Status: Cosmetic restoration complete
Location: Wansford: Part of Nord Express line up by Main Entrance
Swedish B Class No. 101 was one of three locos built in Stockholm for the Stockholm-Västerås-Bergslagens Järnvägar (SWB Railway) in 1944. The design however dates from 1909 when the Swedish Railways (SJ) built 96 examples of the class. Thus, in total 99 of the class were built for both express passenger services and freight workings across the country.
When the SWB was nationalised in 1945 101 gained the Swedish Railways number 1697. 101 eventually found her way into the Swedish Strategic Steam Reserve. As such, when purchased for use on the NVR she was in good condition and was a regular performer on the line in her fictitious dark blue livery until her withdrawal in January 2005.
Following the departure of Nord loco no. 3.628, 101 found her way next to 3916 in front of IRPS workshop at Wansford in 2010. Having been well over a decade since the loco was last painted, and having sat unloved for 5 years, the external condition left a lot to be desired and was nearing the critical point of no return.
Before this could happen, a team of young IRPS volunteers, with the help of a dozen students from the local Prince William School taking part in a 'voluntary work week', set to her with a multitude of power tools, paints and elbow grease to return her to an authentic livery and hold back the rot.
A major part of this has been the replacement of the rotten timbers and felt which form the cab roof, which was starting to show its age with a series of leaks and holes.
The full cosmetic restoration was complete in late 2012 and has included a full repaint, a new cab roof, replacing some metal sheet-work, a full overhaul of the electric systems so they can be operated from the ground and a number of other ancillary tasks.
The restoration as it happened is documented below.
Lewis has continued his work on 101 over the past months, focusing first on the interior of the drivers cab and then the exterior of the tender.
He has also been re-fitting the broken lights both on the outside of 101 and inside the cab.
Here are some photos of his progress:
An imminent reworking of a part of the Wansford site has seen 101 take pride of place as the 'Gate Guardian', replacing the old 'Kriegslok' which left for Belgium recently . It is now the first thing visitors see when they come to the railway. As such our intention is to keep the cosmetic restoration going as an ongoing project and very much at the forefront of future plans without diverting resources away from other tasks already in hand.
Pump Trolley experiences and hire are run by volunteers from The Night Mail Group at The Nene Valley Railway. All funds raised are used to support the restoration of our historic railway vehicles and the developement of The Night Mail Museum at Ferry Meadows Station.