Direct Rail Services Class 57 No. 57309 'Pride of Crewe'stands in the platform 1 sidings at Carlisle wearing DRS Compass livery at 17:01 on Monday 13th October 2014. Built by Brush Traction, Loughborough on 21 February 1966 as as D1931, it was renumbered to 47254 inder the TOPS sceme, then to 47651 on 4 July 1986, then to 47806 on 19 July 1989 and finally rebuilt as Class 57 57309 in June 2003.
The Class 57 is a re-engineered locomotive, rebuilt by Brush Traction, Loughborough between 1998 and 2004 from redundant Class 47 locomotives. The locomotives are fitted with a refurbished EMD engine, Class 56 traction motors and a reconditioned alternator, improving reliability and performance. Three variants exist, one for freight and two for passenger operations. Each cost £300,000, about one-third that of a new build locomotive.
The class has its origins in 1997 when Freightliner ordered an initial six locomotives. In 2001, a prototype locomotive was converted with electric train heating, with a view to obtaining orders from passenger companies.
DRS took 57302, 57305 and 57309 from Porterbrook in April 2012 on a three year lease. Since December 2012, Direct Rail Services have provided haulage for Virgin Trains. As part of the deal another three 57/3s were leased. In July 2014, DRS took over the leases of the remaining six 57/3s from Network Rail. West Coast Railway Company took over another six, 57313 to 57316 and 57601.