BR Class 31 - 31255
19th January 1961
Current Number Held
British Railways Class 31 Diesel-Electric
The British Railway Class 31, also know as Brush Type 2 and originally Class 30, is a class of diesel-electric locomotive that was built by Brush Traction between 1957 - 1962, a total of 263 were produced.
The class was built to be able to easily work freight trains & passenger trains, they were most commonly seen in the Eastern region with the majority being allocated to March & Finsbury Park. Due to the original Mirrless engines being prone to failures and faults in 1964 BR decided to replace them with English Electric 12 cylinder 12SVT engines instead and therefore slowly between 1965 - 1969 the entire fleet were re-engined. By 1975 BR started to slowly withdraw the class from service with the majority either being sold to industry, scrapped or private railway companies. However, it wouldn't be until 2017 that they were officially withdrawn from mainline service which left 26 out of the original 263 in preservation, which includes two of the class that in 2022 were re-activated for mainline freight & charter services.
31255 was released from Brush Traction on 19th January 1961, originally as D5683, and allocated to Sheffield Darnall (41A). Over the course of its working life it was transferred to various depots, such as Finsbury Park, March, Tinsley, Saltley, Stratford & Bescot were it stayed until it was bought by EWS. EWS used the locomotive as a test bed for the then new Toton paint shop and therefore it was the first Class 31 and one of only two 31s to hold EWS livery. In January 1999 31255 was then sold into preservation at the Colne Valley Railway. Finally, it moved to The Mid-Norfolk Railway in 2016.