Towards the end of the 1980s, the majority of the Class 50 fleet were used mostly on the Waterloo-West of England, Paddington-Thames and Chiltern workings. The remainder were transferred to the Departmental Sector to provide the motive power for maintenance and civil engineer's trains.
Around this time the first locomotives began to be withdrawn. This started in February 1987 with 50011 Centurion sent to Crewe to be used as a test bed for overhauled power units. A further two locomotives, 50006 Neptune and 50014 Warspite, were withdrawn in 1987 followed by five locomotives in 1988 and another three in 1989. From here onwards class members were slowly taken out of service as they failed or became too expensive to repair, their parts robbed to keep other members running.
The majority of the Class 50 fleet met their demise at the scrap yard. Some however, thanks to numerous dedicated enthusiasts, have been preserved or are currently being restored for future generations at the many private railways across the country.
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