The first group to acquire a Class 31 for private preservation when we purchased 31162 from BR in 1993. The loco was in full working order but extensive bodywork rebuilding was necessary – completed in 1998.
The first (and to date only) Class 31 to have its steam heating boiler reinstated. The ‘Spanner Mk1’ boiler (formerly carried by 31225) was re-commissioned in early 1999 following overhaul and insurance testing.
31108 rebuilt to full working order from scrap condition – major overhaul undertaken 1998-2000
31271 rebuilt to full working order from scrap condition – major overhaul undertaken 2001-2004
The first known Class 31 to work over the ex LSWR ‘Watercress line’ between Alton and Alresford when 31162 (as 5580) attended the April 2002 Mid-Hants Railway Diesel Gala.
Reliable operation at a variety of private railways and preservation centres since 1994. Attendance at open weekends, gala events and ‘extended working visits’ to the Nene Valley , North Norfolk & South Devon Railways.
Twinning of 31271 with Stratford depot through naming the loco ‘STRATFORD 1840-2001’ at the National Railway Museums ‘Railfest 200′ event, 31/05/2004. Naming ceremony performed by the president of the Great Eastern Railway Society’.
The first known Class 31 to haul a passenger train into Minehead station and the first privately owned Class 31 to work over the West Somerset Railway (31271 WSR Diesel Gala, May 2005)
31123 (D5541) acquired in late summer 2005 as an essential source of spare parts, putting the long term future of A1A locomotives fleet of four engines onto a very secure footing.
Replacement power unit installed in 31418, our fourth loco and longer term restoration project. Replacement bogie from spares loco 31123 fitted in February 2007.