Irish Society’s ‘Black Beauty’ No. 131 ready for main line

THE Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s GNR(I) ‘Q’ class No. 131 has had its 1920s black paintwork completed at Whitehead, pending main line trials.

The Neilson Reid 4-4-0 passed its annual boiler exam on September 12 and has since been finished in gloss black, lined in red.

As the accompanying photograph shows, No. 131 looks particularly smart now that it is matched with its new ‘E’-type tender No. 37. This has been completely rebuilt from the frames upwards, and includes the locomotive’s AWS and TPWS equipment.

‘Q’ class 4-4-0 No. 131 stands outside at the RPSI’s Whitehead base following the completion of its lining on October 8. ADAM LOHOFF

Testing for Northern Ireland Railways’ acceptance was expected to begin around the time this issue of The RM went to press, taking the 1901-built loco out on several runs between Whitehead and Belfast.

Once approval is given, No. 131 is expected to become a feature of Whitehead operations from 2018.

Read more News and Features in November’s issue of The RM – on sale now!

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