[UK] Hanson is now Heidelberg – new livery for Freightliner 59101

Freightliner UK has presented locomotive 59101 in a green design for Heidelberg Materials, previously known as Hanson UK.

Heidelberg Materials from Germany has owned Hanson since 2007 and recently started a rebranding of its UK daughter company. The Class 59/1 locomotives were delivered in 1990 to Hanson’s predecessor, ARC Southern. 59101 previously had the silver-blue Hanson design.

Freightliner 59101 in its new Heidelberg design in December 2023 © Freightliner UK

59101 kept its name and nameplates: “Village of Whatley”.

About Class 59

If this were America, we would speak of the EMD Class 40-2 locomotives (with elements of EMD Class SD60), yet we are in the UK. Maybe they are not so well known, but the predecessors of the legendary Class 66 locomotive – the Class 59s – are still in operation. They are known for their reliability. The 59s were developed in the mid-80s for heavy mining trains.

59001-59005 were initially ordered by Foster Yeoman. 59101-59104 were for ARC Southern, and finally, 59201-59206 for National Power. Nowadays, all locomotives are owned by Freightliner UK, except for 59003. This machine was sent to Germany in the 90s and since its re-patriation to the UK, it is the property of GB Railfreight.

The main tech specs

  • EMD JT26CW-SS = Class 59;
  • weight: 126 tonnes;
  • starting traction effort: 506 kN;
  • Prime mover: GM 16-cylinder diesel 16-645E3C;
  • Power rating: 2,460 kW.