First of all a belated happy birthday to 56006- It was 25th February 1977, 44 years ago , when the C56Gs locomotive became the first Class 56 accepted into traffic by British Rail.
Due to the restrictions little work has taken place on the loco but plans are being made for the resumption of working parties when safe to do so.
Reports from Leicester indicate 56301 is very nearly ready for release from its B exam with the only outstanding work being some test results on the axle bearings and then a test run.
The loco has had a new set of batteries and the attached video clip shows the start up las Thursday. Amazingly after virtually 2 years out of traffic the Ruston engine started first time and the dirty exhaust cleared almost immediately.
With the Class 69 project at the stage where 69001 is now being tested at the SVR (see link at foot of page for explanation of project and locos numbers) , there are signs that GBRf may still need their remaining ‘ classic’ 56s for a while yet (56081, 56098 and 56312) with a demand for the class and hopefully 56301 will finally have the opportunity for mainline running again.
Of course 56301 can’t run forever and the group policy is to try and earn enough revenue to ensure 56006 (as the groups ‘priority ‘ preserved’ locomotive) has a secure future funded by that mainline revenue. Whether 56301 can join 50006 and become ‘preserved’ in due course will depend on a number of factors but the group will consider all options to ensure 56006 continues to be operational for many years to come.