Preservation News (2020)

YEAR END UPDATE 30/12/2020
First update for a long time, but we just wanted to let everyone know we are still alive and kicking, and that work has continued on 47401 in between lockdowns. No running days to report in 2020 (what a contrast to the record breaking 2019!) - the first year for almost two decades that 401 has not run.

The majority of work since the last update has been on the roof. The top part of the centre section has now been made solid and complete again with all rot removed and fresh steel welded in.


Some of the remaining work in that regard includes welding in a new section of the badly corroded silencer cover frame on the roof (old section already cut out and new one fabricated), re-attaching the guttering and then filling, flatting, painting etc.

Next on the roof agenda after the centre section is the boiler room - perhaps in the worst condition of the whole lot.

As the exhaust silencer had begun to leak quite badly into the engine compartment, it was decided to bite the bullet and get this repaired before the next running season. This has been one of the main areas of work in the last month or two.

The silencer has been lifted out and work is well underway on repairing the internal structure of both the silencer itself and the well in which it sits - both have suffered pretty spectacularly from tin worm.

Meanwhile the engine room has been having a spruce-up, with a lot of cleaning and painting going on.

The aim is to be operational by springtime next year - theoretically when the railway is reopening to the public.

Fund raising by the sales department has continued throughout and we've now reached the point of having a much healthier financial situation after a fairly intensive selling period (model railways being one of the great "stay at home" hobbies so sales have been strong during the lockdown periods).

Wishing you all a healthy and a more hopeful 2021!

Kind regards,

The 47401 Project Team


Welcome to our first update of 2020, and unfortunately it's a very grim one. Owing to the ongoing Corona Virus pandemic precaution, all  members and supporters should please note that until further notice MIDLAND RAILWAY BUTTERLEY IS NOW CLOSED TO VISITORS.

This will of course drastically reduce the number of running days that 47401 will have in 2020. Also we are sure you will all understand that volunteers on the loco will be reducing their attendance for the time being in line with government advice on unnecessary travel and minimising social contact. Only essential jobs will be carried out, plus making sure the loco and the site is secure.

On a happier note we ca
n report that much good progress has been made over the winter. Some extracts below from our regular volunteer's diary will hopefully give an impression of life at the coalface!

Roof repairs are ongoing with the first piece of new steel welded into place, eventually when all the new plate is welded on the new gutter will be welded on to this to complete the upper side of that roof section. The stripping of number one end cab is now at an advanced stage with just part of the desk and a few other little bits to finish before a heavy sand and some primer being put on.

After what seems like an eternity (15 days in reality over the course of 3 months) the cab refurb has progressed to the point where paint has finally been applied to the roof sections. The next section of metal has been cut out on the engine room roof and the area behind has been cleaned back and primed. Inside the engine room a start has been made to scrape and degrease the power unit to a point where primer has now been applied.

Not too much to report this weekend as a couple of the guys have been helping on the permanent way, as for the rest of us more cleaning in the engine room and number one cab has been fully primed bar the instrument panel.

This weekend has mainly seen undercoat being applied to number one end cab and more cutting, grinding and welding to the roof.

Well, more of the same this weekend the cab has been fully undercoated bar the horn access hatch and some of the removed cab panels as well. A wiper motor on the secondman's side in number one end cab has been changed for an overhauled one, this was because the old one was blowing oil on to the window. There has been plenty more grinding and welding on the roof. A little piece of history was found during the cleaning of the cab a few weeks ago, one of the cooker support arms was marked 1E 1736, this became 47143.

This weekend has mainly consisted of 2 days getting high on rail grey gloss fumes in number one end cab which is complete except for round the windscreens. The power unit has seen further cleaning and primer plus more roof repairs and various cab fittings have been cleaned back to bare metal ready for priming next week.

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