NEW COAT FOR 1968 ‘4MT’

Af­ter years of open stor­age, Blue­bell vet­eran No. 75027 is be­ing re­stored.

Steam Railway (UK) - - News -

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.

IAN WRIGHT

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.

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