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Railhub Archive
1999-03-15 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator


EWS Code of Practice for the disposal of surplus locomotives

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Office of the Rail Regulator

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Office of the Rail Regulator

EWS Code of Practice for the disposal of surplus locomotives

15 March 1999
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/99/06

English Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS) has today published a Code of Practice which sets out the company’s approach to the future disposal of surplus locomotives. The Rail Regulator, Chris Bolt, asked EWS to produce a Code following a complaint made by Fragonset Railways on 18 June 1998. The Regulator’s key concern was that EWS might be placing a restriction on the future use of locomotives by specifying sale for scrap purposes only.

Commenting on the new Code of Practice, Chris Bolt, the Rail Regulator said:

"Rail users will benefit if redundant locomotives are released to those who have a potential future use for them. Where this resale market exists, I expect EWS to offer locomotives for sale in accordance with their Code and not simply to scrap them. If they do not do so, I will take further action."

The Code of Practice developed under the guidance of the Regulator seeks to address in an open and transparent way how EWS intends to manage its unused fleet and undertake disposal of locomotives identified as surplus to requirements. A key undertaking included within the Code are that EWS will allocate unused locomotives into groups according to service condition for future use or for component recovery. Locomotives surplus to requirements, and therefore available for sale, will be identifiable by allocation to a separate category. These locomotives will be advertised periodically by general advertisement in the railway industry trade journals, and sales will take place by open competitive tender, without restrictions as to future use.


EWS has agreed to provide quarterly data to the Office of the Rail Regulator, enabling the Regulator to monitor the movement of locomotives between groupings. EWS will also be required to provide demand forecasts for locomotives held for future use or component recovery, and lack of movement over time out of these categories of stock will require explanation as to why demand did not meet previous forecasts.

The Rail Regulator accepts that EWS will quite reasonably continue to have a requirement to retain locomotives for its own expansion and for contingency purposes, and will require other locomotives as a source of spares. It may also be feasible that, although redundant locomotives become available, no resale market exists beyond the scrap value of the asset, and EWS must be able to make a decision in this instance based on its own commercial logic.

The Rail Regulator seeks comments from interested parties as to whether the Code of Practice, and the supporting monitoring commitment by the Regulator, has adequately addressed key industry concerns.

Note for editors:

On 18 June 1998 Fragonset Railways made a complaint to the Office of the Rail Regulator regarding EWS policy on the disposal of redundant locomotives, their concern being that EWS was placing a restriction on the future use of some locomotives by specifying sale for scrap purposes only. Fragonset is a company interested in purchasing locomotives for operational use.

On receipt of the complaint, the Regulator wrote to EWS asking for an explanation of its processes and criteria for disposal. Following this inquiry, the Regulator invited EWS to develop a Code of Practice setting out its policy on the future disposal of locomotives surplus to operational requirements.

The Code of Practice can be found on the EWS website at

PRESS ENQUIRIES : EWS Press Office - Andy Saunders 0171 713 2486 or Andy Lickfold 0171 713 2493

ORR Press Office - 0171 282 2007/2002
Out of office hours - Pager 0941 148521

Railhub Archive ::: 1999-03-15 ORR-001


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