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GBRf and Class 50 Alliance agree reliveried ‘Hoover’ partnership


The Class 50 Alliance has been operating railtours on the national network with its locomotives since 1997.

In recent years, the alliance has been working with rail freight operator GB Railfreight (GBRf), enabling a return to the main line for its locomotives in 2017 and subsequently through a programme of railtours during 2018, as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Class 50s.

In recognition of this association, GBRf and the Class 50 Alliance have announced that main line registered preserved Class 50 diesels No. 50007 Hercules and No. 50049 Defiance are to be repainted into the latest GBRf livery, marking a new chapter in the story of the English Electric-built diesels, known affectionately as ‘Hoovers’.

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The pair of ‘Hoovers’ have a proven track record of operating on the main line, being engaged both on charters and with train operating companies. On June 23, 2018, the two Class 50s worked the ‘Mazey Day Cornishman’ excursion from Tame Bridge Parkway to Penzance on the annual Mazey Day Charter, where they are seen approaching Kennaway Tunnel. At the time, No. 50049 was running as 50011, and 50007 was operating as No. 50006. THOMAS MILLS

GBRf has invested in a programme of driver training to enable Class 50 operation over most of the UK rail network.

The company has also operated several rail tours using Nos. 50007 and 50049, including ‘The Caledonian’ in October 2017, which saw Class 50s returning to Glasgow for their 50th anniversary.

Read more in Issue 251 of HR – on sale now!

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