Built at Crewe works as part of lot E504, Class 45 No. 45149 (then D135) entered traffic in January 1962 at Derby Shed. The original livery was green with a white stripe on the lower body side and small yellow panels. It was transferred to Cricklewood in June 1964 and Toton from May 1966.
When new the class were used to supplant steam on the Midland Main line (St. Pancras - Sheffield - Leeds), later replacing Jubilees, Royal Scots and ex-LNER Pacifics on the Leeds - Glasgow, Liverpool - Newcastle and Newcastle - Bristol services.
In 1973 the St. Pancras - Sheffield services went over from steam heat to electric heat stock and D135 was one of 50 locomotives selected to have its steam heat boiler replaced with electric heat apparatus utilising a Brush BL100-30 ETH auxiliary alternator. It was the penultimate loco dealt with and with this came renumbering in the 45/1 series as 45149. By this time it had received dual brakes (air and vacuum) and blue livery with yellow ends. A further modification was the replacing of the original centre split headcodes with flush ends by the end of 1976.
A general overhaul programme was instituted at Crewe and Derby to extend the lives of the 45/1s until HSTs could take over their Midland Main line duties. 45149 was dealt with during 1979. However, the HSTs took over before the overhaul programme could be completed and a new use for the 45/1s was found on the Trans-Pennine duties. Unfortunately reliability was poor and Class 150 Sprinters displaced the 45s during 1987. This resulted in many casualties and locos concerned were towed to March depot for storage awaiting further work, which never materialised. Some were sold for preservation but the majority were scrapped at MC Metals in Glasgow.
45149 escaped this cull and lasted long enough to allow Tinsley depot to adorn it with the unofficial name Phaeton. It was withdrawn in September 1987 with a traction motor defect, a year before the end of class 45 operation on BR, and was parked at Cricklewood for a long period before being towed to Leicester and offered for sale. There was competition for its purchase but Pete Waterman was successful becoming its new owner in 1993. It was moved to Heysham for safe storage and then to Crewe Heritage Centre in 1994 minus its power unit. No restoration work was carried out.
The locomotive was eventually offered for sale late in the autumn of 1996 and was purchased by the Cotswold Mainline Diesel Group. A programme of restoration is now taking place with much already achieved - see the restoration news pages for information on the locos’ return to service..