50035 Ark Royal
worked its last train in July 1990 and was withdrawn in August 1990 due to main generator damage, thereby becoming the 18th Class 50 locomotive to be withdrawn after over 22 years of active service. Its engine hours stood at 8,366.
This locomotive was the first member of the class to be preserved. It was handed over to The Fifty Fund
by the CEO of Network SouthEast at the Old Oak Common depot open day in August 1991. In preparation for the event, 50035 was cleaned-up and cosmetically restored for the viewing public. The locomotive was then moved to the former British Rail depot at St Leonards where Fifty Fund members began the long job of overhauling each part.
Although the diesel set was restarted in August 1992 was another four years before it was moved to its current home at the Severn Valley Railway
in September 1996. After a repaint back into British Rail large logo livery and correcting a few minor faults, 50035 appeared at the diesel gala that year. More recently the locomotive underwent a series of major repairs which involved removal of its power unit
and main generator. This took several years and is now complete. Whilst being repaired mechanically, attention was given to the bodywork together with a complete repaint into black and orange Loadhaul livery - a livery which was never actually carried by the class but gives an idea what the class may have looked like had the Railfreight experiment in 1987 with 50149 been more successful.
In 2007, 50035 became part of the fleet locomotives owned and operated by The Class 50 Alliance Ltd
, a company formed by the merger of The Fifty Fund and Project Defiance.
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