BR Class 50 50026 Indomitable
|BRBritish Rail or British Railways Class 50 50026 Indomitable|
50026 at Kidderminster in March 2010
|Built By||English Electric Vulcan Foundry Works, Newton-le-Willows|
|Power type||Diesel Electric|
|Status||Operational, based at Mid Hants Railway|
|Designed By||English Electric|
|2007||Reentered service from overhaul|
50026 Indomitable is a BRBritish Rail or British Railways Class 50 diesel locomotive owned and operated by Paul Spracklen.
BRBritish Rail or British Railways Class 50
Fifty English Electric Type 4The British Railways classification for diesel locomotives of 2000 bhp to 2999 bhp (later BRBritish Rail or British Railways Class 50) diesel locomotives were built by English Electric at their Vulcan Foundry Works plant in Newton-le-Willows between 1967 and 1968. When built they were numbered in the D4xx series. They later became BRBritish Rail or British Railways’s Class 50, being allocated TOPSTotal Operations Processing System, an American computer system adopted by BR from the late 1960s to number and manage rolling stock. numbers in the 50xxx series. The class was nicknamed “Hoovers” because of the distinctive sound of the inertial air-filters with which the locomotives were originally fitted.
Initially the locomotives were used to haul express passenger trains on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) between Crewe and Scotland; that section not then being electrified. This often entailed ‘Multiple Working’, with two locomotives under control of a single driver.
By 1974 the northern WCML had been electrified, and the Class 50 fleet was being transferred to BRBritish Rail or British Railways’s Western Region to work main line passenger services out of London Paddington.
The Class 50’s did not originally carry names, but in the late 1970s BRBritish Rail or British Railways agreed to their being named after Royal Navy vessels with notable records in the First and Second World Wars.
Withdrawal of the class began in the early 1990s.
50026 Indomitable in service
D426 entered service in July 1968 and was later renumbered 50026 under TOPSTotal Operations Processing System, an American computer system adopted by BR from the late 1960s to number and manage rolling stock. renumbering. In March 1978, 50026 was named Indomitable after the Royal Navy's modified Illustrious-class aircraft carrier which was scrapped in 1955.
50026 worked its last train in November 1990 and was withdrawn on 11 December 1990 due to power unit damage, being the 25th Class 50 locomotive to be withdrawn. Its engine hours stood at 8,039.
50026 Indomitable in preservation
50026’s survival is somewhat remarkable as the locomotive is the only one of the Class 50s surviving today that managed to escape from the scrapyard. It languished in the yard of C F Booth in Rotherham, one of several locomotives sent there in 1992. These locomotives were part of an ultimately unsuccessful project by 'Operation Collingwood'. The current owner, Paul Spracklen, purchased the locomotive together with missing parts salvaged from other project locomotives that went for scrap.
Initially, 50026 was moved by rail from Rotherham to the Mid Hants Railway (1993), before the owner sought a new home where much of the restoration was carried out undercover at the MoD base at Bicester in Oxfordshire (1993). A thorough restoration project spanning two decades transformed the loco into ex-works, large logo condition. After Bicester, further work was carried out at Old Oak common (2007), the workshops of RVEL in Derby and Eastleigh Works. A return to traffic came at the Swanage Railway on May 11, 2012. The loco wears the revised Network South East dark blue livery and sports navy-blue nameplates in a nod to long-departed classmate 50032 Courageous, the only 50 to be so treated.
50026 Indomitable in preservation at the SVRSevern Valley Railway
50026 has been a repeated visitor to the SVRSevern Valley Railway:
- October 2009 and October 2012 Diesel Galas
- From April to October 2014 it was hired to cover for other unavailable class 50s
- On 24 January 2018 it arrived for commercial repairs in the Diesel Depot. It was advertised for the Class 50 Golden Jubilee on 4 - 6 October 2018 but issues with the power unit the previous weekend meant it was unable to take part, the loco instead being on static display.
- Operation Collingwood in Wikipedia (Retrieved 30 September 2018}
Class 50 Golden Jubilee brochure, September 2018