©2014 Irish Traction Group
Locomotive C231 was built for Coras Iompair Éireann (CIE), the Irish State owned
transport company, by Metropolitan Vickers at their premises at Dukinfield, Manchester,
in 1956. C231 was part of a class of 34 Bo-
The contract to build these locomotives was signed at Heuston Station, Dublin, on
5th May 1954. The bodies for the thirty-
C231 entered traffic with CIE on 1st January 1958. When built, these locomotives
were originally fitted with a Crossley ESTVee8 engine of 550 hp. However, the Crossley
engines proved to be extremely troublesome and unreliable. In 1969, the decision
was taken to re-
Following several years stored in the scrap line at Iarnród Éireann’s Inchicore Works
in Dublin, 231 was purchased by the Irish Traction Group on 16th November 1992, originally
as a source of spare parts for 226, for the sum of I£ 930 plus VAT. It was moved
from Inchicore Works to Carrick-
In December 1995, after spending nearly three years in store at Carrick-
In June 1999 Iarnród Éireann offered the Group the opportunity to have the locomotive
shipped to the UK on a low-
Following this, the locomotive was shipped back to Inchicore Works, Dublin, in August 2000, following its display at the Old Oak Common Depot open weekend on 5th and 6th August 2000. It was then the intention to have Iarnród Éireann undertake further work on the locomotive to complete its restoration. However, this never happened, but most of the remaining work has since been undertaken by ITG volunteers.
Locomotive C231 was moved by low-
Since a good deal of preparatory work had already been done to C231, a decision was made late in 2013 to move the locomotive to Downpatrick & Co. Down Railway (DCDR), with a view to completing the work and returning C231 to an operational condition. This move was carried out between 4th and 7th June 2014, the locomotive arriving at DCDR at around 3am on the 7th June.
Over the course of the morning, C231 was carefully unloaded with the help of locomotive G617, prior to being moved through the carriage shed and onto the running line. Locomotive 146 completed the shunt, moving C231 to its new home in the Maghera shed where the tarpaulins were finally removed and it will undergo extensive checks to identify the work required to bring it back working order.
C231 prior to restoration.
C231 awaits shipping for restoration.
C231 on display at Old Oak Common Depot. 05.08.00 Photo -
C231 on the low loader at Downpatrick & Co. Down Railway and almost 12 hours later,
alongside 146 and ‘big brother’ A39. 07.06.14 Photo -
After C231 had been ‘unwrapped’, volunteers got straight to work carrying out some essential initial checks. This continued on the 8th June and late in the afternoon, after installing a freshly charged set of batteries, it was decided that an attempt would be made to start the engine. Oil was pumped round the engine until it appeared in all the places it should be. At approximately 16:10, the start handle was turned and 11 seconds later, the engine burst into life with minimal clag.
The engine was stopped after a few minutes and then restarted with the purpose of fault finding in mind. A number of issues were noted and the engine shut down for the night.