The AC Locomotive Group

86101 being 'dragged' by 31468 at Dereham on the Mid Norfolk Railway86101 being 'dragged' by 31468 at Dereham on the Mid Norfolk Railway

86101 at Crewe on the Three Peaks Challenge86101 at Crewe on the Three Peaks Challenge

81002 newly painted into Rail Blue livery at Barrow Hill81002 newly painted into Rail Blue livery at Barrow Hill

The "icebreaking" contract, with 86101, 87002, 86701 and 86702 performing on different dates, continued through to February 2011.

On 14th February 86401 was moved from Willesden TMD to Crewe LNWR to receive the bogies from 86424.

On 18th February 86213 was moved from Alstom's Wembley depot to Willesden TMD for repainting. The Inter City livery was retained.

Class 86 locomotives have a fairly roomy driving cab, with good visibility, so they make quite good Route Learning locomotives. With a new freight flow to the Manchester area starting, GB Railfreight hired an electric locomotive from Electric Traction Ltd for route learning between the West Coast Mainline and Trafford Park near Manchester. 86701, 86702 and 86101 were used for this purpose during March 2011.

6th May saw 86101 working the "West Coast Premier II" charter train for Rail Blue Charters from Watford Junction to Edinburgh and return.

86101 was invited to take part in the "Drags and Rescues" weekend on the Mid Norfolk Railway in mid May. In company with sister vistor 73109 the journey from Willesden to Dereham was on the 12th via the Great Eastern main line to Norwich then via Wymondham. On both the 14th and 15th 86101 was used on four return journeys between Dereham and Wymondham, being hauled at different times by locos from classes 20, 31,37, 50 and 73. 73109 and 86101 returned to Willesden via Norwich on the 23rd May.

86101 was used on two legs of The Railway Children Three Peaks Challenge in May. 86101 hauled the train from London Euston to Crewe on the 23rd, then proceeded light engine to Mossend Yard near Motherwell. The train was diesel-hauled to Bangor (for Snowdon), Ravenglass (for Scafell Pike) and Fort William (for Ben Nevis). 86101 then brought the train back on the 25th from Mossend to Euston.

On 14th July 86701, 86702 and 87002 did a test run from Willesden TMD to Northampton and back.

86101 and 87002 worked a private charter for GB Railfreight on 23rd July between Retford and Edinburgh and return.

On 10th October 86701 and 86702 moved to the Bombardier site at Ilford to act as Electric Train Supply sources. However 86701 moved back to Willesden on 20th December to assist with icebreaker duties.

86101, 86701 and 87002 performed icebreaker work on the West Coast Main Line during winter 2011/2012. The contract ran from 21st November 2011 until 6th March 2012. Generally the nightly routing was Carlisle - Carstairs - Carlisle - Carstairs - Carlisle - Preston - Carlisle.

At Barrow Hill 81002 was repainted into Rail Blue. Electrical restoration continued on 85101. Work on overhauling and repairing the traction motors removed from 89001 commenced. Two of the 89's field convertors are also being examined.