Engineers get back to work on loco restoration

A KEY milestone has been reached in the battle to restore an old loco on the East Lancashire Railway. Volunteers have been working for some time to revive the fortunes on Ivatt Class 2 steam loco. An ongoing campaign to overhaul the engine began in 1987, when the loco was purchased by ELR from the Strathspey Railway.

The engine, built at Crewe Works, had seen service across the north west, North Wales and Warwickshire before it was first withdrawn in December 1966. Under coronavirus restrictions, repairs had ground to a halt for months on the 46428 engine’s frame, which had been completely stripped, sand-blasted and primed outside the ELR workshops beforehand. The boiler had also been sandblasted and primed before a halt was called.

A spokesman for the Bury Standard 4 group, which is also restoring another British Rail engine, said: “Some preliminary work has taken place on the pony truck assembly with new swivel spindles being made and the assembly refurbished. “Our latest move involved lifting the Ivatt frame, using the ELR’s mobile rail crane, and fitting it onto prepared transit bogies. “The frame was then rolled into the group’s workshop to be lifted onto stands for restoration assembly work to start.

“At the same time the boiler was moved and craned down into a position just outside the workshop. The driving wheels, which have already been turned down ready for use and new steel for the cab roof, were also offloaded close by. “This places all the main Ivatt parts next to the workshop and assembly can now begin in earnest.”

Donations are still being for the restoration of both the 46428 and BR locos.

People can find out more, or even volunteer, by going online to www.burystandard4group.org.uk or visiting their Facebook page, under Bury STD 4 Group for regular updates on the engineering works.