The AC Locomotive Group

The locomotives in our care form the largest collection of historic British AC traction anywhere in the UK. Summary details of each locomotive's current status can be found below; click the accompanying links for full details of each locomotive's history, restoration progress and technical information.


Class 89 89001 (1986)

89001 was purchased from GNER in 2006 following two years in the group's care. It has been cosmetically restored to its original livery, and electrical restoration is underway.

Class 85 (AL5) 85006 / 85101 / E3061 (1961)

85006 was repainted into Rail Blue livery and renumbered back from 85101 in September 2013. This loco is currently on display at Barrow Hill. Electrical restoration is underway.

Class 83 (AL3) 83012 / E3035 (1961)

83012 was the first in our fleet to have its electrical circuits re-energised. It is currently being restored to Electric Blue livery.

Class 82 (AL2) 82008 / E3054 (1961)

82008 is currently in on display awaiting further restoration. Some electrical equipment has already been returned to working order (including the cooling fans).

Class 81 (AL1) 81002 / E3003 (1960)

81002 is currently undergoing cosmetic and electrical restoration at Barrow Hill. It is now virtually complete electrically and mechanically and work to restore it to working order is nearly complete. 


Our locomotive fleet currently comprises surviving examples of the first-generation AC electric locomotive classes built for the West Coast Main Line electrification scheme. With an example from each of Classes 81-83 and 85, plus the solitary Class 89, the fleet is the most comprehensive (and only) collection of AC locomotives in the country.

Many of the first-generation types represent some of the last locomotives constructed by the classic private British locomotive builders. Whilst externally these designs are similar in appearance, construction techniques, equipment design and use of materials varied enormously from manufacturer to manufacturer; the designs consequently met with varying degrees of success in traffic. The Class 86s and 87 represent the second generation of AC traction, building on the best features of the earlier types. The 89 is a machine unto itself, built in 1986 and featuring fully electronic control for the first time on a UK AC locomotive.


Gone but not forgotten

A number of vehicles have passed through the group's care in one form or another over the years. For completeness, these are listed below.

General Utility Van 95199 (1958)

This was in use at Barrow Hill for many years as a stores van. It was sold in August 2021 to Eastern Rail Services. It has been replaced by a container which is much larger and has much better and easier access.


Class 86/4 (AL6) 86401 / 86001 / E3199 (1966)

86401 was purchased in June 2004. During the first half of 2015 it has been restored to full main line running order for use on the Serco Caledonian Sleeper contract. After travelling 17669 miles in 4 years as an Electric Traction Ltd. locomotive, it was sold on 14th February 2020 to West Coast Railway Company.


Class 87 87002 (1973)

87002 was purchased with the kind co-operation of Romic. It was restored to full working order and made its first main line run on 16th July 2008. After travelling 114435 miles in 11 years as an Electric Traction Ltd. locomotive, it was sold on 5th November 2019 to Locomotive Services Ltd.


Class 86/1 (AL6) 86101 / 86201 / E3191 (1965)

86101 was purchased in August 2005 and was the first of our locomotives to return to full operation. It was been comprehensively restored to main line standards, making its first run on 15th March 2007. After travelling 79599 miles in 14 years as an Electric Traction Ltd. locomotive, it was sold on 5th November 2019 to Locomotive Services Ltd.


Class 86/2 (AL6) 86213 / E3193 (1965)

86213 was purchased in August 2005 after a long loan to the Group from HSBC Rail UK Ltd. It moved to Barrow Hill in late 2002 and from 2005 was based at Wembley as a train supply locomotive. It is complete and in working order. It was moved to Willesden TMD in February 2011 for cosmetic work to be carried out. It was sold and exported to Bulgaria in February 2016.


Class 84 (AL4) 84001 / E3036 (1960)

84001 was on loan to the group from the National Railway Museum between 2000 and 2010. It was cosmetically restored during 2003/2004, and had some electrical conservation work carried out.


Class 73/1 (JB) 73138 / E6045 (1966)

73138 was owned privately by two members of the group. It was restored during 2003/2004 by group members and saw use as the group's depot shunter at Barrow Hill until October 2006. It was used as a shunter at Long Marston until 2010, and sold to Network Rail for further mainline use.


Class 73/1 (JB) 73119 / E6025 (1965)

Purchased privately by group members along with 73138, 73119 was restored to working order at Barrow Hill before being sold to the Keith & Dufftown Railway. It has now moved south once again.


Generator Van 99625 (1955)

A former Exhibition Train vehicle, restored to working order and used to power auxiliary equipment on 82008 and 83012. After a period on loan to a heritage railway it was broken up in 2010.


Courier Van 80212 (1963)

Used as a stores and mess van at Barrow Hill for several years, but subsequently sold to a private individual.


Equipment Car 977708 (1955)

A heavily modified EMU driving coach, this carriage was part of the Class 316 Holec traction equipment test train. Purchased for its components it has since been stripped and disposed of.