03/07/2004 – 11/07/2004 East Lancashire Railway

The visit of 31271 became the fourth time we had graced the ELR Diesel Gala with one of our engines and with 31271 arriving at Bury over a week early , we were slotted into the Saturday roster and given the service train along the railway on 3rd July including the newly opened Heywood line. As well as this , due to the lack of a serviceable steam loco , we were given the service train on the following day too…

31271 stands at Ramsbottom awaiting the’right away’ to Rawntenstall and then at the destination running-round.. 03/07/04

Thankfully no problems were encountered and we had 2 very enjoyable days.The ‘Ski Jump’ over the MetroLink is ‘ interesting ‘ however the climb from the other side up to Heywood is far more impressive , giving plenty of ‘ thrash ‘ for the many people on board. Following these running days , 31271’s air receiver certification expired so arrangements were made prior to attending the ELR to have them re-certified by our insurance company on site.

31271 stands next to stripped 31467 at Buckley Wells during air receiver examination..08/07/04

Just arrived from with a train from Rawtensatall are 31271 & 5600 (31435) at Bury ELR..10/07/04

The Gala itself was a 3 day event and with the Friday being ‘ Type 4 Day ‘ , 31271 didn’t appear until the Saturday and Sunday. Most runs were singular , which we like , although for operational reasons a loco was attached to the rear from Bury to Heywood to avoid ruuning round. This also had the benefit of making the train engine work hard , hauling load 8 as well as a dead loco on the back…! Other locos taking part were 31435 , 33117 , 37515 , 40135 , 40145 , 45041 , 45135 , 47769 , 47839 , 50007 and 2 Class 66s.An excellent event as ever and once again at the ELR , we were made very welcome. Just need to get there now with 31418 at some point …..! ! 31271 was returned to Butterley along with 45041 and the 50 on the Monday morning.