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New Year Message

As we move into a new year with the Class 50 Alliance, we must reflect on what we have achieved in 2023.

We have reached a milestone in diesel preservation history, by running our 100th mainline rail tour, a feat that no other diesel preservation group has achieved in the UK.

So we must all stand proud in that magnificent achievement, running a 50 year old diesel locomotives on the mainline, that were given their last rights almost 30 years ago.

Words cannot express how proud I was standing at Edinburgh last September with Jonathan Dunster (our last chairman), next to 50007 & 50049 having completed the first leg of our 100th Mainline tour from Swindon.

When we started this journey with 50031 from Birmingham to Plymouth, on the 1st November 1997 with The Pilgrim Hoover, no one would have ever guessed that we would have reach a century of rail tours, with The Pilgrim-Centurion on the 16th September 2023.

None of this would have been possible without your support and enthusiasm for the class 50 fleet that we have had in our hands over the last 30 years. Your support has been endlessly welcomed by us, without this, we wouldn’t have achieved anything like we have, it just goes to show that anything can be achieved in life.

We thank you all for your continued support.

2023 was an incredible busy year for 50007 and 50049 out on the mainline.

We carried out some very important work supporting GBRF with their new train movements in and out of Derby to Wembley, and to Worksop along with new trains to Eastleigh.

We also got involved in moving the class 458 trains from Bournemouth to the Alstom train facility complex at Widnes, near Liverpool.

We have worked rail tours for Pathfinder and UK Railtours along with Hanson & Hall.

All of these contracts bring in much needed revenues to help us maintain and run our locomotives on the mainline and on the SVR.

I’d like to personally thank all of our working volunteers within the Class 50 Alliance and Fifty Fund, these people are the back bone of what we do, without them we would be nothing. They give all of their spare time to help us maintain our locomotives and more importantly raise the necessary funds to make sure we have money in the bank to constantly maintain and improve fleet of class 50s in our ownership.

Their roles are sometimes not really recognised by the people, as they are not in the spotlight, but rest assured everyone of them are truly recognised by me and they are respected by me, so a massive thanks to everyone one of you.

A big thank you, goes to GBRF for your support in 2023, and trusting us with your trains, we almost made 100% bar one mishap.

Thanks to Pathfinder Tours and UK Railtours and Hanson & Hall for their confidence to work with us. Please support their tours in 2024, it helps us and them get you to those places you always wanted to visit with a class 50.

We have quite a variety of railtours

planned for 2024, please book on them, as it keeps us motivated and gets us all to some special locations.

Many thanks to everyone on the Severn Valley Railway that help us do what we do on the SVR and out on the mainline your support is very important to us.

Please support the Severn Valley Railway when possible,it's a very special railway and a fantastic day out.

A very special thank you goes to Joe Burr, The chairman of the Fifty Fund.

His dedication in raising money for us over the last 30 years cannot be underestimated. His commitment and leadership has allowed us to become a bigger and stronger organisation, so I thank you Joe.

We hope to see as many of you out and about in 2024.

Happy New Year

Tony Middleton

Class 50 Alliance Chairman

Jonathan " Gus " Dunster, Tony Middleton & Joe Burr pictured at Edinburgh on the occasion of our 100th Mainline Railtour on 16th September 2023.

Photo DW Spencer

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