We now have multiple ways you can help or donate:
The First of the Last - The D400 Fund book
Together in Electric Dreams - An Illustrated History of 86259
Mouse Mats - 50050 Hauling the VSOE
50050 Pens - several styles
50050 Fridge Magnets - several styles
50050 Key Rings - several styles
50050 Mugs - several styles
D400 Fund Polo Shirts - black or grey, various sizes
Donations online by credit/debit card via PayPal
Our Buy.at online shop, just click on the logo linked from our site and we get a small commission if you buy from the online retailers available.
UPDATE: 25 May 2012
On Saturday 18th May, couple of us ventured to Yeovil to continue with a few jobs on 50050s generators. Despite the fantastic weather (which was a major distraction) we managed to complete a few outstanding jobs.
No8 brush box and the insulator assembly were removed to allow it be sent away shortly to replace the cracked insulator as per the previous update.
To get to the final one (No7) we will have to jack the brush gear around to get to the final assembly and insulator. This will hopefully be undertaken at the next working party.
We also barred the engine round so we could clean the main generator Vee ring riser, and as much of the top of the riser as possible.
No4 brush box was also removed to allow some old flash damage to be cleaned up
UPDATE: 17 May 2013
This is to announce a brand new book about British Rail Class 50 locomotives - being sold to raise funds to help towards the continuing preservation of 50027 Lion and 50050 Fearless. For more info and to buy please see our sales page
Written by Ian Horner, co-author of First of the Last - The Life and Times of 50050 Fearless and compiled by Andy Coward, Regular writer for RAIL magazine and co-author of First of the Last, author of Together In Electric Dreams - E3137/86259 Les Ross and his brand new title, The Decline of British Railways in Bury and Rossendale.
This is a detailed review of British Rail Class 50 locomotive-operations throughout the 1980s, when interest and popularity in the fleet peaked after years of largely being ignored or even disliked by many diesel enthusiasts.
Following a reprise of their career so far and a look at how the "50s" came to be named, Class 50s: The Large-Logo Years reviews the refurbishment programme and examines why it was so important. Subsequent chapters chart the story of the class through the 1980s by timetable period, including; changes in workload,locomotive rosters, depot reallocations and reliability concerns, to the heady days of the mid-1980s - arguably the high-water mark of the "50s".
With "sectorisation" came big changes in BR fleet planning and management, and in the last quarter of the decade, the decline of the "50s" truly began as the fleet saw less use on express passenger trains and more focus on other traffic such as parcels, freight and departmental work. Class 50s: The Large-Logo Years charts this period and muses how in spite of them falling from favour, BR found it could not do without the "50s" and continued to expect a lot from them in spite of minimal expenditure on heavy maintenance.
The book's chronology is interspersed with specific chapters including; a review of the Doncaster Works era, freight operations, the Sir Edward Elgar story, the 1988 railtours over Shap, the inside story of the Laira F-exams and a close look at the various liveries carried by the "50s". The Foreword is written by Geoff Hudson, Area Fleet Manager at Laira depot during the locomotives' final years working for Network SouthEast.
Full Chapter summary: -
1 - The Story so Far (reprise of the early years and transfer to the WR),
2 - Naming,
3 - Refurbishment,
4 - Faster to the West of England (how the HSTs usurped the '50s' on the WR),
5 - The early 1980s,
6 - The Sir Edward Elgar story,
7 - The Waterloo to Exeter line,
8 - Summer 1984 and the 'jumbos',
9 - Enter Network SouthEast,
10 - The Doncaster Works Era,
11 - Sectorisation,
12 - Freight,
13 - Operation Laira Care (the F-exam project),
14 - Return to Shap (on tour in 1988),
15 - 1988/89 the work reduces,
16 - The South Coast,
17 - The last 'up' (the May 1989 timetable change and increased passenger work),
18 - Departmental days,
19 - Liveries and repaints,
20 - The final years and disposals
Class 50s: The Large-Logo Years is illustrated by a wealth of colour photographs, plus a small number of black and white images - kindly supplied by photographers from across the UK. All but a handful are published for the first time in printed form.
This is a 192-page perfect-bound hard-backed book, priced at £25.00 with any profits being put towards the upkeep of 50027 Lion and 50050 Fearless.
For details of how to order see our sales page
UPDATE: 14 May 2013
We have just finished updating our sales page. We now have added two new mugs; the one shown here of 50050 at York and one showing 50050s data panel, at only £5.00 each, they are good to look at, as well as good value.
We also have copies of Modern Locomotives Illustrated - Issue 193 at only £6 inc UK postage.
Finally, we have added Rucksacks to our inventory, high quality, lightweight and sporting a representation of the Fearless nameplate.
The Rucksacks are only £22.00 and are ideal for carrying around a flask, sandwiches and whetever else you need for a day out (may we suggest a decent mug for your coffee?)
UPDATE: 13 May 2013
The group had a good couple of days at the Swanage Diesel Gala. During the event both Fearless nameplates were reunited for 1 day, one looking a lot dirtier than the other!!! Many thanks to its owner for bringing this along.
Also Massive thank you to those who attended, said hello, bought products and donated.
UPDATE 8 May 2013
We will be having a sales stand at the Swanage Railway this Friday and Saturday - please come, enjoy the locomotives and buy yourself some of the great stuff that can be seen on our Sales page
UPDATE: 1 May 2013
Brush boxes have been removed from the ETS generator for cleaning and megger testing.
As usual, there were some set backs. Several insualtors in the ETS gen were found to be cracked. These will have to be replaced
If anybody knows where to source new insulators, could you please email and let us know? We have been considering removing the ETS gen and having it sent to Bowers for overhaul, if we cannot find any replacement insulators this will have to be our course of action. If anybody has a WOSS for ETS gen removal (if one exsists) we would appreciate a copy.
Our spare radiator fan motor and traction motor blower are at Bowers for assesment. The fan was bought mainly for spare brush boxes, but will now be used in conjunction with the repair to 50050s exsisting rad fan motor
Finally thanks to our sales team of Ashley and Steve for manning our sales stand at the Mid Hants diesel gala.
UPDATE: 26 April 2013
We will be having a sales stand at the Mid-Hants Diesel Gala this weekend - please come, enjoy the locomotives and buy yourself some of the great stuff that can be seen on our Sales page
UPDATE: 22 April 2013
Working party on the 6th/7th consisted of a few of the outstanding jobs progressed.
Work in the radiator fan compartment continued with more rust and grime removed. Both walls either end of the radiator fan were were painted in gloss, and the finer details also painted in there respective colours.
Whilst work in this part of the loco was taking place, we took the opportunity to inspect a hand water pump and gate valve which had been seized for sometime. After completely stripping down, cleaning and refurbishing, it was painted and reassembled and now just awaits reattaching back on the loco.
We also began riveting back on the 2 roof centre covers that have been fabricated to cosmetically keep 50050's appearance accurate. Unfortunately we were only able to complete the first one as our rivet gun gave out, A job for next time!
Another update from the working party of 20th/21st to follow shortly
UPDATE: 19 April 2013
50050 will be open for visits and tours this Sunday as part of Yeovil's steam day and Model Railway Exhibition. The D400 Fund sales stand will also be present.
There will be an update reporting on both last weekends working party and this weekends, sometime this week.
UPDATE: 06 March 2013
An update to fill in the gaps since the last working party update.
We have been busy spending money.... The opportunity to buy various spares has arisen and obviously it was not to be missed. We have bought various relays and contacts from a 37 at Booths. Many thanks to Tim Wattison from the 37263 group for his help with this. From Europhoenix came a spare compressor. Thanks to Dave at Royal Oak Diesels for collecting this for us. Also, we have been part of the latest bulk buy of new parts arranged by the Class 50 Alliance. Thanks to Mike Matthews for including us.
Buying spares is not cheap, but neither can we afford to miss out - if 50050 is to have a long term future as a operating loco. Funds are now running low and there is a danger we will have to choose between buying spares or employing contractors for the latest batch of bodywork repairs.
One of of sources of income is sales, please do have a look at our sales page and consider a purchase. Or perhaps make a donation. It does not matter how small. Each person who makes a donation is given a guided tour around 50050 at Yeovil and shown where their money is spent.
Finally, missed from the previous working party reports, work has proceeded on cleaning the main generator and megger testing. Thankfully megger results are better than we expected. The last of the brush boxes has been out for cleaning and work has started on the ETH generator.
UPDATE: 10 February 2013
Congratulations to 50050s owner Harry Schneider and his partner Cindy on the birth of their second daughter today.
UPDATE: 1 February 2013
The first working party of the year took place last weekend (26th/27th January). Work continued inside the locomotive with attention continuing on the generators.
Further progress was also made in the radiator fan compartment, which is starting to come together prior to the return of the fan motor later in the year.
One of the roof covers that had recently returned from shot blasting was painted along with the replacement covers that have been cut for the middle of the re-skinned roof section.
The scavenger fan top hat was also refitted concluding a productive weekend.
UPDATE: 27 November 2012
We now have stocks of our new Beanie Hat - and judging by the weather reports, just in time for a cold snap!
At only £7.00 + £1.00 p&p it is well worth it to keep your ears warm, have a look at our Sales Page there is lots of good stuff there and it all helps 50050.
UPDATE: 16 November 2012
Last weekend the loco was drained for the winter and to enable the oil cooler to be dismantled and inspected. As usual the main focus was on body work. Another roof hatch removed for shotblasting and new seals to be fitted.
The scavenger fan blades and cowl were painted and the top hat give a second coat of gloss.
A brake test rig was on site during the weekend, so the opportunity was taken to fill the locos air tanks with air and to test what still worked. Thankfully most did.
UPDATE: 16 November 2012
We have offers on Mouse Mats, Fridge Magnets, Grey Polo Shirts and the fantastic Fine Art Prints
Look for the yellow boxes like this one, on the sales page
UPDATE: 12 November 2012
Another working party at the weekend. Much of the work done was not very photogenic so not many pictures this time.
A start was made on washing out oil and carbon deposits from the main generator. Number 2 traction motor also recieved attention. The new central section of roof was primed and glossed.
New covers are being made to go along the middle of the reskinned section. Obviously these covers no longer cover anything, but its an important cosmetic addition and will restore the roof back to its former look. The extractor fan top hat was glossed and the blades and cowling of the extractor fan painted.
UPDATE: 31 October 2012
The weekend of the 27th/28th saw the completion of the roof repairs to 50050.
The remaining metal was ground out.
Two sections of the main central beam were cut out and replaced prior to the main re-skinning.
The resking comprised of 3 sections which were cut, placed and welded into place.
Then all the old split pin catches and roof hatch handles (all 8 of them) were welded back into place.
All that left to do is give it a good clean and paint.
Big thank you to friends from 50017 who came down to assist us with this major task.
UPDATE: 24 October 2012
Last weekend 20th/21st saw a small working party at Yeovil. A start was made to remove some of the main generator brush boxes, which were removed and cleaned up before being refitted.
More progress was made within the rad fan compartment, with more cleaning and painting being completed.
All the lifting points which had been needle gunned the previous week were painted with red oxide prior to some gloss being added.
Also further work on the roof prior to being re-skinned, with all 8 handles and the shrouds they fit into being removed (with some difficulty!) from the roof
UPDATE: 9 October 2012
If you head over to the D400 Fund Sales Page, you will now see we have all sorts of items to tempt you with!
The latest is this wonderful print courtesy of Artist Simon Glancy. Available in either A4 or A3 sizes or on a mug!
Christmas is only a matter of weeks away and all profits go to support D400, so please have a look at the sales page.
UPDATE: 4 October 2012
They're back! D400 Fund Polo Shirts - black or grey, now back in stock in all sizes.
UPDATE: 1 October 2012
With visitors from Holland and Belgium, last weekends three day working party had a real European feel to it.
Jobs done this time was a start on repainting the radiator fan compartment.
Various areas on new metal in primer were painted in top coat gloss.
More metal was cut out off the roof.
The top hat for the scavenger fan was removed and is now at Washwood Heath for shot blasting.
The fan and fan cowl will be painted while the top hat is away.
The scaffolding around the loco was completed and we now await a visit from the contractor doing the roof reskinning.
A start was made on returning the traction motors to working order. This will be an ongoing job...
Finally thanks to the gentleman who travelled from Belgium just to visit 50050. Your presence was much appreciated!
UPDATE: 26 September 2012
We had a working party 22nd/23rd September: On Saturday and Sunday major progress was made on work to re-skin the centre section of roof, in-between the 4 main roof hatches.
We have managed to cut out most of the life expired metal, and now just need to finish of the finer bits to make sure the new metal fits flush.
With assistance from YRC volunteers we now have scaffold around the locomotive to make this work easier and safer.
Time was also taken to inspect some of the locomotives internal components. The auxiliary DC machine exam has been progressed, and is now nearly completed with only the extractor fan and fuel pump outstanding. An initial exam on the generators has also been undertaken.
After years of borrowing battery chargers, we have finally got around to buying one. Shackerstone based, Heritage Traction Restoration and Supplies do a very nice small charger at bargin prices. Email for contact details and we will put you in touch.
We are holding another working party over the 28th/29th/30th September
New controller top plates, donated by a kind supporter.
UPDATE: 30 August 2012
The D400 Fund sales stand will be attending the Crewe Heritage centre / Freightliner event this Sunday. Joining us on the stand will be Les Ross MBE, Owner of 86259 and former BRMB breakfast show DJ and TV presenter. Les will be available to talk about the 86 and all things radio related. His stories are well worth listening to!
This is the first time we have ever had a sales stand away from Yeovil, so please do try and pay us a visit.
UPDATE: 23 July 2012
The weekend working party was a bit different to usual, we started putting things back on the loco, rather than taking them off!
The exhauster access door has been shot blasted and a new strip welded along the top edge. A new hinge sourced from the manufacturer who supplied BR when the locos were refurbished, has been fitted too. The first lifting point door has been refited also with a new hinge.
The rheo brake louver doors are to be welded shut this week so a last clean up and another coat of paint was added.
UPDATE: 18 July 2012
OJ Fabrications returned to Yeovil for two days work last Thursday.
Rather than start on the re-skinning of the last cabside, the idea of this visit was to do lots of small jobs and to finish off uncompleted work. 50050s number 1 cab is now approaching completion of the metal work jobs.
Various sections of guttering were replaced around number 1 cab. The gutter section had been purchased previously from Rail Traction supplies. On A side of number one cab a hole just above the gutter level was cut out and replaced. Indeed a rather large area including sections of the cab roof were replaced.
On number 2 end of the locomotive, the area below the rheo brake louvers was replaced. The skin had previously been removed and the area needle gunned and repainted. The louver doors themselves received much attention. The bottom two laths of both grills were replaced and an area of the grill nearest to number 2 cab was cut out and replaced. The bottom edge of both grills was also replaced.
How to tackle the louver grills has been give much thought recently. The laths on 50050 are not original. They should have a 'kick' at the bottom of the lath as originally designed by English Electric, presumably to guide rain water away. The laths on 50050 however were all plain strips, indicating that they had received a rather inferior BR repair. So we were left with a decision how to tackle this. Do we hack out all the laths and replace them with original style EE type or repair the BR style that we had? After some though we decided to stick with the BR style lath. Although this design is perhaps inferior, it is part of the locos history and how it was during its latter days working with BR. With an eye to historical accuracy we would like to keep modifications or alterations to a minimum. We are in the preservation / museum business after all. Please email us if you have any thoughts on this issue.
The first job on number 2 end B side cabside was undertaken. The upright between the droplight and quarterlight was replaced and an area of guttering heading up to the cab roof was replaced.
The following day we had a volunteer working day. The priority was to paint the new metal work in primer. Various jobs were undertaken in number 1 cab to reassemble it following last years metal work and internal woodwork replacement.
Finally we have completed the purchase of a spare radiator fan motor and also a traction motor blower. These were collected and delivered to Bowers in Heanor for assessment. Many thanks to the RRRG for the joint move of our spares and theres. A report on the rather fraught move is here
UPDATE: 17 July 2012
OJ Fabrications returned for another 40 hours contracted work. Full update later.
UPDATE: 7 July 2012
Over the weekend of 23 and 24 of June 50050 was open to visitors as part of the Yeovil Railway Centre gala weekend. The group also had our first sales stand in attendance.
Obviously with guided tours for members of the public happening, opportunities for any work on the loco were limited. However some progress was made. Using lessons learned from the cubical work on 50008, 50050s wheelslip relays and field divert unit were inspected and it was not a surprise to find the same amount of broken studs as 008 had. Replacement brass imperial studs have now sourced and will be fitted soon. A defective NR28 relay on the ETH side will also be changed soon.
With the loco now back in the shed, this years bodywork jobs will start soon. OJ Fabrications are returning this coming Thursday and roof repairs will begin in September.
Finally, there are lots of new sales items in our shop. Please do take a look.
UPDATE: 21 June 2012
YEOVIL JUNCTION GALA WEEKEND
50050 will be on display this weekend at the gala. We will be available to show visitors the restoration currently done aswell as indicating what still needs to be done on the loco. Cab Tours and Engine Room visits will be possible.
We will have a sales stand where various items can be purchased or donations made.
Available on our sales stand will be Andrew Coward's latest book "Together in Electric Dreams" this is an illustrated history of E3137 / 86259 "Les Ross" priced at only £15.00 this is a follow up book to our very own successful "The First of the Last.""Together in Electric Dreams" has a foreword written by TV/Radio personality and star of the top rated show "Who wants to be a millionaire" Chris Tarrant.
UPDATE: 25 May 2012
We had a working party on 19th May, with the focus being on preparing the loco for the open day at the end of June. The batteries were topped up, straps regreased and then charged. Inside, Mark was busy investigating why the number 1 end traction motor blower stopped working during the last open day in 2010. Next time 50050 is started it should now have two serviceable blowers. The compressor motors were washed out and the brushes checked.
Finally Ashley has been wielding a paint brush in an attempt to make the loco look a bit smarter for visitors.
Finally a preview of our new sales line, the D400 fund polo shirt. These will be available on our sales stand at the Yeovil Open Weekend and later available here on the website.
UPDATE: 18 May 2012
The Royal Train visited Yeovil. 50050 was visible to all! (Photos: left Brian Haigh, right Tony Reese)
UPDATE: 10 May 2012
UPDATE: 18 April 2012
We had a working party at Yeovil last weekend and as usual there was progress and setbacks.
B side radiator fan resistors were removed for cleaning and testing
More new wood has appeared in number 1 end cab. This time on the drivers side
Both cabs have seen their brake selector indicator boxes recieve attention. The covers have been removed and dismantled for painting
The cause of the defective headlight at number 2 end was investigated by new volunteer Mark. A defective inverter was found to be the issue along with loose wiring to the switch. Unfortunately our spare inverter was also found to be defective so another inverter has had to be bought this week.
The loco was filled with water for the first time this year. The drain valves which despite replapping in the past are now leaking very badly and will have to be replaced. A common class 50 fault and not too unexpected.
The fuel pump galleries were cleaned out and the governor fuel rack linkages were lubricated.
50050 will be taking part in a gala open day at Yeovil Railway centre on June 23 and 24. The locos number 2 cab will be open and visitors will be able to see the three reskinned cabsides and compare them to the one yet to do. We hope to have the engine running although at the moment its too early to promise this. No cabrides this time, that will have to wait until the 2014 event! There will be a D400 Fund sales stand during the weekend, so do please try and visit
We have only one copy of the "Class 50 Finale - The Laira Years DVD" remaining and we will not be
ordering anymore. If you would like a copy please visit the sales page
UPDATE: 15 February 2012
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