Preservation Story 2002 – Present Day

Unfortunately due to time constraints , it was not possible to renew the turbo in time for her launch so the oil was changed again , just in case……..! The AGM of 2002 took place at Swanwick and following the meeting , 31271 made her first runs on a passenger train in preservation. With the turbo seized , she was certainly producing some clag from ‘ A ‘ bank exhaust and was slightly down in power as a result. On the second run up the hill from Riddings , whilst under full power a surge was noted and the amps increased slightly. To our relief , the troublesome turbo had freed itself as quick as it had seized ! ,the guard reporting that a large ‘ lump ‘ of carbon shot out of the exhaust at ‘ the moment ‘…! 31271’s turbochargers have given no more problems to date. The following day 271 went on to complete a faultless 5 return trips of the line on the service train.

31271 runs-round at Hammersmith in order to work the 1648 train to Riddings..20/04/02 photo S Harvey

We really needed to be getting on with repairing the bodywork in readiness for a repaint but due to a lack of space in the shed , this unfortunately had to be postponed . 271 in the meantime settled in nicely , and performed reliably over various running days working 19 round trips over the year. Still with its appalling bodywork , we received an invite to attend the MHR Gala in May 2003…., the organiser being only too pleased with its condition !!

31271 finally entered the shed for overdue attention to bodywork in January 2004. We had a deadline for 31271, as she would be appearing at the prestigious ‘ Railfest ‘ at the National Railway Museum at York in May 2004 and would be named !! Over a few days , all the skirting , rad shutters , louvres , nose end doors , fan cowling etc were removed for shotblasting / repair and painting. Over the next few months , 30 pieces of corroded steelwork were cut out and replaced….There were holes everywhere… in the roof , window frames , door frames and the usual non-existent nose door bases ! Luckily the cab doors were aluminium so that was a job saved ! All the handrail recesses were renewed as well as the cab side on no 1 end secondmans side which was badly damaged following a body-side scrape at some point. The traction motor blower removable panel at no 1 end had also disintegrated so this was 75% rebuilt also.

Finally in the shed , bodywork is repaired , prepared and primed.. Swanwick.. 21/02/04

A couple of weeks later and real progress is being made….not far off now ! .. 08/03/04

The bodywork was steadily filled , rubbed down and primed and all the repaired / painted panels gradually refitted. The radiator shutters on both sides had to be repaired with new fins as a result of damage at Toton. Final painting took place only the week before the York event and some parts of the loco were still wet on the morning of departure ! She looked fantastic and once again a credit to all those who gave up their time……..

‘Ex works’ , 31271 stands over a pit during the transit exam for movement over Network Rail to the

‘Railfest’ event at York ..20/05/04

It was decided not to fit the snowploughs for the York event but these were added prior to the Keighley Gala soon following York. 31271 has proven to be an extremely reliable machine and has performed superbly on all dates. The only problem we have had is a micro switch ‘ not making ‘ and preventing power on the 2003 pre-season exam , a minor reverser fault , and a dodgy sounding horn at No 1 end ( which remained for some time by popular request for its novelty value !! ) Like 31108 , 31271 has received attention to 2 sets of traction motor suspension bolts.