“I am delighted that GBRf is sponsoring the repainting of 50007, Hercules and 50049, Defiance, into GBRf livery. Our relationship with the class 50 alliance has grown over the years, with the painting of the two locomotives being an excellent way to recognise the fact. Having first witnessed class 50’s at Crewe in the early 1970s, I never thought the day would arise when one would be painted in the livery of GBRf. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the finished article(s).”Jonathan Dunster, Director Class 50 Alliance said:
“Today’s announcement marks a significant next step in the story of the Class 50s, and we’re delighted to build on our already successful relationship with GBRf." “Since we successfully returned Class 50s to the mainline in 1997, we have gained a great deal of experience, working with many stakeholders across the industry. We have operated around 80 railtours, supplied power for timetabled service trains in South Wales and operated numerous freight and route learning duties. For GBRf to cement our relationship in this way is fantastic news and we look forward to working with the team on an exciting future programme, which kicks off in style when we head to Penzance on 23rd March.”Following the repaints, the locomotives will be available to operate selected GBRf trains on a ‘spot-hire’ basis. This work will include movement of locomotives between heritage railway gala events, and future railtours. The locomotives will continue to be based at the Severn Valley Railway, but will have easy access to the national network, thanks to the 24-hour connection at Kidderminster. 50007 and 50049 will be unveiled in their new livery at a private event at Eastleigh Works, prior to working a test run and then the railtour on 23rd March.