The locomotive was built
at English Electric Vulcan Foundry Works, Newton-Le-Willows and was delivered
new to British Railways on the 12th March 1968. Numbered D407 the loco entered
service on the 16th March allocated to the London Midland Region Western Lines,
until June of that year when she was allocated to D05 Stoke-on-Trent Division.
On the 2nd July 1971 she received her first light overhaul at Crewe Works and was reallocated to Crewe Diesel depot in May 1973. April
1974, saw the loco entered Crewe Locomotive Works for an Intermediate
overhaul and re-enter service carrying her new TOPS number of 50007. The
following month saw 50007 reallocated to the Western Region and allocated to Laira depot, Plymouth.
complete on the Midland Region, the entire Class 50 fleet was eventually transferred to the
Western Region. Being a small class of locomotives (50) the Western Region had
the perfect opportunity to name the class and decided to name them all after
Navy Warships. 50007 was named ' Hercules ' on the 6th April 1978, without ceremony, the plates being fitted at
its home depot of Laira.
With the work load at Crewe Works expanding, a decision was
reach to move all future overhauls on class 50's to Doncaster Works. 50007's first visit to these
works was during July 1979 when she arrived for an Intermediate overhaul. In
order to prolong the life expectancy of these locomotives, a decision was taken
to complete refurbish the class during the early 1980's, which involved
removing various items from the original design. 50007 arrived at Doncaster Works on 13th September 1982 and re-entered traffic in the new striking BR
Large-Logo livery on 8th March 1983.
In 1984 it was decided
to re-paint and rename several members of the class after famous people and the
first locomotive to be treated in this way was 50007. The loco lost its
original Hercules name and was Re-painted into GWR Brunswick Green Livery and fitted with brass
name, number, crest's and arrows at Laira depot. On 25th February 1984, the loco was officially renamed ' Sir Edward Elgar ' at Paddington Station by Mr. Simon Rattle,
Conductor of the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The naming was
to commemorate the 50th anniversary, of Sir Edward Elgar's
death. The loco then worked the Paddington-Oxford service,
returning with the Oxford-Paddington but was declared
a failure on arrival at Paddington with electrical problems and spent the next
few days under repairs at Old Oak Common. Due to the bad press coverage the
loco received, no further members of the class were treated in this way.
However, from 50007 point of view she became a celebrity loco and was in heavy
demand for rail tour's and BR open days. The loco also
had the distinction of being the only member of the class to haul the Royal
Train when she conveyed HRH Prince Charles from Paddington to Totnes on the 5th May 1987.
In May 1987, the loco
was officially transferred off passenger diagrams and allocated to the DXXA
Pool, (Departmental Sector) until October of that year when she moved into
another Departmental pool DXXD. 30th September
saw 50007 transferred to RXXA Pool, (Parcels Sector) however by the 8th of
October she was back into Departmental ownership allocated to the DCWA Pool. On
14th May 1989, the loco was finally transferred
back onto passenger diagrams, when she was reallocated to the NSSA Pool (NSE-Solent/Sarum).
On the 9th July 1991, the loco suffered a serious main generator
flashover while working the Waterloo-Exeter service, between Basingstoke and Salisbury, the loco was later dragged to Laira depot for a closer inspection of the damage. The
following day the loco was taken out of service after suffering a main
generator flashover and two traction motor flashovers. At hours on 15th July 50007 was
withdrawn from traffic at Laira depot but all was not
lost, as there was already talk circulating about reinstating her. During
November 1991, Laira depot carried out an assessment
on returning 50007 back to traffic using the power unit, main generator and
bogies off 50046 Ajax. This work was authorized by
Network Southeast, owners of the loco and on 12th March of 1992 the loco
completed a test run to Newton Abbot and back still in grey primer. This was
followed by a repaint into Brunswick Green during the following month
and the loco was officially reinstated back into traffic on the 20th March 1992 and allocated to the NWXA Pool. The loco then
took up its place on rail tour's and appearances at
special events including various BR open days once again. During 1993 the
decision was taken to see the remaining members of the class 50 fleet, finally
withdrawn form traffic by March 1994. This sparked off a precession of final railtour, taking the class to various parts of the country,
for what was to be their final fling in BR ownership. The final Class 50 railtour took place on Saturday
26th March 1994, when both 50007 & 50050 worked the ' 50 Terminator ' from LondonWaterloo to Penzance and back into London Paddington. The journey was over
600 miles but not without its problems, specially when 50050 shut down on Dainton Bank and left 50007 to do all the work. The duo
arrived at the London terminus blasting their air horns
for the very last time, which brought an end to yet another chapter in railway
history. The locos then travelled light engine to
Reading TMD for overnight stabling, before travelling
onto Laira the next day. At on Thursday 31st March
, both locos were officially withdrawn from operating stock and later
offered up for sale.
The loco was eventually
purchased by three members of the Class 40 Appeal and was to move to the
Midland Railway Centre, where she would be joining our other two locos namely,
37190 ' Dalzell ' and 40012 ' Aureol '.
50007 finally departed
from Laira depot on the 8th
July 1994, being dragged by 37141 to Doncaster Works fro their forthcoming open
day. After the event the loco moved to its new home at the MRC arriving on 11th
July. The following Sunday she was checked over and fired up for the first time
in preservation and worked its first passenger train a week later at the
railways Autumn diesel gala. The first off site visit
came in March 1995, when she visited the Mid Hants diesel gala over the weekend
of 4th & 5th March. Later that year, the loco was totally repainted, prior
to visiting the Crewe Basford Hall open day.
On the 17th March 1996,
50007 was fitted with two brass works plates which blended in nicely with the
rest of the locomotives brass work and during the following winter she was
fitted with mini snowploughs which have dramatically
changed the front appearance of the loco.
Since 50007 became
preserved she has visited various open days and privately preserved railways,
such as the Mid Hants, The East Lancs Railway, Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and the Severn Valley
Railway to name just a few places, however if you would like to travel on the
loco or just photographer her, may we recommend that you pay a visit to the
Midland Railway-Butterley home of 50007.
In July 2003, the loco
moved to the Great Central Railway (Northern) at Ruddington for a long term
stay on the line and took part in a variety of working and special events
during her stay. 50007 finally left the GCR at Ruddington on April 21st 2004 behind Ian Riley's 37197 & 37261 heading for York and the NationalRailwayMuseum to collect 50033 Glorious. After an
overnight stay at York the convoy continued on its way to the North Yorkshire
Moors Railway the following day and then took part in the railways three day
diesel gala. From here the loco returned back home to the Midland
Railway-Butterley fro what was to be a short stay before she was off again on
her travels to the East Lancs Railway for the second
time in active preservation ( the first visit was in July 1999 ). From here the
loco once again headed back home to the MR-Butterley was yet another short stay
before heading off to the SevernValley Railway with our class 37 number
37190 for their Autumn diesel gala.
The loco spent the Winter of 2004 back home at the MR-Butterley undergoing some
general routine maintenance in preparation for a return to traffic at the start
of the new 2005 running season. Its not every day we get the chance to take one
of our locos on holiday to the sea but in early 2005 we received a request from
Somerset Railway to bring 50007 and 37190 along for their forthcoming diesel
gala. This being the longest line in preservation really gave both locos a
golden opportunity to blow a few cob webs out of the system. From here it was
back to the MR-Butterley were 50007 along with 37190 and D212 took part in our
own annual diesel gala where we operate all the services ourselves over the
The year 2006 turn out
to be a very quite year for 50007 remaining at the MR-Butterley for the entire
year but keeping quite active in the first six months of the year on
various in house duties and special workings. However, in later
half of the year a decision was taken to take the loco out of traffic for
intensive body work repairs and a full repaint back into green livery with full
Now in ex-works
condition, the loco returned back to traffic in early 2007 at the MR-Butterley
and has once again proved to be very popular locomotive amongst rail
enthusiasts and the general public.
restricted the locos use in 2008 but repairs have now been carried out and the
loco is now back in traffic once again.
The locos first
appearance of 2009 was over the weekend of 27th and 28th June when she took
part in the MR-Butterley English Electric event.
can supply us with any information on the life and times of the above loco in
its BR days, then we would be very pleased to
here from you.
is Class 40 Appeal. 65 Darby Road,
Wednesbury, West Midlands,
All three photos on this page have been taken at the Midland Railway-Butterley by
Ian Curry on 23rd June 2007.