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Maunsell Locomotive Society  

Southern Railway
Q-class 0-6-0 No. 541, built in 1939

Owned by the Maunsell Locomotive Society.

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When donating online please select Q Class 541 Overhaul in the drop-down box.

Q-class No. 541 - 1983 - Mike Esau

Q-class  - Mike Esau Two of Mike Esau's photos of the unique-surviving Maunsell Q-class locomotive.

Built as a basic goods engine to replace life-expired pre-grouping locomotives, this was Maunsell's final design as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway. It could be described as a competent though not outstanding engine. Bulleid, Maunsell's successor, improved the draughting arrangements with a multiple blast-pipe arrangement and new chimney, and it was in this condition that 541 was withdrawn from service in 1964. Sent to Barry scrapyard, like many other locos there it escaped the cutter's torch and was bought by preservationists.

In 1973 it was moved to Ashchurch in Gloucestershire and moved on in 1978 to the Bluebell, where its owning group merged with those of U-class No. 1618 and S15 No. 847 to form the Maunsell Locomotive Society. The blast pipe and chimney arrangement have been further modified using BR Class 4 components, in the same way as BR had done to some of the class. This has the advantage of returning the locomotive visually to very close to its original form. Major restoration work saw it return to steam in 1983, operating for the following decade in Maunsell livery as No. 541.

Q-class at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 8 April 2015 An overhaul started in July 2011, and the Loco Works Working Group, who started by overhauling the tender, also assisted with work on the loco itself. It returned to service on 28 April 2015, carrying BR livery as No. 30541, and received a major valve and piston exam in 2017. Its cylinders were re-bored and steam pipes and piston rods replaced early in 2022. Firebox defects however saw it withdrawn from service a couple of years earlier than had been hoped. Being in mechanically fairly good condition, an immediate overhaul is now under way, with much of the work being contracted out to speed progress, since our workshops are already at full capacity.

Photo Left: 30541 at East Grinstead, Brian Lacey, 8 April 2015

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