General Electric expansion


The first of the new batch of ‘70s’ for Colas has started work, while two more have arrived at Liverpool Docks and four others are being shipped from the US.

DELIVERED in late February, Colas’ latest Class 70 No. 70812 duly departed Liverpool Docks on March 4, running light as the 0K70/14.15 to Basford Hall.

After a year out of traffic at Plymouth Laira awaiting repairs, Colas’ No. 70803 is now back in traffic – pictured running light engine with new arrival No. 70812 at Flax Bourton, Somerset, on March 23. The mint-condition pair were heading from Plymouth to Westbury via Bristol, the direct route from Taunton being closed due to a derailment (see Headline News). Stuart Kirkby

Two days later, it left Crewe as the 0Z98/15.05 to Bescot via Stafford, Rugeley Trent Valley and Cannock, where it met up with classmate
No. 70809 to go forward together to Hinksey Yard, Oxford. Westbury was reached on March 7 before
No. 70812 continued as the 0Z70/11.45 Westbury-Tavistock Junction on the next day.

The GE machine remained at the Plymouth yard until March 17, when it ran the short distance to Laira to accompany a repaired No. 70803 on a test run. The latter had been out of service since its collision in a possession near Ivybridge on February 27 last year – repairs to its bent cab being completed surprisingly quickly at the Great Western depot following the arrival of new parts at the start of February. The pair undertook a 0F77/15.10 Laira-Penzance and 0F78/17.52 return proving run, with No. 70803 duly reinstated to the COLO pool.

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