John Horton: At the 1:1 museum project in Margate with one loco in and another departing

Photo John Horton

John Horton is a photographer and former railway worker who lives in Margate with his two sons. His eldest son is now a Southeastern apprentice.

Following the arrival of class 60 locomotive 60081 on Tuesday (March 19) at the 1:1 LSL site, yesterday another resident from the facility departed, 47841 “The Institution Of Mechanical Engineers” bound for LSLs base at Crewe.

On Wednesday, there was a hive of activity resembling a shunting yard, as the Allelys vehicle shuffled locomotives, within the facility complex. Having deposited 60081 earlier in the morning, the team went on to haul out the class 47 locomotive, 117tons of it, on the trailer, 96 wheels, 24 axles, 4 wheels per axle, each of which could be controlled independently.

Photo John Horton

The gargantuan locomotive was hauled onto the trailer by a winch, very slowly but surely it inched its way further onto it, the creaking of the wheels and clunking as each wheel set made its way forward. Sunlight struck its body side, and she was out into the fresh air on a beautiful March day.

Having ensured the handbrake on the locomotive was fully applied at each end, scotches were placed under the wheels and for the final time, the shackles were firmly attached and  secured, you certainly don’t want to think about the possibility of the loco falling off en-route to Crewe. Their work done for the day, the exhausted crew went for a well-earned rest, to face a new dawn today and the journey back North.

Photo John Horton

47841 “The Institution of Mechanical Engineers” was a class 47, one of 512 that were built between 1960 – 1968, constructed at Brush Works, Loughborough. It was recorded as build No 488 and allocated its fleet running number as  D1726. Entering service on 24th March 1964, it was sent to it new home of Cardiff Canton.

Photo John Horton

In February 1974 it was renumbered again to 47134. A call to Crewe works for conversion to a loco fitted with electric train heating ensued early in 1984. On 16th October 1984 it returned to service in Intercity Executive livery, renumbered as 47622, the loco received another full overhaul at Doncaster Works in 1989.

September 1987 Photo John Horton

On 20th December 1989 it was released into service in the livery it carries today, Intercity Swallow. 1999 saw it under the auspices of Virgin Trains, she was repainted into their house colours, and was renamed “Spirit of Chester”.

47841 was withdrawn from active service in early 2001, by now being a Virgin Cross Country locomotive in Virgin Trains Red livery with white stripes. It was no longer required, being placed into store, it was placed on a  “tender list” to be sold to the highest bidder,

Photo John Horton

Locomotive Storage (LSL) in Margate was successful and 841 was cosmetically restored to her former glory into Intercity Swallow Livery, a firm favourite with enthusiasts today. Her nameplates or rather a vinyl graphic pair of plates were applied to her bodyside. Her power unit is however removed and she is nothing more than an empty bodyshell.

John with the departing class 47

The loco is destined to return to Crewe but sadly she will no longer run again, her destiny is to be stripped of reusable parts and then scrapped.

We wish her a safe journey home and await her replacement – 47501 in 1960s Two Tone Green, named “The Craftsman” in due course.

Photo John Horton

Footnote :- One of the original nameplates was sold at a charity railway auction on 3rd June 2004 for £2,700.

Locomotive Storage

Locomotive Storage, which operates a storage and maintenance business for classic railway locomotives and heritage rolling stock, is converting its buildings in Margate to create a British railway heritage museum.

The company bought the former Hornby factory and warehouse site in February 2017 and already stores rolling stock at the property which sits alongside Hornby’s offices, showrooms and visitor centre.

An opening date for the museum is yet to be confirmed.

Locomotive Storage in Margate moves ahead with One to One railway collection museum

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