Waiting for my train to Birmingham on Thursday, I was more than little surprised to see a Class 31 diesel run light engine through the middle roads.
As I wrote in the excellent, Modelling British Railways Diesel Locomotives,
"Although changes in traffic, not least the move to multiple unit passengers trains, have led to the withdrawal of many members of the class, some soldier on with private operators and Network Rail's own trains. "
which it appears is true. According to www.railuk.info, the loco belongs to Hanson Traction Locos and live at the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway.
It's quite a survivor, being built in April 1960. Most of its contemporaries have long since gone for scrap. 31 601 soldiers on, a relic from when real railways were more interesting.
Years ago, I suggested to a friend who works in a senior position at Virgin Trains, that when I come to power, control of railways will be handed over to people recruited from the ends of station platforms. He wasn't impressed by this idea as apparently it would result in Class 31s being stuck on heavy trains all the time. Well, the 31s are still around, they just need a train...