The AC Locomotive Group

87002 pauses at Carlisle whilst on icebreaking duties87002 pauses at Carlisle whilst on icebreaking duties

87002 continued with icebreaker work on the West Coast Main Line until the end of March. However the loco was not required for this work on the first few days in January so was used by GB Railfreight on a number of infrastructure workings with locomotive 92010. On the 2nd January the two locos worked train 6M49, loaded at 1550 tonnes, from Mossend Yard to Carlisle Yard, then returned with 6M51 and 1540 tonnes. This was repeated on the next day with lighter loads.

On the last night of the icebreaking, 87002 rescued 90028 which was working 1M16, the Up Highland Sleeper service. The 87 hauled the train from Morecambe South Jn to Preston.

87002 worked a private charter for GB Railfreight on 10th August between Newcastle and London King's Cross and return.

There were hopes of more work with Colas for 86701 so the locomotive was moved by 60087 from storage at Barrow Hill to the Colas depot at Rugby on 2nd June. Unfortunately there were problems getting 86701 ready in time and the locomotive was moved on to Willesden TMD on 30th July. 86701 was however ready to fulfil a further contract with Bombardier at Ilford as an Electric Train Supply locomotive, and was moved there on 8th October by 87002.

86101 was finally put back into working with a pair of overhauled bogies, and went for a test run from Willesden TMD to Tring and back on 17th December in the company of 87002.

With more work for electric locomotives becoming a possibility, 86213 and 86702 were moved from storage at Barrow Hill to Willesden TMD by 56312 on 18th December.

A further change to the icebreaking arrangements this winter saw 87002 move to Mossend Yard on 18th December, the plan being to run to Warrington or Crewe and back on Sunday nights/Monday mornings only, and only as required.

At Barrow Hill both 82008 and 85006 have received attention. 82008 has had some of the internal equipment covers removed for the first time in recent years with a view to understanding the condition of the electrical equipment.