The Class 50 Alliance Ltd has announced that the Heritage Railway Association (HRA) have awarded them their “Award for Diesel Locomotion”.
“Award for Diesel Locomotion”
In order to win this award, the group had to meet the following criteria:
Awarded to an HRA member organisation for excellence in the overhaul, restoration, preservation or operation of a diesel locomotive(s) or self-propelled diesel vehicle(s).
Once you look at the group’s work over the past 30 years, it can be clearly seen why they were nominated and won, as they have restored six Class 50s to date!
About Class 50 Alliance Ltd
Formed in the early 1990s, the company own five Class 50s and have another one on a long-term loan. These are:
- 50035 “Ark Royal” – Purchased April 1991, Restored in six years, First preserved train hauled in September 1996.
- 50044 “Exeter” – Purchased 1991, Restored in three years, First preserved train hauled in May 1994, Returned to the mainline in 1999
- 50031 “Hood” – Purchased 1991, Restored in one year, First preserved train hauled in May 1992, Returned to the mainline in November 1997
- 50049 “Defiance” – Purchased December 1991 in working order, Returned to the mainline in 2000
- 50007 “Hercules” – Purchased in 2017, Returned to mainline shortly afterwards
- 50033 “Glorious” – On loan from Tyseley Locomotive Works since May 2018, Restored in six months!
Notable achievements include:
- Their locomotives have hauled 85 mainline tours across the UK since 1995
- 50 Golden Jubilee Gala at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) – Organised by the Class 50 Alliance, with over 4000 people attending
- SVR’s Kidderminster Diesel Depot – Opened in 2016, the company had a key role in the design management of the project, and are now based in the depot.
To top this off, the company is made up of only volunteers who carried out a majority of the work and raise funds to maintain their fleet.
For more information or to support the Class 50 Alliance Ltd, please visit The Fifty Fund website here.
Chairman of the SVR Diesels Committee, Jonathan Dunster, said: “It was a great privilege to have been nominated for this award, and I would like to thank the dedicated volunteers of the Class 50 Alliance and our many supporters over the years for helping us to achieve this wonderful fleet. I would also like to mention the Severn Valley Railway, without whose support and incredible diesel depot, we would not be able to continue doing what we love so much.
“The Class 50 Alliance are a remarkable team who have continued to achieve amazing things over the last three decades and uniquely for a group of volunteers have restored four locomotives to main line condition. Something which is without equal in the UK heritage railway movement, either for steam or diesel.”
General Manager of the Ffestiniog Railway Paul Lewin, who presented the award on behalf of the HRA, said: “For myself and many others, the preservation of diesels on our heritage railways is so very important. Many of us grew up seeing the very first diesels in action on the national network, and as a result they mean a lot to us. Like many others, I’m very grateful for the immense effort that’s put into looking after our heritage diesel fleet in the UK.”
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