By Cedric Johns
Rumours that have been circulating for months have now become reality, as both Jeremy Hosking’s Locomotive Services and Vintage Trains are intending to apply to become licenced Train Operating Companies.
This latest development was always a possibility for Locomotive Services but Vintage Trains’ application, coming hard on the heels of a £1 million appeal for the overhaul of GWR Castle class 4-6-0
No. 5080 Defiant, has come as rather more of a surprise.
With the Hosking fleet of locomotives growing, the part-development of Southall as a stabling point and latterly the acquisition of the former diesel depot at Crewe, it was plain that plans were afoot to become much closer to main line operations.
The announcement that Mk.1 and Mk.2 coaches had been purchased for overhaul to Pullman standards served to confirm that intention.
Seven have so far been finished with three more pending, to produce a rake of 10 vehicles, all outshopped in carmine and cream.
Another clue to Locomotive Services’ intensions has been the addition of Class 47 diesels at Crewe.
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