The AC Locomotive Group


Old Oak CommonOld Oak Common

84001 arrives84001 arrives

85101, which had remained in store at Crewe, was finally moved to Barrow Hill in May, bringing all four locos together for the first time since December 1998.

An approach to the Old Oak Common Open Day organisers resulted in an invitation for 83012 to attend. With Virgin Trains agreeing to part-sponsor the loco's repaint into original Electric Blue livery, all hands turned to completing the loco's restoration. On one side, major mechanical repairs were carried out to the brake and air systems, and on the other a massive effort was put into the cosmetic restoration. The loco was unveiled as E3035, in original "Electric Blue" livery, at the Old Oak Common event in August, much to the acclaim of many observers.

September 2000 marked the 40th Anniversary of the official opening of the Manchester-Crewe 25 kV electrification. To mark the event we approached the National Railway Museum to suggest that their Class 84, 84001, might be made available for exhibition with our own locos. This idea was seized upon, and resulted in a three-year loan of the 84, starting appropriately in September, and allowing us to give some much-needed assistance with its conservation and restoration. The 84 arrived at Barrow Hill on 15th September.

By the time BH's October 2000 Gala took place, there were five AC electrics on site, and a second "live" Roarer. Restoration of some of 82008's internal equipment meant that a second loco could to impress the crowds, as its cooling fans were started up for the first time since 1987.

Our new arrival, 85101, finally received attention to its cabs towards the end of the year, when members began the unenviable task of sorting out the stacks of loose panelling and trying to fit them back into place. Minor bodywork repairs were also carried out.