Eleven Class 50s at Severn Valley 50th anniversary gala

By Paul Appleton

FANS of the English Electric Class 50 ‘Hoovers’ are set for a treat when the Severn Valley Railway stages its tribute to the class over three days from Thursday to Saturday, October 4-6.

Celebrating 50 years of the class, the Class 50 Golden Jubilee event will see as many as 11 members of the type in operation. Six of the surviving examples are in the care of the SVR-based Class 50 Alliance, with five others visiting from other lines and private individuals.

Scheduled to appear are Nos. 50007/8/15/17/26/31/33/35/44/49/50.

However, the participation of No. 50033 Glorious is subject to completion of its overhaul in time.

In a year in which the heritage railway sector has been marking the 50th anniversary of the end of British Railways main line steam, the Severn Valley Railway is set to hold a record-breaking landmark gala to mark the half-centenary of one of the best-loved diesel types that superseded steam – the English Electric Class 50s. No.50031 (D431) Hood, in BR Intercity Swallow livery with yellow front ends, is seen at Bewdley repositioning empty coaching stock for the shuttle service to Kidderminster on May 18, 2017, during the spring diesel gala. HUGH LLEWELLYN/CREATIVE COMMONS

As well as full line services, a special timetable will include local ‘extras’ between Kidderminster and Bewdley, giving an intensive service of Class 50 operation along the 16-mile line.

This should be the largest gathering of a single main line type, either steam or diesel, with just 10 required in operation to achieve that objective.

Kidderminster Diesel Depot will be open to visitors on the Friday and Saturday, while another feature will see Class 50-hauled ballast trains in action.

Supporting stands with models, trade, memorabilia and societies will also be in attendance.

Visit www.svr.co.uk for further details.

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