Published: 11-08-2014 photo #21247 1 comments 0 votes
Completed in olive green in May 1931 at Ashford Works, one of a batch of 10 with flat-topped domes and having 4,000 gallon tenders. Allocated first to Redhill, but soon after to Guildford. Renumbered to 1631 in the 1931 renumbering scheme. Fitted with smoke deflectors and a U1 pattern chimney before WW2. Painted in unlined black during the War, and in 1943 transferred to Exmouth Junction.
While at Nine Elms, in 1948 it gained lined black livery and was renumbered 31638, changing tenders to get a 3,500 gallon version around May 1949. This locomotive was transferred many times post-war, especially in 1953. The last overhaul was at Ashford Works in July 1959, and withdrawal came on 12 January 1964. It went to Barry under tow the following June and eventually became the 114th locomotive to be purchased for preservation.
It arrived at the Bluebell Line on 1 August 1980, and returned to service for the first time in 42 years in February 2006. The boiler ticket expires in January 2016. 1638 has had many troubles during its time in service mainly concerning the firebox; it had a copper welding repair to its firebox in November 2013 and is at present back in service as seen here.