Purchased in December 1991 by the Class 50 Society, 50049 was in working order when withdrawn. The loco had a fair amount of work done at Laira by Society volunteers (later known as Project Defiance) before moving to Allied Steel & Wire at Cardiff for further work. After the initial restoration was concluded a home for the loco was  found at the West Somerset Railway.

In 2006 the members of Project Defiance and The Fifty Fund voted to merge their operations into one, and the Class 50 Alliance was born. 

The loco was registered for mainline operations and spent a lengthy period working in South Wales, as well as various tours nationwide with 50031 and 50044. 

50049 approaching Bewdley on the SVR. Photo: Kenny Felstead

The loco was taken out of traffic in 2013 following the discovery of leaking cylinder liners. A top end power unit rebuild was carried out, along with replacement of the ETH generator with an overhauled one. The loco should have re-entered traffic for the 2015 season, but unfortunately it was discovered that the main generator was giving very low readings and the decision was taken to replace it with an overhauled one. In short, we can ill afford such an expensive bang!

The power unit was lifted out on 1st May 2015, when fund volunteers achieved the unprecedented task of lifting it out, swapping the main generator, and putting it back in again - in a day. Even BR would never have done this. Days like this make you realise just what we can achieve here at the Fund. 

50049 made a welcome return to traffic in mid 2016, and work since then has concentrated on attending to a number of minor items that had been noted during the major work, and deferred until a more suitable time. 

50049 remains mainline registered, and is available for tour and contract work. 

50049 has it's power unit lifted out at Kidderminster. 1st May 2015. Photo: Dave Redbourne