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By Ken Woods on

Cleaning City of Truro

Collections Volunteer Ken Woods explains the process of cleaning a locomotive for museum display.

I was looking forward to cleaning City of Truro when it was put on display on the Great Hall’s turntable.

Ken Woods City of Truno

I last cleaned City of Truro at Tyseley in 2004 and I took it upon myself to get the loco looking how it should be once more; not as a mint condition static museum piece, but as if it was due to go out on a run – hence the operational stains left on its smoke box. If you look closely enough you’ll see I have left some patina on the underside of the loco’s copper capped chimney.

The completed City of Truro represents around 50 hours of cleaning. Rags, paraffin, emery cloth, wet and dry, wax polish, metal polish and a tender full of elbow grease and enthusiasm were used to get the loco looking its best. A final coat of clear wax polish was applied to the copper, brass and bright metal work. I think City of Truro looks quite a picture now, what do you think?

It’s not just City of Truro I’ve cleaned in my 24 years at the National Railway Museum. I’ve also had the pleasure of cleaning and repainting the likes of Duchess of Hamilton and the museum’s Support Coach.

What locos have you cleaned?


This is a guest post written by collections volunteer Ken Woods.

3 comments on “Cleaning City of Truro

  1. My FIL was instrumental bringing back the M7 30053. While we didn’t do a major cleaning when I visited I was able to be behind the scenes and paint it and get it all spiffy for the Eastleigh Works Centenary Open Day in May 2009. That was so much fun. 🙂

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