The AC Locomotive Group
89001 at Barrow Hill
89001 at Barrow Hill on 18th November 2022

Locomotive Services Ltd & Electric Traction Ltd are pleased to announce the next phase of the planned return of 89001 ‘Avocet’ to full mainline operational condition.

The design work for the installation of the equipment for mainline operation is complete, and the necessary parts have been obtained.

With the workshops at Barrow Hill at full capacity, the decision has been taken to move the locomotive to the UK Rail Leasing works at Loughborough for the mainline equipment installation to take place.

Other work that will be carried out at the same time includes the replacement of a faulty blower motor, overhaul of the two driving cab air conditioning units, and fitment of the repaired traction motors – with these missing from the locomotive, the move to Loughborough will be by road. The move will take place within the next few weeks.

The intention is to complete as much static testing as possible at Loughborough, before moving the locomotive to Crewe for movement testing.

LSL’s AC Locomotive Engineer, Robert Fenner commented:

"After months of work behind the scenes and very much away from the public eye, 89001 is finally at a stage where all outstanding works can be completed now all materials have been sourced. This will be done at one of her original birth places in Loughborough thanks to UKRL. Works will now ramp up to get the 'Badger' over the finish line ready for a busy season of mainline operations with LSL in mid 2023."

ETL's Electrical Engineer, Paul Steane added:

"Carrying out the design work for the installation, and obtaining the necessary parts, has been a long and arduous job. Some of the critical parts were on very long lead times, and it was pointless trying to plan the final installation until these items had been delivered. With the help of staff at LSL and our suppliers, we are now ready for this next step towards 89001 becoming a main line approved locomotive again."

Thanks to UK Rail Leasing for accommodating 89001 for this work to take place.