this 😉

  • Nice looking loco! : )

  • Cannot wait guys

  • First the 68 now the 58, Have DTG been reading my mind?

    • 68, 58…will they do a 48? 😛

  • I see 2016 being an expensive year for me, keep up the good work 🙂

  • Great! I never expected this to be anounced. Hope it turns out good.

  • With this and the 68 all In need now is the North Wales Coast and my TS2016 collection will be complete

  • Been a long time coming, I’m surprised that nobodys really came out with a presentable Class 58 until now.
    Hope it comes with both the Railfreight Livery’s shown here, it’d look great with some HAA/HEA hoppers behind it.

    • Well, there was a freeware Class 58 made in the Pre-TS2012 days, a good one though a bit dated by now.
      It’s part of the UKTS Diesel Freeware pack.

      Should be interesting to see how realistic the new loco will be, as afaik the same dev is making the 1042 loco and that shapes up be a rather realistic and interesting one.

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