Sunday 24 April 2016

50027 on the Watercress Line, 23rd April 2016

50027 was delivered as D427 from English Electric Vulcan Foundry (EE3797/D1168) on 15th June 1968, and was allocated to DO5 (Stoke Division, generally meaning Crewe), and formally to CD (Crewe Diesel) from May 1974, before being sent to the Western Region in March 1974 with the pending introduction of "The Electric Scots" services north of Weaver Junction through to Glasgow.

Once on the Western Region, the locomotive was allocated to BR(Bristol Bath Road) and then LA (Plymouth Laira) in March 1974, to OC (Old Oak Common) in April 1982 and back to LA in January 1984. The locomotive was refurbished at Doncaster between February and July 1983, emerging in 'large logo' colours. The name Lion was applied on 17th April 1978. Laira completed an 'F' exam on the locomotive in December 1987, turning it out in a Network South East livery.

The locomotive was withdrawn on 23rd July 1991, with worn out wheelsets and pending engine repairs. Initially preserved on the Mid-Hants in May 1991, it has spent most time in preservation on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway from 1994, before making a return to the Mid-Hants in 2012. Amazingly, the main line career of 23 years has now been exceeded by 24 years in preservation.

My notes show that I first saw Lion on 22nd March 1986, I would appear to have been in Eastleigh / Southampton area.

At Ropley, but platform and angles remind me of the Waterloo - Exeter period.

Running around at Alton.

Preparing to return from Alton to Alresford.

Entering Medstead from Ropley.

Majestic in its break at Medstead.

Doing the Fifty rattly thing away from Ropley.

The end of my day at Alresford, drawing in from Alton.