Class 50 Alliance Limited

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Class 50 Alliance Limited, commonly referred to as 'The Class 50 Alliance', owns four Class 50 (English Electric Type 4The British Railways classification for diesel locomotives of 2000 bhp to 2999 bhp) diesel locomotives, and operates a fifth which is owned by 50031 Consortium Limited.[1] The company is supported by The Fifty Fund. It has a sixth locomotive on loan. All are resident on the SVRSevern Valley Railway.

C50A is also a shareholder of Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) PLC.[2]


Class 50 Alliance Limited is a Private Limited Company, company number 02740837. The Company was originally named Project Defiance Limited when incorporated in 1992. At that time the principal objective was to acquire, restore and operate 50049 Defiance.[3]

In November 2006, the shareholders approved a resolution to acquire the assets of The Fifty Fund, including 50035 Ark Royal and 50044 Exeter, with effect from January 2007. The present company name was adopted in December 2006 to reflect this.[4]

From that time the Alliance assumed responsibility for maintenance and operation of the locomotives, while The Fifty Fund became a public 'front end', dedicated to fundraising, promotion of the class, and selling shares in the Alliance. Shareholders in the Alliance are automatically enrolled as members of The Fifty Fund.[5]


Locomotives owned or operated by the Alliance are:

No Owned by Notes
50007 Hercules The Class 50 Alliance See note below
50031 Hood 50031 Consortium Limited Operated by The Class 50 Alliance
50033 Glorious Tyseley Loco Works See note below
50035 Ark Royal The Class 50 Alliance
50044 Exeter The Class 50 Alliance
50049 Defiance The Class 50 Alliance


  • 50007 Hercules was acquired in November 2016 to be used primarily for mainline contract work, in part funded by a £150,000 secured loan from shareholder Phil Swallow.[6][7] From early 2017 she moved to Kidderminster TMD but, unlike the other Fifty Fund operated locomotives, there was no running agreement with the SVRSevern Valley Railway until 2018.
  • 50033 Glorious was taken on loan in February 2018 from Tyseley Loco Works for an initial three year period, to restore it to operating condition and to operate it. Work on the locomotive continued at Tyseley under the guidance of Fifty Fund volunteers[8] before the locomotive moved to the Diesel Depot in June 2018 for contract work. It returned to traffic at the Class 50 Golden Jubilee on 4-6 October in mostly green undercoat, with the public invited to 'tag' the locomotive with graffiti in marker pen in exchange for a contribution towards its repaint. It has subsequently remained on the SVRSevern Valley Railway.


The Alliance has featured several times in the HRAHeritage Railway Association Awards:

  • The runner up prize in 2020 in the Coiley Locomotive Engineering Award category for the restoration of 50033[9]
  • In 2021 the award for diesel locomotion[10]

In 2024 the Mortons Media Rail Express Modern Traction Award for reaching 100 mainline tours[11]

See also


  1. SVRLive
  2. Full list of shareholders at 24 June 2016
  3. Companies House Incorporation details
  4. 2006 Accounts filed at Companies House
  5. Fifty Fund 'Origins of the Fund'
  6. Press release 7 November 2016
  7. Charge Code 0274 0837 0001, Companies House, 20 February 2017 (Retrieved 28 October 2018)
  8. Fifty Fund website (Retrieved 11 February 2018)
  9. Severn Valley Diesels Official Facebook, 11 February 2020
  10. Severn Valley Diesels Official Facebook, 29 April 2021
  11. Rail Express, February 2024, p.14