To celebrate the end of 111 years maintaining Western Region locomotives, Old Oak Common depot opened its doors to the public. To mark their 50th year, there was also a gathering of 7 Class 50 preserved locomotives, some of which had been based at the Old Oak Common depot. It was a truly awesome sight to see them lined-up.
I finally managed to see 50031 Hood following its extended period away undergoing heavy repairs to both its internal machines and also its bodywork. Compare this photograph to that previously in 2013.
I must admit to rather liking the livery in which it is now painted. Although none of the class were out-shopped in this manner, it gives an idea as to what might have been had the class survived for a while longer.
It was with great pleasure that I heard the news that the The Fifty Fund had recently purchased 50007 Hercules.
The locomotive is pictured here at Thuxton on the Mid-Norfolk Railway during the 2016 diesel gala.
I'm not a fan of most modern traction, dominated as it is by characterless Class 66 locomotives. However as soon as I saw and heard a Class 68 I was more than a little impressed.
Sounding a bit like a modern Hymek with their high-revving engines, coupled with some impressive power output these locomotives are set to be a modern classic. The fact that their owners have a liking to give some of them names previously used on Class 50s is an added bonus.
Pictured above is 68022 Resolution, resting in the sun at Lowestoft, ready for a service to Norwich. The name on this locomotive had previously been used on Class 50 member 50018.
It was with great pleasure that I got to see 50017 Royal Oak during the recent diesel gala at the Mid-Norfolk Railway.
This was the first Class 50 I saw in late 2004 having rekindled my interest in railways and not seen any of the class in operation since 1985. Back in 2004, it was inoperative and languishing in Birmingham Railway Museum, Tyseley sporting an unattractive maroon livery. The current owner and those who returned it to an operational order can be justifiably proud of their achievement that it can roar once more.
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