Preservation Story 1990-1994

Long before any Class 31s were offered for sale , it was decided by a shareholders ballot that un-refurbished 31162 was the one we would aim for. 31162 was in excellent condition mechanically although quite the opposite with regards to the bodywork. This was not however seen as a problem as a body overhaul was planned anyway , and the loco had the bonus of a semi-complete boiler together with wiring and pipework in place. As a result of being fitted with 31243’s bogies not long before withdrawal , 162 had superb tyre sizes……..however problems with ridges on the flanges would have to be addressed later.

31162 at Barnetby returning from Doncaster to Immingham following weekend engineering work..03/92.

31184 & 31162 embedded in the ballast in Claypole Down Loop on 17/06/91.

It was nearly ‘ all over ‘ when on 16th June 1991 whilst working a Ballast train in multi with 31184 , the leading loco ( 31184 ) had a SPAD and resultant trap run-through in Claypole Down Loop. 31184’s buffers rode up and became embedded in 31162’s No 2 end. 31184 became completely derailed whilst 31162’s No 2 end bogie also derailed all wheels. Fortunately there were no injuries to the crew and both locos were recovered and repaired ( except 31162’s front end damage ! )

Regular contact was made with Inter-City Infrastructure at York ( 31162’s Sector ) to establish when she would be retired from service. Planned to come out of traffic in May 1992 , a major hurdle had to be overcome. British Rail had never sold a Class 31 for re-use before and they weren’t too keen now either. In the meantime however 31162 was withdrawn from traffic on 18th May 1992 being replaced in the weekend only pool by refurbished 31294 from Crewe.

31162’s u/s bogies now underneath withdrawn 31243 standing at Immingham inbetween an FPCI class 47

and now preserved 47402. 03/91

31162 at Stallingboro ( Light Rly ) on her final outing from Immingham on 08/05/92 hauling 31511 , 31230 & 31247 to Doncaster. She was stored upon arrival back at Immingham on 11/05/92. 31162 undercover in the C&W Shed at Imm following withdrawal ‘ not to be robbed ‘ ! May 1993.
31162 stands at the fuelling point at Immingham . June 1993. 31162 stands ‘running’ adjacent to replacement 31294 . Sept 1993.
Heavily robbed 31212 stands at Frodingham awaiting removal for scrapping. Stablemate 31221 also at Frodingham awaiting the call to Glasgow for breaking.

Following withdrawal , 31162 was stored at Immingham along with fellow un-refurbished ‘sisters’ 31212 , 31221 , 31223 & 31249 although with assistance from ‘key’ staff at Imm , 31162 benefited from undercover storage whilst the others were dumped and heavily robbed.162 was regularly run-up approximately every 2 weeks and it was not uncommon to see her running around the depot on a Sunday afternoon ! In the meantime however , much persuasion was going on to actually get BR to put 162 up for sale…….something that they eventually did in late 1993. Up for sale with 31101 , 31123 , 31234 , 31286 & 31305 , our 31162 was offered as lot no 060. We made a handsome bid and were informed soon after to our delight that we’d been successful…….!

31162 has a breather in the sun outside the shed at IM on 12/07/92.

We had already found a home for 31162 at The Midland Railway Centre ( a fine engineering base with fantastic facilities and main-line connected ) so it was a simple case of getting her there……er no !! Unfortunately the loco had to be inspected for asbestos presence and to enable this to happen , she had to be lifted. To our relief , nothing was found so once back on the ground arrangements were made to move 31162 to her new home.

31162 on the jacks at Immingham awaiting asbestos examination. The loco underframe and bogies were also steam cleaned …..! 03/01/94.

RfD were contacted who gave us an excellent quote so the date was set to Tues 11th Jan 1994 for the move to Butterley via Toton for tyre turning. During 162’s final few months in service various reports of ‘ wheel flats’ were reported but no evidence was found , however a small step was discovered between the tyre surface and the flange. This was suspected to have been the result of ‘poor’ tyre -turning at Doncaster Carr Loco a few weeks previous and was causing the flanges to ‘ jump’ slightly on RH curves and give the indication of a wheel flat. We therefore decided to have the tyres re-profiled at Toton .

On Thurs 6th Jan 1994 , 31162 was driven into the maintenance shed at IM for an A exam prior to an ultrasonic axle test and on Tues 11th Jan she moved to Toton as planned hauled by 47296. Tyre-turning completed , 37131 hauled her the small final distance to Butterley on Fri 14th Jan for her new life in preservation.

31162 on no 4 Road at IM having an ‘A exam’ 0100hrs 06/01/94 ! Clearly visible in this photo is the collision damage received in Claypole Down Loop.