The Class 56 Group

East Lancashire Railway- 56006 availability

4/7/2021 Unfortunately 56006 has set out on the 09:15 diesel turn this morning, but would appear to be suffering low power. The loco will come back to Bury where it will come off the train and retire to the shed. Problem isn’t known at the moment but hopefully it isn’t anything serious . We’ll update as we know more once our technical team investigate.

3/7/2021 56006 again performed well yesterday (Friday 2th July -Day 2 of the Gala) apart from a slow release of the E70 after the loco had been on a tail loco duty. Resolved by keeping 56006 in engine only and putting master controller in Reverse or Forward(depending which cab you are in) . Only downside is you have to keep a foot on the DSD pedal and release it when the vigilance beeps at you.

A couple of lambs had a near death experience last evening as 56006 returned from Rawtenstall on the Beerex, Chris the driver slowed as they crossed the tracks and he thought they’d reached a place of safety on the embankment. As he looked back to check they ran under the train and he put the brake full in and we came to a rather sharp stand while the Drivers assistant and Mr Chairman went and looked for what they hoped wouldn’t be lamb chops. They’d run down the train and came out towards the rear. So pacemakers reset and nerves calmed we set of again- The run was supposed to be non stop but Sean and his mate put paid to that but at least we know 56006 can stop when it needs too……..

Loco gang going for a well deserved hearty breakfast this morning and then down to Baron Street to do a few jobs and prep the loco which has to present at Bury South at 14:30 ready to work on the 15:00 departure today.

Please come and say hello if you are attending. During some station stops yesterday we let people ‘cab’ 56006 and will do so again if there is time.

1/7/2021- 56006 performed well on its one round trip today, and will continue its turns tomorrow and Saturday.

In addition the ELR have announced that 56006 should also be used on Sunday 4th July (The day after the Gala finishes) for the normal diesel turn which comprises three round trips ( total 108 miles).

28/6/2021 – 56006 completed its test runs this afternoon making two trips to Ramsbottom home signal with a rake of 6 coaches +50015 +37109 on the rear. Because of a possession on the Heywood line( for tree cutting) the 56 could only work one way as no run round was possible at Ramsbottom as the signal box there was not open today. The runs were successful in identifying a defective load regulator module in the electronics rack and this was replaced on return to Barron Street and tested prior to stabling the locomotive ready for its first gala turns on Thursday.

27/6/2021 – Following several intense working days recently , by a small number of our dedicated volunteers , we are pleased to announce that 56006 is due to go out on a pre gala test run on Monday afternoon.

Assuming the locomotive performs as expected then the loco should be passed fit and ready to take up its rostered Gala duties. These involve 56006 working several trains on each of the three days of the event.

A link to the timetable is here. 2021 July Diesel Timetable -Public Timetable.xlsx (

If you are attending, please respect any instructions given by stewards on the platform and train, but please come and say hello if you can.