A PAIR of Class 55 ‘Deltic’ locomotives, Nos. 55022 Royal Scots Grey and D9016 Gordon Highlander, put up for sale last month by businessman owner Martin Walker have been bought by a company called Locomotive Diesels Ltd, whose director is multi-millionaire Jeremy Hosking.
Mr Hosking – listed on the Sunday Times rich list – already owns, through a number of companies and trusts, more than a dozen steam locomotives from the ‘Big Four’, several of them prestigious including A4 No. 60019 Bittern, LMS 4-6-0 No. 46100 Royal Scot, No. 70000 Britannia, ‘King’ No. 6023 King Edward I and A2 No. 60532 Blue Peter, as well as ‘Peak’ No. D100 Sherwood Forrester. Mr Hosking is also a shareholder of Crystal Palace football club and has a one-third stake in the Dartmouth Steam Railway plc.
In a statement, former owner Mr Walker said: “As many are aware, the last few years have not been easy for myself and small team, both maintaining No. 55 022 and restoring D9016. Since leaving the East Lancashire Railway I’ve not being in a position to make the most of many kind offers of assistance made.
“I have stated that I would love to hear from anyone with the necessary resources and passion who may be interested in taking over and what I believe is a fantastic opportunity for the best interests of both locos has arisen.
“This will involve myself and highly experienced support crew continuing to be involved in all aspects of maintenance, operation and restoration joining together with a highly skilled engineering team and access to facilities that are second to none within the field of rail preservation.
“A price has been agreed which I consider is a realistic amount, truly reflecting the historical value of Royal Scots Grey and Gordon Highlander which includes all spare parts, components and consumables. This will see both locos move to Crewe Diesel Depot over the next few weeks under the ownership of Locomotive Diesels Ltd, a division of Locomotive Services Ltd.
Mr Walker added: “The new owner has a desire to ensure that both locomotives are returned to full operation as soon as possible and that the locos are maintained and operated in the best possible condition.
“ The royalscotsgrey.com website and 55 022 Facebook pages will remain unchanged and future news should still be available via these and other avenues. Finally, I’d like to thank all for their support in whatever way over the last 14 years and look forward to still being involved with 22 and 16 and the exciting times ahead.”
More in the January issue of The Railway Magazine.
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