ARC: Order No. 2
Whitnessing the successful Class 59 operations of Foster Yeoman, the Amalgamated Roadstone Corporation (ARC) decided to order a small fleet of the type in June 1989. The general design of the ARC Class 59 locomotives was similar to the Foster Yeoman locomotives, but there are some differences. As result, the four ARC locomotives were numbered in the Class 59/1 number series: 59101-59104. Amongst some other changes, especially the front light configuration is noticeable, as well as different dampers to enable an increase of the maximum speed from 60 to 75 mph.
In contrast to the Class 59/0 locomotives of Foster Yeoman, 59101-104 were produced at GM-EMD's facility in London, Ontario, Canada. The locomotives were shipped in via Newport, where they arrived on October 19, 1990. One day later, on October 20, the four were unloaded and officially touched down on British tracks. In November, the first locomotives had entered service, but still without any nameplates. In 1991 and 1992, the locomotives received the following names:
59101: Village of Whatley
59102: Village of Chantry
59103: Village of Mells
59104: Village of Great Elm
Hanson: a new owner
In 1989, ARC was acquired by Hanson PLC. The locomotives were still delivered in the yellow/(silver)grey ARC colour scheme and remained in this livery for several years before being repainted into the blue/white Hanson livery.
1993: the start of Mendip Rail
For efficiency reasons, Foster Yeoman and the Amalgamated Roadstone Corporation (ARC) set up Mendip Rail in 1993. All assets remained property of the individual companies, but the newly formed Mendip Rail Ltd. took over the operational rail activities from the two companies.
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