31430 "Sister Dora" remembered

Blue liveried 31430 with red "Sister Dora" nameplates was a familiar sight both locally and afar in the late 80's and early 90's.

She worked passenger, ballast and many engineers turns in the guise of either 5695/31265/31430/31530 as an Eastern, Western or Midland

based locomotive. After a long period in storage from 1995, she was privately preserved at Dereham on the Mid Norfolk in December 2002.

She was transferred to Mangapps, Burnham-on-Crouch in Aug 2013. She was looking and sounding good at Mangapps in August 2015.

Sample turns (as 31430)

31430 1020 Birmingham-Norwich 230585


31430 0935 Liverpool St - Kings Lynn 050586


31430 1M10 2355 (7/1) Sheffield - St Pancras 080187


31430 repainted and bulled up incl white buffers named "Sister Dora" at Bescot Open day on 091088


31430 1N74 0658 Northampton - Euston "Cobbler" 111088 (class 86 failed prior to departure)


31430/31134 Calvert - Northolt (empty bins) 301188


31412/31430 6E33 Tring Cutting - Kings X "cements" 081288


31430} St Pancras - Glasgow C "Thames Clyde Express" Railtour (via Midland throughout, deputising for 45106) 030589



The Star local turn


31430 0750 Bletchley - Bedford (dragging 310075) and 0837 Bedford - Bletchley (DMU failure, 0750 school train taking several hundred kids to Bedford's influential private schools "had to run", so the real railway delivered) 190489


"Sister Dora" phot spot

19048931430r.jpgThanks to Jason Hall for this rare view of 31430 at Bedford prior to returning to Bletchley with the 0837 service, yes it's 310075 as stock. All happened on April 19th 1989

12029231530r.jpgWith Bridge 139 at Old Linslade creating the winter shadow 31530 is unusual power for "Silcock's Express" car wagons on February 12th 1992. 31430 was renumbered 31530 in June 1990.

29081531430r.jpgPreserved 31430 looks good coming off the holding sidings at Mangapps to couple upwith a 302 unit for a couple of trips to Old Dean on August 29th 2015.

19101831430webr.jpgIn Oct 2018 31430 was loaned out for 2 years to the Spa Valley railway. On her first day in normal service 31430 arrives at Eridge with a service form Tunbridge Wells on 191018.

13119237116r.jpgThe "Sister Dora" nameplates were transferred to 37116 when 31530 was stood down, heres a delightfully unmodified 37116 then named "Comet" passing Wolverhampton on November 13th 1992.

Any more 31430 memories to share?

Who was "Sister Dora"? After series of disasters in Walsall nun "Sister Dora" was renowned for her compassion and dedication for those in need of care in the mid 19th century.

Return to Loco Archive