Although not the usual time period for my blog, I certainly remember the Class 50s on the Waterloo to Exeter line albeit not in this latest livery.
50 007 “Hercules” and 50 049 “Defiance” were unveiled on 20th March 2019 at Eastleigh following their repainting into GBRf colours. 50 007 was revealed to have 50 014 “Warspite” on one side, much to the delight of Tim Shoveller and Darren Ward who unveiled the change of identity! The Kernow Model Rail Centre model will reflect this dual-identity, as well as faithfully re-creating the small but important differences between the livery of the two locomotives.
GBRf worked closely with the Class 50 Alliance, the owners of 50 007 and 50 049, in enabling a return to the mainline for their locomotives in 2017 and subsequently through a programme of railtours during 2018 as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Class 50s.
The decision to repaint the locomotives into the striking new livery was a recognition of the developing relationship between the two organisations and marked a new chapter in the story of the Class 50s. Over the past couple of years, GBRf has invested in a programme of driver training to enable Class 50 operation over most of the UK rail network.
The repaints were carried out by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh. The first outing for the GBRf-liveried Class 50s was on Saturday 23rd March when they worked Pathfinder Tours’ Teminator-Phoenixed railtour from London Paddington to Penzance and return to Waterloo. This marked 25th years since the final BR operated Class 50 railtour over the same route, The Terminator, which was also promoted by Pathfinder.
Following the repaints, the locomotives have been available to operate selected GBRf trains on a ‘spot-hire’ basis. This work includes movement of locomotives between heritage railway gala events, and future railtours. The locomotives will continue to be based at the Severn Valley Railway, but will have easy access to the national network, thanks to the 24-hour connection at Kidderminster,
In addition to the above Dapol have this week also announced three new Class 50 liveries as part of its main range, due mid 2021. Like the Kernow Model Rail Centre versions these will be their Next Generation Diesel models, with entirely re-designed chassis and electronics and incorporate a new iron core 5 pole motor.
- Class 50 Defiance 50149 Railfreight Grey Refurbished
- Class 50 Ajax 50046 Large Logo Refurbished
- Class 50 Resolution 50018 Late NSE Refurbished