Preservation News (2014)
47401 will be working four round trips at MRB this coming Saturday. Departure times from Butterley at 11:10, 12:30, 14:10 and 15:30.

Following Railex, the loco has had a quieter few weeks (as no longer the only available diesel loco), but did play a supporting role at the recent English Electric themed diesel gala (20/21 September) with visitors 31465 and 97301.

The coming weekend (16th/17th August) is the MR-B's Railex event, including model railway exhibitions and trade stands, plus various locos running on the full size railway. 47401 will be top and tailing with Class 31 No. 31271, and Class 25 top and tailing with steam on the other rake. Trains run all day including Butterley-Swanwick shuttles to take people to and from the event as well as some full round trips.

47401 also had a couple of extra runs on 2nd/3rd August, just one round trip per day helping out with "Jinty's Big Weekend". The following weekend saw 401 taking a break and the team instead attacking D1516's rotten cab floors which are now stripped down to metal ready for repairing and new timber to be fitted. Good to see some activity on "17" again!

A selection of pictures from 4th July now added to the East Lancs Gallery Page.

401 will be out again this coming weekend, but please note, not full diagrams and shared with steam, all part of the services for MRB's Indie Tracks music festival.

After returning to service last weekend completing the rostered two round trips on the Saturday and four on the Sunday, 47401 will be out again this coming weekend all day on both days top and tailing 46233 "Duchess of Sutherland".

UPDATE 9th JULY 2014
47401 returned safely home from the East Lancs on 8th July after what was not our most successful weekend. The loco ran well on the Friday of the event but suffered a burst radiator element on the Friday evening resulting in major coolant loss. Repairs undertaken at Bury on the Saturday were only partially successful and so 401 did not run again at the event.

Further repair work is being effected this week and if completed in time the loco will be running both days this coming weekend 12th/13th July (1960s Gala) and also both days the following weekend 19th/20th July (top and tail with "Duchess" 46233 again).

47401 is now at the East Lancashire Railway, having arrived safely at Bury on the evening of 1st July together with 47580, 31271 and 31466 (47580 providing the motive power for the Carnforth-Lydney-Butterley-Bury light engine move). Another running day was squeezed in at Butterley on 28th June prior to the move (the only available steam loco was needed for a wedding train so the only available diesel worked the regular service train). We now look forward to a weekend of running at the East Lancs (this coming weekend 4th/5th/6th July). We have started a new picture gallery page which includes some photos of the transit move and will hopefully be updated with more photos after the weekend.

47401 will be running both days this weekend at Butterley. It's split diesel and steam running, so only half a diagram per day this time.

As readers may have seen advertised in the railway press, subject to availability and the usual fitness to run examinations, we will be attending this three day diesel gala at East Lancashire Railway next month, so for those who missed 47401 and 47402's reunion at Butterley in 2012 here is another chance!


47401 will be working in top and tail mode with 46233 "Duchess of Sutherland" all day on both days this weekend. Apologies for the short notice, but we have only just been asked by the MR-B.

The running days are part of a 1940s event held at the West Shed (so only about 20 years too early for BR blue). Details of the event are

All went well during the Bank Holiday Weekend Vintage Train event. 47401 was hauling the Mark 1 stock on, with the vintage carriages steam hauled. At short notice we got an extra running day on the Monday as well as the advertised Sunday turn.


Loco performed fine, no problems reported!

How time flies!  A quick check of the website showed the last update was five months ago! So what’s happened? After returning from our weekend out at the NVR, a lot of not very exciting (but necessary) winter tasks have been undertaken. Amongst other things, we have acquired some air tanks purchased from a scrap 47 to go in 401 when time permits.  Also, we had arranged some while ago to swap the ‘International’ type buffers fitted to 47761 for the round type more applicable to the class in their original form. This was finally carried out over the winter, 761 proudly sporting its new-old buffers, despite the fact that the loco is succumbing slowly as it donates invaluable parts to support its older sisters.  Thanks go to the third parties concerned who assisted us with these jobs too – your help was much appreciated gents.

Other menial tasks have been attended to – things that don’t affect the locomotive's ability to perform on running days so get left for the winter layover. New switches for old, or a new seal or gasket here and there. Cleaning up a gauge or replacing it entirely for instance, or checking and changing contactor tips - working weekends soon evaporate on tasks that generally go unnoticed!

Attention has also focused on the cab floor at No.2 end of 401 which has recently been treated to new cab floor metalwork and wooden floor boarding. The area immediately adjacent to the doors had succumbed badly to rust, and so these areas were replaced.  As a conduit passed through this area, the wiring had to be removed, the metal conduit replaced and then the wiring made good thereafter, adding significantly to the project timescale. The metal work exposed has been thoroughly de-scaled and then coated in rust converter followed by undercoat and top coat to try to create a repair that will last.  The wooden floor boards were either rotted or missing entirely, so the entire floor has been replaced with new Keruing boards, planks of which have been cut and carved with an impressive degree of precision. The floor was in place for our running day in March (more on that later) and although only dropped in loosely looked a massive improvement, the finish of it making the final covering of lino seem like a pity – as the hard work will be hidden from view.  The main thing we enjoyed is not having to wrench the doors open with shoulder-jarring force for a change!  The next week will see the boards fixed in place and when we find the lino we want it will receive that too. While the team is in the mood to exercise their woodworking skills it is planned to tackle both of 417's cabs prior to the No.1 end of 401 as the latter would interfere with potential running days over the summer period.

The MR-B had offered us a running weekend over the 22nd and 23rd of March, which we gladly accepted and prepared the loco accordingly. Sadly the first trip went as badly as it reasonably could, the ultimate cause of 401’s demise on the day being contactor GZ.  Our return to depot was made silently, courtesy of 73129 (the kettle – not the ED). With the fault rectified and the ignominy of being returned to the MPD ‘dead in train’ only a little faded, we re-joined our diagram on the last trip – from which point 401 performed faultlessly.  This continued through the two allocated trips on the following day and we were at least able to retire and lick our wounds having completed one trouble-free day! 

The summer will be a busy one as ever, and 401 permitting, will hopefully give us chance to really focus on 417 and make some more progress on the ‘forgotten Generator’.

401 Photo Gallery Page has been updated here, with pics of recent cab floor refurbishment. In addition we have kindly been supplied with some photos of 401 in its BR career and have started a new section here for these. More photos of 401 and 417 welcome for this page, please supply electronically in JPG format (and make sure it's your own photo or you have permission from the copyright owner before sending for publication!)

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