Built as 541 at Eastleigh in 1939 and operated until withdrawn in 1964 and sent to Woodham Brothers in Barry for scrap and remained there until May 1974.
During its service under BR ownership it was based at Three Bridges from January 1948, when BR was created following the nationalisation of the railways, until September 1953 when it was transferred to Bournemouth. 30541 remained there for nearly ten years before moving to Guilford in March 1963. It was withdrawn from service at Guildford in November 1964.
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arrangements with a multiple blast-pipe arrangement and new chimney, and it was in this condition that 541 was withdrawn from service in 1964.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 for £3,250.
In 1974 it was moved to Ashchurch in Gloucestershire where it stayed until 1978 when it moved to the Bluebell Railway. At this stage the group who owned the locomotive merged with the owners of other engines and formed the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Major restoration work saw it return to steam in November 1983, operating for the following decade in Maunsell livery as 541 until withdrawn for overhaul in 1993. The overhaul completed in 1983 involved replacing the Bullied-era Lemaitre exhaust system with a standard class 4MT one.
An overhaul started in 2011 and it returned to service in April 2015, carrying BR livery as 30541.
In August 2021 the locomotive was reported to be out of service with a failed piston ring issue. By December 2021 new valve rings had been made and fitted. After some test runs the locomotive was back in service in April 2022.
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