Last surviving BR Class 71 cosmetically restored at Locomotion

Photos: Locomotion

The last surviving British Rail Class 71 has been cosmetically restored by a team of staff and volunteers at Locomotion in Shildon, County Durham.

The electric locomotive, E5001, was used in the Southern Region of British Railways and was built in Doncaster in 1958 as part of British Rail’s Modernisation Plan. The engine remained in service for almost two decades before being withdrawn in 1977.

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Anthony Coulls, Senior Curator of Rail Transport and Technology at the National Railway Museum said: “The Class 71 restoration gives a new look to an old favourite from the collection.

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“In British Railways green livery for over 40 years, it is now exhibited in the condition in which it finished work in the 1970s and takes pride of place at Locomotion where it is coupled to the Wagon Lits carriage alongside the steam loco ‘Winston Churchill’ – an interesting contrast between steam and its electric successor.”

Visitors to Locomotion will be able to see the lovingly restored electric locomotive when the museum reopens to the public on May 19.

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Sam Hewitt