55016 Gordon Highlander
entered service with British Rail (BR) in October 1961 and was based at Haymarket depot in Edinburgh. It was named during a ceremony held at Aberdeen station in July 1964. It was renumbered from D9016 in March 1974 and was the first of only five members of the class to undergo the extensive Heavy General Repairs (HGR) overhaul at Doncaster works.
55016 worked its last train on 23rd December 1981, hauling the King’s Cross-Hull service and then the empty coaching stock (ECS) back from Hull to York. The locomotive was withdrawn seven days later due to it being surplus to requirements after over 20 years of active service.
After withdrawal, 55016 was purchased as a spare parts donor by the D9000 Fund and moved to the Nene Valley Railway
. However, after its arrival it was decided to restore the locomotive and it returned to traffic in 1985.
Having spent several years out of the limelight it was decided to return 50016 to the mainline. In 1998 it was sent to Brush Engineering for an extensive refurbishment. It emerged a year later in a garish mauve and white livery. As part of the refurbishment work, a partnership of its owners Deltic 9000 Locomotives Limited (DNLL) and Porterbrook Leasing, new Group Standard head, marker and tail light clusters were fitted above each buffer.
In 2004 DNLL went into liquidation with the result that all its locomotives including 55016 were sold to private individuals. In 2008, it was sold by its owner to Harry Needle Railroad Company (HNRC) who intimated that it had been bought for component recovery and eventual scrapping. Despite indications to the contrary, HNRC placed the locomotive up for sale and it is now owned by Beaver Sports, the owners of 55022.
© 2018 English Electric Archive