Class 56s

The run down of the Class 56 fleet began in earnest once Class 66s entered service and the final locomotives were stored on 1 April 2004.  The Grid Finale page has some photographs from the final days.  These pages include photos I've taken outside Scotland and further information about the class is available from the Class 56 Group.

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Click here for the full image (53kb) One of the early Romanian built locomotives, 56002, passes Doncaster on 9 April 1987 with a southbound MGR service.  The locomotive is carrying original Railfreight livery.


Click here for the full image (77kb) The one that stayed blue!  Somewhat unbelievably this locomotive, 56004, only ever ran in BR blue livery.  Towards the end of its operating life the BR arrow symbols were removed but it remained a celebrity favourite until withdrawal in 1999.  Thanks to a temporary traction shortage because of Class 66s being seconded to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link construction project EWS had to reinstate a number of Grids and one of them was repainted blue 56006 so in 2002 and 2003 it was still possible to see one of these locomotives in their original colours.  56004 is seen here at Chesterfield on 7 June 1990 with an northbound MGR working.


Click here for the full image (75kb) Before its emergence as a celebrity locomotive (see below), 56006 passes Melton Ross on 17 July 1997 with an eastbound train of oil tanks.


Click here for the full image (79kb) In a scene which is reminiscent of the early days of the class 56006 passes Brocklesby Junction with an empty MGR from Scunthorpe to Immingham.  This was actually taken on 7 July 2003 and the locomotive is in BR blue livery after a repaint funded by Locomaster Profiles to appear in one of their video programmes.  Because of a locomotive shortage EWS reinstated the blue Grid and there is no doubt that it is one of the more popular members of the class (perhaps even among the operators as repairs were sanctioned after a minor bump in September 2003).


Click here for the full image (49kb) 56018 is stabled outside Thornaby Depot on 11 May 1985.


Click here for the full image (60kb) By the summer of 2003 only two Romanian built Grids were left in traffic, 56006 (see above) and this one, 56018.  On 9 July 2003 the locomotive passes Marske with the 6F69 1055 Middlesbrough Goods - Boulby empty rock salt hoppers, traffic which transferred to Class 60 and 66 haulage in the autumn of that year.


Click here for the full image (49kb) 56025 passes Melton Ross with the 6D66 1520 Immingham - Doncaster Enterprise service on 22 May 2001.


Click here for the full image (46kb) 56027 is stabled at Barrow Hill depot on 28 July 1984.  On this day there were 10 Grids on the depot (along with 5 Class 20s and 1 Class 08 shunter).


Click here for the full image (65kb) 56027 passes Worksop on 22 May 2001 with an eastbound loaded MGR service.


Click here for the full image (45kb) 56028 is seen running westbound light through Nottingham station on 10 April 1985.


Click here for the full image (70kb) 56032 passes the closed station at Brocklesby with an Immingham - Scunthorpe loaded MGR service on 7 July 2003.  These trains, closely associated with Grids in recent years, were expected to go over to Class 66 haulage during October 2003 when new HTA hoppers were introduced, thus removing another area of work for the Class.


Click here for the full image (68kb) 56037 is seen near Curthwaite in Cumbria on 8 September 2003 with the 6E79 MO 1115 Workington - Tees Yard containerised chemicals freight.


Click here for the full image (66kb) 56038 passes Milton, just east of Brampton station in Cumbria, with the 6E62 1652 Carlisle - Tees Dock Enterprise service on 9 July 2003.


Click here for the full image (77kb) 56055 approaches Eaglescliffe station on 1 August 2000 with a southbound MGR service.


Click here for the full image (50kb) 56060+56083 (which I think was DIT) passes Corbridge with the 6E62 1652 Carlisle - Tees Dock Enterprise service on 11 September 2003.