The AC Locomotive Group

82008 in Large Logo Blue82008 in Large Logo Blue

E3044 cabE3044 cab

Generator CarGenerator Car

The first quarter of 1999 was extremely busy, with electrical restoration proceeding rapidly with 83012 and cosmetic attention being given to 82008 and 81002.

In the week leading up to Barrow Hill's next Gala, in April, 82008's existing (and rather rushed) Rail Blue livery was amended to Large Logo Blue as a publicity exercise. Originally intended to be for a few months only, the livery has remained in place ever since as other priorities came and went. The opportunity was also taken to add small yellow warning panels to 81002's Electric Blue, more or less to make our mark on the loco before its next public appearance.

Restoration work on 83012 took a different form, however, as most of the loco's cooling fans were returned to working order. By the Easter Gala, all three locos on site could show visible progress, visitors equally impressed with the 82's new colours and the deafening roar of 83012 in the shed.

Meanwhile, back at Crewe, 85101 was still awaiting its cab rebuild. Problems at Crewe meant the work was cancelled and the loco returned to storage.

In early summer, the Class 84 cab that started it all, E3044, arrived at Barrow Hill as an exhibit, together with a newly-acquired Flatrol well-wagon to mount it on. These arrived in time for the Summer Galas and were displayed at the event alongside the three locos. The Gala also marked the launch of our Class 86/87 Project, aiming to drum up support for the preservation of at least one locomotive from each class.

In August, 85101 was prepared for rail movement with the greasing of its axles, refitting of earthing straps and application of cant-rail tape. Once again, though, space problems at Barrow Hill meant a move could not be arranged.

A search to find suitable stores vehicles resulted in the acquisition of three support vehicles late in the year, the first being a former BR Exhibition Train Generator Van, numbered 99625. This vehicle contained three diesel generator sets, capable of providing sufficient power to allow the electric loco's auxiliary equipment to be run independently of Barrow Hill's electricity supply. The coach arrived on site in December 1999, and a week later had its first engine restarted!

Two further vehicles, GUV 95199 and Courier 80212, were acquired for stores and arrived in early 2000.