The AC Locomotive Group is the UK's only dedicated AC electric locomotive preservation society. It currently has nine AC locomotives in its care, numbers 81002, 82008, 83012, 85101, 86101, 86401, 87002, 89001.
In 1996, Pete Waterman, who had purchased the sole surviving examples of AC electric classes 81, 82, 83 and 85, put his entire fleet of locomotives for sale. The AC Locomotive Group formed with the intention of purchasing all four machines. This was accomplished in June 1997, and three of the four locomotives were moved to Barrow Hill Roundhouse in December 1998, with the fourth joining them in early 2000. Also between 2000 & 2008, the group took 84001 on loan from the National Railway Museum, and this loco was subsequently given a major cosmetic overhaul following a long period stored in the open.
In 2002, the leasing company HSBC Rail UK placed Class 86, 86213, on loan to the group at Barrow Hill, while in 2004 the group purchased its first Class 86 outright - 86401. The same year, GNER placed their unique Class 89, 89001, into the group's care following closure of part of Doncaster Works where it had been stored out of use.
In 2005 the group was honoured by the naming of Class 87 locomotive, no 87002, as "The AC Locomotive Group". This loco was, at the time, owned by Porterbrook Leasing and painted in their purple colour scheme, and later became the last Class 87 to haul a passenger train in regular service. Also in 2005, the group formally purchased 86213 and also loco 86101.
At the end of 2006 GNER put 89001 up for sale, and following a high-profile appeal, the group successfully purchased the loco for preservation. Finally, in 2008, the group was able to acquire the loco that carried their name, 87002, for preservation.
In February 2016, 86213 was sold for export to Bulgaria.
The group made great strides to restore electrical equipment in their early locos; early successes included the restoration of auxiliary equipment (including cooling fans) in locos 82008 and 83012. In 2006, 81002 was completed electrically to a condition where it could be powered up from the overhead wires. All three Class 86s in the fleet have been made operational: 86101 was restored to mainline condition in 2006-2007, hauling its first charter train in March 2007, and subsequently going on hire to Hull Trains for four months in early 2008; 86213 saw use as a shunter and training loco at Wembley depot; 86401 is maintained for duties similar to 86213.
Most locomotives in the collection have received full cosmetic overhauls since acquisition, with both 82008 and 85101 receiving "fictitious" makeovers for various periods.
The group currently has three mainline-registered locomotives 86101, 86401 and 87002.