Deal sees ‘Grid’ based at East Lancs Railway

THE Class 56 Group and East Lancashire Railway have reached agreement for No. 56006 to become a resident at the line for an initial period of three years.

The Romanian-built Type 5 has been based at UK Rail Leasing’s Leicester depot since leaving Barrow Hill in 2014, although it has appeared at a number of gala events over the past two years. The loco left Leicester on July 2, being hauled to Derby Etches Park for tyre turning by No. 37800, after which it was collected by ‘Whistler’ No. 345 (40145) on July 4 and hauled to Bury.

UKRL ‘GRIDS’ VISIT BUTTERLEY: UK Rail Leasing’s Type 5s Nos. 56104 and 56081 took part in the Midland Railway-Butterley gala on June 17/18 – the pair seen departing Swanwick Junction for Hammersmith on the first day. Steve Donald

In addition to being used at galas at the East Lancashire Railway, the Class 56 will have a number of running days and is also expected to be used on driver experience events. Its move will also provide the opportunity for the loco to attend events elsewhere as part of an ELR convoy on occasions.

The Class 56 Group also owns
No. 56301 (formerly No. 56045), which remains at Leicester and has recently had a top-end power unit overhaul carried out. A load bank test is due to be undertaken in the near future.

■ The only other preserved member of the class, No. 56097, has recently undergone cab roof repairs and other work at Ruddington and, after a successful test run on June 25, returned to service for the first time in over a year at the line’s diesel gala on July 1/2.

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