BR Class 50 50031 Hood
|BR Class 50 50031 Hood|
50031 Hood in 2017
|Built By||English Electric Vulcan Foundry Works, Newton-le-Willows|
|Power type||Diesel Electric|
|Designed By||English Electric|
|1991||Purchased for preservation|
|2007||Main generator failure|
|2010||Returned to service|
|2016||Refurbished at RVEL, Derby|
50031 Hood is a BR Class 50 diesel locomotive.
BR Class 50
The English Electric Type 4 (later BR Class 50) diesel locomotive was the last main-line diesel passenger locomotive designed for BR. The fifty members of the class 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 BR’s Class 50, being allocated TOPS 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 all based at Crewe and 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 BR’s Western Region to work main line passenger services out of London Paddington, replacing the 'Western Hydraulics' which were in the course of being withdrawn. The arrival of HSTs after 1976 saw them transferred onto other work, including Waterloo to Exeter trains and inter-regional trains from both Bristol and Paddington to Birmingham New Street.
The Class 50’s did not originally carry names, but in the late 1970s BR agreed to their being named after Royal Navy vessels with notable records in the First and Second World Wars.
The low number of Class 50s made them a target for BR's fleet rationalisation plan of 1985, and they were progressively withdrawn between 1987 and 1992.
50031 Hood in service
D431 entered service allocated to the BR Stoke Division in July 1968, having been built as English Electric Works No 3801/D1172. Less than a year later she was derailed at Lancaster whilst in charge of a parcels train.
D431 was re-numbered 50031 in February 1974. Following electrification of the WCML, 50031 moved to Plymouth Laira in May 1976.
In June 1978, 50031 was named Hood after HMS Hood, the Royal Navy’s last battle cruiser. Commissioned in 1920, HMS Hood was sunk by the German battleship Bismarck on 24 May 1941.
After working Waterloo-Exeter services and inter-regional services to New Street as pictured below, 50031 was withdrawn from service by BR on 5th August 1991.
50031 Hood in preservation
50031 was purchased privately for preservation by two members of The Fifty Fund in December 1991, with the intention of placing it under the Fifty Fund's umbrella. On the understanding that the 'guide price' was £18000, they simply added the last two digits of the loco's number and bid £18031. They later found out that they had outbid their nearest rival by £31.
50031 was in near operational condition, having only minor faults when withdrawn. It was moved to St Leonards in East Sussex in March 1992 for initial repairs. After attention to the mechanical and electrical systems and bodywork, the locomotive began touring, visiting a number of railways including a guest appearance at the SVR Diesel Gala on 8-10 May 1992 where it became the first Class 50 to haul a public passenger train in preservation. While at the Mid-Hants Railway in April 1993, the locomotive was re-dedicated by members of the HMS Hood Association. Another guest appearance at an SVR Diesel Gala took place on 7-9 May 1993. The 'tour' continued including visits to the NYMR and Midland Railway Centre, ending with an appearance at the 'Exeter 150' celebrations on 1-2 May 1994. 50031 then moved to the Severn Valley Railway as a permanent resident,[note 1] arriving on 6 May 1994 with 50044 Exeter.
After arrival, 50031 became a familiar sight on SVR Summer Saturday 'dated trains', special charters, diesel galas and footplate experiences. The Fifty Fund were also keen to see 50031 working on the main line, and it became only the third preserved diesel to receive mainline certification.[note 2] On 1 November 1997 Hood became the first preserved class 50 to haul a main line railtour, "The Pilgrim Hoover". The tour, originally named "The Pilgrim Hoovers", was to have been double headed with D444 but the latter was not certified in time. 50031 successfully took load 12 single-handed from Birmingham International to Plymouth and return, with the route including the Lickey Bank and the South Devon Banks.
50031 suffered a failure of the Train Heat Generator while at Swanage in May 2014 and was withdrawn from traffic for repairs and attention to the body work. It was sent to RVEL, Derby for refurbishment in June 2015. On 11 April 2016, it was revealed in a fictitious BR Inter-City livery, with the locomotive returning to the SVR on 13 April 2016. Following a return to service, the locomotive was re-dedicated in a ceremony at Kidderminster on 17 September 2016. The ceremony marked two anniversaries; 100 years since the keel of HMS Hood was laid in 1916 and 75 years since the ship was sunk during World War 2.
In August 2022 the Class 50 Alliance announced that "2022 marks 30 years since the first run of a Class 50 on the SVR when 50031 appeared at the 1992 Diesel Gala and became the first 50 to haul a public passenger train in preservation. We are going to celebrate this anniversary formally on Saturday 24th September 2022 when 50s are rostered to "S1 diagram" with two round trips on the SVR commencing with the 09:45 departure from Kidderminster. To all our supporters and shareholders both old and new, we would very much like to see you there if possible to celebrate this important milestone in the ongoing Class 50 story!"
It is owned by 50031 Consortium Limited.
50031 Hood on the main line in preservation
A list of 50031's main line appearances is as follows (possibly incomplete):
|Date||Tour name||Tour Operator||Route||Notes||Reference|
|1 Nov 1997||The Pilgrim Hoover||Past-Time Rail||Birmingham Int's to Plymouth + return|||
|16 Sep 2000||The Celtic Hoovers||Pathfinder Tours||Birmingham New Street to Glasgow Central + return||50031 (as D431) + 50149||SBJ|
|30 Jun 2001||Cornwall||Pathfinder Tours||Worcester to Penzance + return||50031 + 449||SBJ"|
|7 Jul 2001||Galloway Princess||Pathfinder Tours||B'ham International - Carlisle + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|3 Nov 2001||The Northern Lights||Pathfinder Tours||Cardiff to Blackpool + return||SBJ|
|3 Nov 2001||Nor' by Nor' West||Pathfinder Tours||Blackpool to Sutton Oak (Hays Chemicals) mini-tour||SBJ|
|1 Dec 2001||The County of Kent||Pathfinder Tours||Cardiff to Asford, Kent + return||SBJ|
|27 Apr 2002||Brighton Bell||Daylight Railtours||Alresford - Red Hill - Brighton + return||50031 + 37308||SBJ|
|4 May 2002||Penzance Castles||Pathfinder Tours||Lonton to Taunton, Penzance to London||Steam from Taunton to Penzance with 5029 + 5051||SBJ"|
|13 Jul 2002||Harrogate Hoovers||Pathfinder Tours||Reading to York + mini-tour & return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|3 Aug 2002||Settle & Carlisle Excursion||Pathfinder Tours||Salisbury to Carlisle + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|10 Aug 2002||The West Wales Excursion||Pathfinder Tours||London to Swansea + minitours & return||50031 + 50049 & 66092||SBJ|
|22 Sep 2002||Countryside Alliance||?||York to Kings Cross + return||50031 + 50049, one of a series of trains to get people to a large "countryside march" in London.||SBJ|
|21 Dec 2002||The Cornubian||Pathfinder Tours||Ealing Broadway to Par and Newquay + return||50031 + 50049 & 66092||SBJ|
|12 Jul 2003||The Garden of England||Pathfinder Tours||Cardiff to Canterbury + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|16 Aug 2003||Shrewsbury, Llangollen & Chester||Pathfinder Tours||Reading to Chester + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|10 Sep 2003||Cathedrals Express||Steam Dreams||Waterloo to Salisbury + return||Replaced 34016 Bodmin due to a steam ban||SBJ|
|20 Sep 2003||The Cream of Cornwall||Pathfinder Tours||Slough to Par + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|29 Nov 2003||York, Harrogate or Leeds||Pathfinder Tours||Swindon to Harrogate and Leeds + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|16 Dec 2003||The Christmas Diner I||Pathfinder Tours||Gloucester to Gloucester via Hereford||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|18 Dec 2003||The Christmas Diner III||Pathfinder Tours||Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Temple Meads via Exeter||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|24 Jul 2004||The Eden Belle||Pathfinder Tours||Guildford to Par + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|27 Aug 2004||The Northern Lights||Pathfinder Tours||B'han Int to Preston, Carlisle to B'ham New Street||SBJ|
|25 Sep 2004||The Royal Sovereign||Steamy Affairs||Kings Lynn to Bath Spa + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|9 Oct 2004||The Alton Observer||Pathfinder Tours||Sheffield - London Victoria - Alresford - Sheffield||50031 + 50049 & 60001||SBJ|
|27 Nov 2004||The Yorkshire Royale||Pathfinder||Cardiff-Derby (detached/reattached)-York (steam)||With 50049 Defiance and 6233 Duchess of Sutherland||SBJ |
|18 Dec 2004||Luncheon Festive Dining Excursion||Pathfinder Tours||Bristol - Salisbury - Reading - Bristol||50031 (on rear) + 50049||SBJ|
|18 Dec 2004||Evening Festive Dining Excursion||Pathfinder Tours||Cardiff to Worcester + return||50031 (on rear) + 50049||SBJ|
|12 Feb 2005||BBC Filming Special (?)||?||Paddington to Frome & Westbury + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|4-7 Mar 2005||The Monarch of the Glen||Pathfinder Tours||Swindon to Fort William & Mallaig + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|9 Apr 2005||The Irish Mail||Steamy Affairs||Ashford to Crewe, Crewe to Tonbridge||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|7 May 2005||The Irish Mail||Steamy Affairs||St Albans to Crewe + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|30 May 2005||Football special||?||Stratford (London) to Cardiff + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|7 Aug 2005||Football special||?||Kensington Olympia to Cardiff + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|26 Aug 2005||The Whistling Scotsman||Pathfinder Tours||Birmingham to Bradford, York to Birmingham||SBJ|
|24 Sep 2005||Pixies Revenge / Eden Belle||Pathfinder Tours||Banbury to Penzance + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|1 Oct 2005||The Devonshire Riviera Express||Steamy Affairs||Northampton to Bristol, Kingswear to Northampton||50031 + 50049. Also 60009||SBJ|
|15 Oct 2005||The Devonshire Riviera Express||Steamy Affairs||Ashford Int'l - Kingswear - Newton Abbot; Westbury - Ashford Int'l||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|4 Dec 2005||Rhymney Valley Diesel Extravaganza||Arriva Trains Wales||Cardiff to Rhymney + return||50031 + 37411||SBJ|
|25 Mar 2006||Redmire Rambler||Pathfinder Tours||Cardiff Central to Redmire + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|16-19 Jun 2006||The Orcadian||Pathfinder Tours||Swindon to Inverness, Kyle of Lochalsh, Wick & Thurso + return||50031 + 50049||SBJ|
|16 Dec 2006||The Airean Raider||Pathfinder||Cardiff to Leeds||50031 + 50049|||
- The 1998 SVR Stock Book gives May 1994 as the date the locomotive moved to the SVR on a permanent basis. The 1992 and 1993 appearances were described in SVR News as being by a 'visiting locomotive'.
- Prior to 50031, Class 46 D172/46035 and Class 55 Deltic D9000/55022 had also received main line certification.
- Class 50 Alliance web site
- 50 Fund web site (still maintained)
- British Rail Class 50 on Wikipedia
- HMS Hood on Wikipedia