80104 – Preservation Service
80104 arrived at Norden on 17th April 1997 after a journey by low-loader from Herston Works. The locomotive was drawn from the low-loader by Midland Railway Class 1F 41708 before being towed to Swanage. A number of jobs still remained to be done and it was not until 30th April that the Insurance Company's boiler inspector gave his approval and the locomotive moved under its own power for the first time since July 1965. That evening the locomotive completed about 24 miles with no problems being encountered.
Although still not properly painted the locomotive was given a coat of black paint and a temporary number of 80011 in readiness for the 'Dorset Coast Express'.
Final painting and lining was carried out during May and the locomotive quietly entered the operational fleet of the Swanage Railway.
80104 at Swanage Station
Following several years of successful operation, during which she journeyed to the Avon Valley, Mid-Hants and Great Central Railway for a short spells, she was withdrawn from traffic in January 2005.
80104 south of Loughborough on the Great Central Railway on 26th January 2002
80104 was withdrawn from traffic in January 2005. As the Herston team were heavily occupied with the restoration of Manston, and the contracted job of completing GWR 0-6-2T 6695 whose owners had found it impossible to finish themselves, it was decided to send the locomotive to outside contractors in Wigan for much of the repair work that needed to be accomplished.
Unfortunately, during 2005, the contractors were given notice to vacate their workshops and it thoroughly disrupted their work schedule. 80104 was transferred to their new facility at Embsay but progress was slow, so we decided to bring her back to the South to an alternative contractor in Portland, Dorset. This was close enough for our staff to assist with the work and 80104 was brought back in to traffic during 2006.
Return to Service
80104 leaving Corfe Castle, November 2006
2021 Withdrawal for Overhaul
80104's boiler ticket expired on 11th May 2021 and it was withdrawn from service. It had been in regular use right up to the last day, though it became increasingly clear that work on the copper firebox would be needed. A supporter has agreed to fund much of the cost of a fast-track overhaul, mainly at Tyseley. Copper sheet for the firebox has been ordered and it travelled to Tyseley on 26th October 2021. We will need matching funds to complete this overhaul, and we welcome any support that you can offer.
80104 leaving Swanage station on 1st April 2021. It was working well and looking good just a few weeks before its withdrawal for overhaul. Photo: Nick Thompson