The survival of Exeter happened somewhat against the odds. Having been moved to Stratford for stripping (and thus advertised as such) she was inspected as a possible spares donor for 50035, but found to be more or less intact. Purchased for a mere £5044 (plus vat) in November 1991, she was moved to St. Leonards. 

A poll of Fund Shareholders voted to cosmetically 'de-furbish' the loco to as near to as-built condition as practical. 

Out of traffic since 2012, 50044 was displayed at the 2016 SVR diesel gala. Photo: Unzi Paul

The loco was subsequently approved for mainline use, and saw extensive use in South Wales (along with 50031 and 50049). Unfortunately, whilst working a railtour in July 2012 the loco suffered a power unit failure. Following assessment the decision was made to purchase a power unit from a Portuguese 1800 class loco (very similar to a 50, and with the same basic engine) and transplant it into the loco. This has turned out to be a rather lengthy process, and work on other loco's has had to take priority in order to maintain our traffic requirements at the SVR. 

 

 

Work on restoring the loco to working order continues however, and the pile of bits around the loco grows smaller by the week! 

It is hoped that the loco may be in a fit state to start early in 2017, after which it will be recommissioned and tested before entering service. 

The loco is mainline registered.

 
Old (right) and new (left) power units on the floor in 25 shop at Brush. The task of transferring major components from the failed unit to the Portuguese replacement is largely complete at this stage. 14th Sept 2013. Photo: Tony Middleton