In an earlier album titled _BR Diesel Locomotives in Preservation_ Fred Kerr detailed the many classes of BR diesel locomotives that had been preserved and noted that some purchases had been made with the hope of operating them on the national network. The Railways Bill 1993 provided an opportunity for this to happen and this album shows such locomotives at work during the early part of the 21st century upto December 2016\. During this period many new train operators entered the market and their early operations used elderly locomotives withdrawn from service by their original operators until their business(es) were established and new locomotives could be bought. On occasion these new companies were prepared to hire preserved locomotives with main line access to service short-term contracts and these, mainly freight, services provided much of the variety of locomotive operations that offset the increasing sight of multiple unit train services that epitomise the modern railway.
The author has chosen to consider heritage traction as any locomotive older than twenty years, which therefore includes electric locomotives but excludes those of that age which are still operated by their owners as at April 1 1994 when British Railways (BR) was privatised. This results in the Class 59 fleet being excluded because its ownership has been constant but the Class 60 fleet being included because of purchases by Colas Railfreight after that date.
Fred Kerr was born in Edinburgh in 1948 where he gained an interest in railway locomotives from both the LMSR and LNER companies whose services permeated the local network. When his parents moved to Corby in 1956 the interest in railway locomotives continued and included the diesel locomotives that increasingly appeared at Kettering from the late 1950s. The sightings increased his interest and during the 1960s he travelled widely throughout the UK observing the various designs centred within specific areas. In the late 1970s his interest in Diesel Traction led to his involvement with the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group and its preservation of 'Hymek' Class 35 D7017 - the first diesel preservation scheme to be funded by public subscription. The subsequent growth of Heritage Lines and the preservation of diesel traction re-kindled his interest in the earlier diesel designs, and during this century, retirement has given him renewed opportunities to visit the many Heritage Lines where diesel traction can be both viewed and sampled.