Having been involved in a small way with the return to traffic of 37418 the first time around, I’ve got just a few photos of its rejuvanation…! Sold by EWS from Toton in late 2007 it first moved to Allelys yard in Studley where a bogie swap was undertaken. It arrived at the East Lancs Railway in 2009 and the following photos illustrate progress with the return to traffic. It was hoped for it to run at the March 2009 diesel gala but for one reason and another it never made it – this was unfortunate as it would have presented a unique opportunity (and subsequently never to take place to date) to run 37418 with 37109 as two EWS liveried 37s in preservation.
The loco was plagued by an electrical issue to start with which caused it to shut down whenever the auxiliaries were ‘switched in’ and this prevented it running. This was finally cured on 23rd March 2009 and on the same day, once the service trains had stopped running, it went out on a light engine test run to Summerseat and back. The photo above shows the loco sitting in Bury Bolton Street tunnel waiting for departure.
Bodywork attention continued and a new coat of EWS maroon was progressively applied to the loco. The numbers were originally transfers and no new ones could be located so as part of the repaint, new numbers were painted on by hand.
The repaint was by and large complete by early May 2009 just in time for the East Lancs Railway to stage a Class 37 gala to celebrate 40 years. 37109 had just been released from its makeover and as part of the publicity, a lineup of 37109, 37418 and 37901 was staged in Bolton Street Yard.
Prior to the Class 37 gala, a loaed test run was undertaken where ‘418 went out on top of the normal diesel diagram service train on a Saturday. It just so happened that the rostered engine was 47402 and when the 37 backed on the faces of the ’47 men’ were a picture! 37418 worked to Ramsbottom before returning light engine.
During the test run,a problem was identified where the fuel filters were getting blocked either due to sludge in the fuel tank or growth of algae. This was never solved and the fix was to keep the fuel tanks topped up.
Making its debut in preservation, 37418 stands at Heywood with a departure for Rawtenstall during the gala day. 30/05/09
More to follow…