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Preservation News (2023)


We are delighted to announce that 47401 is scheduled to work the Santa Special services at the MR-B this season. We will be working in top and tail with the now resident steam loco 7063, No15 Eustace Forth.

Crew refresher training and test runs were successfully completed earlier this week, allowing '401 to be rostered on Santa Special trains for the remainder of the season, subject to ongoing servicability.

These events are for pre-booked visitors only, so please have a look at the link below and book your tickets whist they are still available!



Above: 47401 back inside the diesel shed awaiting traction motor covers, Oct 2023.

47401 was started up last week to perform some system tests. Barring a few minor air leaks for us to rectify, the loco is now another step closer to returning into traffic.

Having made the decision to move the locomotive back into the diesel shed for protection from the elements, the morning's task was to fix all 12 traction motor covers back into place following on from the motor clean - a job made slightly more difficult without an inspection pit underneath!

Once the covers were all back in place, '401 was then started up for power checks and system tests. The power unit fired up willingly and sustained on the first attempt.

Next steps now include fixing the afforementioned air leaks, and signing off crew competencies ready for operational duties on the loco.


Above: 47401 idles outside the diesel shed during testing, Aug 2023.

After a technical setback late last year, work has progressed steadily throughout this year with the goal of returning 47401 to service.

During tests in December 2022, an electrical fault was discovered in the compressor circuit. Repairs were made to the affected wiring during the first part of the year - this was painstaking work, taking time around our volunteers' other commitments.

Ongoing jobs have also moved forward in the interrim. The engine room tidy-up continues, making a big difference to the appearance inside the loco:

Above (L to R): Engine room after paint stripping, primer, undercoat and top coat on the air filter grilles.

The roof repairs also continue, with work going into the refurbishment and rework of original salvaged grille elements. These have had corroded sections cut out, been stripped back to bare metal and repair sections made to length. The aim is to preserve as much original metal as is practically possible.

Above (L to R): Original grille elements primed and weld prepped with extension pieces, and infill edge piece shaped.

More recently, a thorough traction motor inspection and deep clean has been completed. All 6 motors have had meticulous attention to remove any potential carbon buildup, particularly on insulating components.
Most of the 24 brush boxes were carefully removed for access, before being cleaned and placed back into their marked positions.

We will soon be in a position to resume running tests with a view to getting 47401 back into traffic at the earliest opportunity!

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