Ivatt 2-6-2 tank 41241 was written into Worth Valley folklore when, with USA 0-6-0T 30072, it hauled the inaugural service on the re-opened Worth Valley Railway on 29th June 1968 and 2018 will, therefore, hail the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Railway. To celebrate this momentous year without 41241 would be unthinkable. The engine was retired from service in January 2013 at the expiry of its 10 year boiler ticket but plans are afoot to have her back in service in time for the celebrations. 30072 sadly, will not be able to join in, side-lined some years ago, this engine is a long way down the restoration queue.
The overhaul started mid way through 2013 with the boiler tubes removed so that the condition of the boiler could be assessed and in addition a mechanical inspection was carried out. These inspections revealed a number of defects that will need to be worked on but there was nothing in the reports that should prevent completion of the overhaul in time for the 50th Anniversary special in June 2018.
The Railway has allocated funds to start the overhaul but an appeal for funds will be launched in the next few months to ensure that 41241 takes her place at the head of the anniversary celebrations.
The images below show the current state of the engine as the overhaul commences.
Featured image: Robin Lush. Photos: Richard Beckett