When British Railways (BR) was privatised in April 1994 some of the freight companies were bought by English Welsh Scottish Railways (EWSR), which immediately reviewed the mixed locomotive fleet and led to the decision to purchase 250 locomotives from General Motors (USA), based on that company’s earlier Class 59 design supplied to Foster Yeoman in 1985. Delivered to Newport Docks each locomotive was lubricated, filled with fuel and water and released to traffic within hours of being craned onto the quayside.