NEW COAT FOR 1968 ‘4MT’
After years of open storage, Bluebell veteran No. 75027 is being restored.
End-of-steam survivor ‘4MT’ No. 75027 is being restored to museum standard to coincide with the 50th anniversary of its withdrawal by British Rail. The locomotive has spent a considerable amount of time in open air storage following its withdrawal from service in 2007, and was in a deteriorated state when it entered Sheffield Park works in early April for a full repaint, which is being conducted by Lancashire firm Heritage Painting. Built at Swindon in 1954, No. 75027 was withdrawn from Carnforth (10A) in August 1968 after it had the dubious honour of being the last steam banker on Grayrigg on May 4 that year. The 4-6-0 is to be displayed in the Bluebell’s Accessible Steam Heritage (ASH) educational centre, which is being developed in the north end of Sheffield Park’s threeroad engine shed. It will be used to demonstrate the mechanics of valve gear; a function originally intended for out-of-use Southern Railway ‘USA’ 0-6-0T No. 30064. However, the Americanbuilt shunting engine has been stored outside for much longer than the Standard ‘4MT’ and is believed to require significantly greater restoration work to make it fit for display, which has been deemed to be currently unfeasible. So too is the ‘rolling road’ that was to have demonstrated a locomotive’s driving wheels in motion; primarily because of the complexities and daily oiling that would have been required. The Bluebell also considers the live display to be obsolete because visitors can see working steam on the railway itself.
A patchwork of faded primer covers No. 75027 ahead of its entry into Sheffield Park works. The recently fitted running plates of ‘2MT’ No. 84030 can be seen on the left.