Locomotive set to go on the rails at Severn Valley Railway after restoration
A 1960s Class 50 diesel locomotive has been given a new lease of life thanks to the work of a heritage group.
The loco, named Hercules, is due to go back into commercial service on the Severn Valley Railway and beyond, and enthusiasts are eager to see Hercules in action once again.
John Tiley, of Class 50 Alliance Ltd, based in Kidderminster, said seeing the loco running again will be a wonderful moment.
“Class 50 locomotives were a common sight on our railways from their introduction in the late 1960s, and throughout the 1970s and 1980s until they were all finally withdrawn from BR service in 1994,” he said.
“They now enjoy a substantial enthusiast following and we work to bring these wonderful locos back to life on the Severn Valley Railway and on the mainline.
“There has been a long tradition of naming railway locomotives after warships and the Class 50s continued this pattern. This particular loco, named Hercules, has been bought by the Class 50 Alliance which will secure its future.
“Purchasing the engine was quite complicated and we were grateful for the services of Shropshire-based Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors who guided us through the process, which involved the drawing up of a debenture deed.
“Tim Roberts, of Lanyon Bowdler, was a great help and his hard work helped the sale go through smoothly.
“It will be fantastic to see the loco running again and we are very much looking forward to seeing it in action under our banner.”
Mr Tiley said the aim was for Hercules - number 50007 - to go into service on the Severn Valley Railway in the summer, and potentially further afield on the national railway system too.
Tim Roberts, of Lanyon Bowdler’s corporate and commercial department, said: “We were delighted to be able to help the Class 50 Alliance Ltd team complete the purchase of the Hercules diesel locomotive.
“The funding for the purchase was in the form of a loan so we needed to draw up a debenture document with the necessary security for the deal.
“We are very much looking forward to seeing Hercules running on the railway once again and would like to wish the group well for its future.”
Class 50s were introduced in 1967/68 for express passenger work initially between Crewe and Glasgow, and then, following electrification to Glasgow, for work on the Western region of the then British Railways.
They were the last diesel express passenger locomotives built in the UK.