Class 58 never seemed to get the enthusiast following of other diesel classes. Maybe this was was because they spent much of their time hauling coal trains around the country and became too common a sight or perhaps they were simply too quiet to be noticed until they were on the way out. I quite like them and hope that the following pictures will give a taste of their workings in the Midlands.

The first picture shows 58025 on a highly unusual working for the class. The train is the summer-dated Manchester to Paignton Pullman passing Longbridge on 26 July 1986. This train was booked for a pair of ETH-fitted 31s and this although the weather wasn't too good I thought a black & white shot would be worth having. At around the time the train was due the signal for the down main cleared and then went back to red. Strange, I thought and then realised that I hadn't seen a down local train for ages - unusual here. After about 40 minutes the signal cleared again and this appeared. The 31s had failed in the tunnel outside New Street and the 58 had been summoned from Saltley, tied onto the back of the train which then left New Street in reverse formation running via Camp Hill. The 31s were dropped off en-route as they weren't on the back when the train passed me. I believe the 58 worked through to Bristol.
Sticking with passenger workings, here is 58044 running along the M40 near Rowington in Warwickshire with the Sunday afternoon Paddington to Manchester train on 21 June 1998. This was a bad afternoon for Virgin 47/8s as a southbound train had just passed in the charge of a pair of 31s.
Class 58s moved vast tonnages of coal through Leamington Spa to Didcot Power Station but few used the up platform road through the station. However, on 7 May 1983 there was a track circuit problem meaning that all up freights had to make this unusual move. 58021 is seen here crossing its train to the platform road and passing the GWR signal box which was soon to be replaced by a new signalling centre adjacent to the yard on the down side. The locomotive is in the original colour scheme for the class.
Moving to the 3 arch bridge at Hatton on the GWR route from Birmingham to Leamington, 58020+58012 are seen here climbing the bank on 9 July 1997 with the 6M31 Banbury to Mountsorrel self-discharge train. The time was 10.25 - the booked departure time from Banbury was 11.15! The use of 58s was unusual as a single 60 was the booked traction at the time so a pair of of bones, both under power, was doubly noteworthy. To see how this this scene has changed in 8 years, use this link for a photograph of 66542 on the 4E44 Southampton to Leeds freightliner in the same spot on 12 May 2005.  66542 on 4E44.
New   Looking north from the opposite side of the bridge from which the photograph above was taken, here is 58023 rolling down Hatton bank with a loaded MGR going to Didcot Power Station on 3 July 1985. These trains ran in a roughly hourly pattern throughout the day and their loss was a real blow for the local enthusiast. At this time, 58s were supplemented with 56s and less frequently 47s and is undeniable that many good shots were not taken because of the frequency and repetitiveness of the trains. The picture here is now much more overgrown, but it is still possible to take a shot, as witnessed by this May 2005 view of 45112 hauling 20021 + 20227 + D1013 heading for a diesel gala at the Mids Hants Railway.
A little further south on Hatton Bank we see an unidentified 58 slipping quietly towards Leamington Spa with a MGR on 13 May 1997. The loco is adorned with the coal sector markings, which in my opinion, suited the class particularly well.
New   This picture of 58017 was taken at 09.45 on 19 March 1993, just before the sun became too straight for good photography. The location is Prospect Road, the first bridge south of Leamington Spa station and the train is a MGR heading for Didcot Power Station. At this time, 58s were less seen than 60s on these services and added a bit of variety to the scene. This shot is still available but the the Leylandii trees on the right-hand side of the line have increased in height by about 15 feet so do cause some shadowing across the line.
Class 58s were becoming a little thin on the ground by the beginning of 2001 so I was pleased to get this sunny shot of 58049 at Clay Mills, near Burton-on-Trent with a Hicks Lodge to Daw Mill working. The coal from Hicks Lodge was of poor quality and required blending with the better product before being fit for power station use. 60016 is just visible in the up loop with the morning Washwood Heath to Peak Forest train. 645
I spent the lovely afternoon of 15 February 2001 at Hatton North Junction and photographed a selection of freights behind classes 37, 47 and 60. While walking back along the canal towpath to the station car park, a friend who had been photographing further north telephoned to tell me that 58049 was heading south with the Wolverhampton to Hoo Junction empty wagons. I hurried up a bit and arrived on the roadbridge just in time to get this image, just catching the last rays of the sun. 645
The very cold and frosty morning of 14 December 1996 produced the rare sight of type 5 power on the Stratford-upon-Avon branch when Pathfinder's "The Rooster Booster" traversed the line. The train, 1Z56, had started at Bristol Temple Meads and ran to Stratford via Worcester and then went on to Guildford, Kengsington Olympia, Northampton, Birmingham New Street and back to Bristol. Class 58, 58005 was used to haul the train from Stratford to Guildford and is seen here at Hatton Station Junction about to join the GWR's Birmingham to Leamington Spa line. 56032 had hauled the train to Stratford from Bristol and to see a picture of this leg of the tour at Claverdon , please use this link.  56032 at Claverdon.
The popular location at Catholme, near Wychnor Junction witnessed the passing of 58042 on the morning of 16 February 2001 with the 6G38 Chaddesden to Bescot empty spent ballast working. The construction of VT's Central Rivers depot is virtually finished and the requisite trackwork is seen in the final stages of connection. 645
58006 is seen here passing the well patronised car park at Dorridge station on 26 July 1991. The train is, of course, heading for Didcot power Station with yet another load of coal in its HAA hoppers from Welbeck colliery. Sadly, this traffic has now died out as all coal for Didcot is imported and travels from Avonmouth.
It looked as if 58012 has recently visited the paint shop at Toton when I photographed it at Radley, near Oxford, on 4 July 1989. This, formerly the junction for the Abingdon branch, was a great place a few hours at the time, with class 47s and 50s on passenger traffic and almost anything at all on the regular freight trains. There were also DMMUs of several classes on local passenger turns to Banbury and Worcester. 645
As I mentioned above, 58s staple diet was hauling MGR traffic from collieries or coal disposal points to power stations. Here, 58039 is pictured coming off the Kingsbury loop at Whitacre Junction with a load of coal destined for Ironbridge on 13 May 1992. 31438 is sitting in the loop waiting for a path to Bescot with a load of ballast from Croft quarry in Leicestershire.
I spent a few hours in the Barrow Hill area on 22 August 1990 and among several steel and departmental trains obtained this shot of 58021 at Hall Lane Junction. I went without any "gen" and unfortunately have no idea of the origin or destination of this train.
Ironbridge Power Station lying in the Severn Valley on the former Buildwas branch is a major consumer of coal. To facilitate easy movement of coal to the station from collieries such as Littleton and Silverdale on the WCML, the Oxley Chord was constructed. This obviated the need for a time-consuming reversal at Bushbury Junction. On my only visit to the location in January 1991, 58012 is seen with a load of coal squealing around the tight radius curve to join the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury line at Oxley. The main electrified line to Wolverhampton can be seen in the background.
This train is returning from Ironbridge Power Station with it's train of empty HAAs double-headed by 58003+58012 at 10.35 on the morning of 20 April 1991. It is pictured crossing Shifnal viaduct high above the town the name of which is not in doubt thanks to the carefully rotated station nameboard.
In 1994 it was rare to see anything other than a 58 on MGR traffic to Rugeley Power Station. 58009 is the subject of this study at Catholme as it awaits the right of way to turn right at Wichnor junction and head along the freight-only line to Lichfield Trent Valley Junction. The driver has just returned to his cab after telephoning the signalling centre as he was held there for some considerable time. The background to this shot, taken on 29 August 1994 jhas dramatically changed with the construction of Virgin's Central Rivers depot where the company's Voyagers are serviced.
To the north of the previous shot lay Willington Power Station, surely one of the most "photographer-friendly" in the area. Sadly, this scene has been consigned to history but on 30 April 1994 it was all action as 58031 shunts a rake of HAAs after removing a faulty example. The train was soon joined up again and departed for Toton.
New   The Coalville line which runs from Burton-on Trent to Leicester was visited on a daily basis by class 58s on MGR duties. 58003 is seen here near Castle Gresley with the first empty train of HAAs of the day, 21 March 1995, heading for Coalfield Farm loading point. This location is near the site of the long-closed Castle Gresley station, and just out of the picture to the right are the cooling towers of Drakelow Power Station. 645
This shot 58001 passing the triangular junctions at Drakelow on the Coalville freight line. The train was photographed on 18 July 1996 as it was heading for the Nadins opencast disposal site situated a short distance to the north. The overgrown nature of the tracks leading to Drakelow Power Station is clearly seen although the left hand line was still in regular use at this time. I never had the good fortune to photograph from this bridge a train leaving the power station in the Coalville direction as they all seemed to run from Nadins, unload and head back to Toton on the occasions I visited the area.
After photographing 58001 at Drakelow, it seemed sensible to drive up to the Nadins Disposal Point and have another go at it. One really needed a 300mm lens for this shot from the main road, but 200mm was the longest I had at the time. Still, I think the shot is acceptable as it shows the 58 about to run-round the train before going to Drakelow - surely one of the shortest MGR runs in the country at the time, 18 July 1996. At one time, the line now simply a headshunt continued under the road bridge upon which I was standing and went to Cadley Colliery.
This is the view inside the triangle of lines at Drakelow Power Station on a very dull 10 October 1996. This location wasn't much good if the sun was out as it shone in completely the wrong direction. The picture shows 58021 arriving from Nadins and 58031 departing for Toton. By this time, the signalbox was treated as a ground frame and operated by the train crews.
Class 58s were diagrammed for the Avon binliner from Calvert to Bath and Bristol in 1996. 58041 is pictured here near Islip with the returning empty containers on 4 April 1996.
Another picture of the Calvert to Bath binliner shows 58049 leaving the Didcot curve at Foxhall Junction on 6 March 1997.
58s worked turn and turn about with 56s on the regular MGRs from various Nottinghamshire pits to Didcot Power Station, the majority of which ran via Hatton. A new coat of paint on 58045 didn't make the loco reliable as it failed at Didcot being piloted by 58007 on the returning empties. The ensemble is seen at Hatton North Junction on the afternnon of 24 June 1992. The scene here has changed in recent years with the construction of a new footbridge to replace the boarded crossing that had sufficed for decades.
Towards the end of it's working life 58047 did some of Didcot's trip workings. It is pictured here leaving the Ashchurch branch on 23 May 2002 with the returning MOD traffic from the army's Ashchurch depot which will run to Didcot via Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud and Swindon. Outward trains from Didcot have to travel as far north as Worcester in order to run-round as there is no access to Ashchurch sidings and therefore the branch from the south. Ingoing traffic is always propelled into the depot as there is no run-round loop within the complex. This line was originally part of the Midland Railway's route to Birmingham via Evesham and Redditch.