Published at 00:00 on Saturday 26th January 2013
Tags: ETL, Class 86, Class 87, 87002, 86101, 86401, Barrow Hill

Network SouthEast-liveried Class 86/4 No. 86401 Northampton Town is one of the locomotives that will be disposed off, while both of ETLs main line certified locomotives are to be withdrawn from main line operations. Jack Boskett

The Electric Traction Limited has announced that it is to withdraw all of its locomotives from main line operation from early February following a review of operations.

With seven locomotives in the fleet, the company says that it is impractical to fund and resource the maintenance of the fleet of Class 86s and its Class 87 in addition to the Class 82, 83 and 89 electric locomotives at Barrow Hill.

The news, which will come as a shock to the enthusiast community, means that both Nos. 86101 and 87002 will be removed from the main line once their current duties with Network Rail are completed, currently expected to be 9th February 2013.

The organisation says Class 86/2 No. 86213 Lancashire Witch will remain at Wembley Depot as this locomotive has been deployed in the reserve fleet of operational shunting/depot service locomotives, although options for its disposal are being considered. Class 86/4s Nos. 86401 Northampton Town and 86424 will both be disposed of. These locomotives part of the reserve fleet of locomotives, but despite having been offered to the wider industry, the locomotives have not attracted any interest.

Class 86/1 No. 86101 will be withdrawn from operation and relocated to Ilford Depot to complete a commercial contract. In theory this locomotive could be returned to the mainline in the future, however the locomotive is due an F Exam which will incur significant component costs and labour availability issues (labour being predominantly provided by AC Locomotive Group volunteers) rendering any return to service a long term project.

The last operational Class 87 in the country, No. 87002 Royal Sovereign will be withdrawn from operation and relocated to Wembley Depot for storage while further investigations into the use elsewhere of this locomotive are considered, although ETL says it is likely that it will be sold for export.

The final two members of the fleet, modified Class 86/7s Nos. 86701 Orion and 86702 Cassiopeia have been returned to Europhoenix Ltd.

Electric Traction Limited says it has investigated running a farewell tour utilising both mainline registered locomotives, Nos. 86101 and 87002, however given the timescales required, it was unable to take place the date that the locomotives have to be stopped.

Full story next issue.

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