59005 'Kenneth J Painter' at Westbury in May 2008. ©Hugh Llewelyn
The Class 59s are a fleet of diesel locomotives produced by EMD for three different private freight operators in the UK. They were the first privately owned diesel locomotives to operate regularly on the British mainline and also the first locos built for it in the United States. One member of the class temporarily worked in Germany too, but has since returned to the UK. Designed for reliability and 95% availability, the Class 59 has achieved a 99.8% level during ten years evaluated from the first four locomotives. On 26 May 1991, 59005 set the European haulage record for a single locomotive, with a stone train weighing 11,982 tonnes and 5,415 feet (1,650 m) long. Despite being superceded by the similar looking but more advanced and powerful Class 66, the Class 59s still have a place on various heavy freight workings throughout the UK.
(Information provided via Wikipedia)