On February 19th 2012 GBRf liveried 73206 and 204 heading a train from the Thameslink worksite at Cricklewood. 73141 and 73213 are on the rear.
The humble class 73's have now been serving the railway for 50 years since the first JA arrived on southern metals in 1962. Despite having reached their half century mark many of the locos are still hard at work hauling trains just as they were designed to do. Since 2005 when 4 locomotives were overhauled by GB Railfreight the class have become common on weekend engineering trains across the former Southern region. As well as their core work on the SR the class have also found uses slightly further afield- often due to their narrow body design which permits the class to travel on lines barred to larger locomotives. It is for this reason that in early 2012 class 73's have found extensive use on engineering jobs in the Thameslink tunnels- where loading restrictions only permit class 31, 33 and 73 hauled trains.
On March 10th 2012 GBRf 's 73208 (in BR blue) and 73212 (in ex-first group colours) lead a loaded train from Cricklewood back towards the Thameslink tunnels through West Hampstead Thameslink .
Over 5 weeks GBRf has provided up to four pairs of locos for the trains which enter the tunnel from the northern end with wagons being marshalled at Cricklewood. The large requirement for locomotives has seen many of the more interesting 'ED's hired in to supplement GBRf's own fleet on these trains.
March 10th saw both ex-SWT 73109 and 73136 hired to supplement the GBRf fleet. The locos are seen stabled at Kentish Town.
73201 and 73107 were two further hired in locos working on 10th March 2012. The pair of ED's from RT rail are seen leading a spoil train out of the worksite between Kentish town and West Hampstead Thameslink.
The complete train of hired in locomotives- 73201 'Broadlands', 73107 'Redhill 1844-1994', 73136 'Perseverance' and 73109 'Battle of Britain 50th anniversary' trundle towards Cricklewood station.