No. 16 - 160-168





    I found Mr Webb’s article on the evolution of "Planet" locomotives (RECORD 14) very interesting. I used to wonder at the diversity of these and speculate as to their origin. The illustration on page 66 of the Howard 2ft 0in gauge loco also appeared in the August 1928 issue of the "Locomotive Magazine" together with a similar picture showing it alongside a ship. At the time the article was written the loco had been in use for "over seven months" bringing drums or casks of cement from the packing sheds of the APCM works to Beaver’s (? misprint for Bevan’s) wharf, Northfleet, Kent. The Pocket Book entry for this location lists a Howard 4−wheel petrol loco built about 1923; would not 1927 be more correct?

Yours etc.,


    (Our Hon. Records Officer says that on the evidence in the LM article he dated the loco as c1927. Later, however, he amended the date to c1923, but from what source he cannot now recall. Is it possible that this particular loco worked elsewhere before going to APCM, Bevan’s Works? – Hon. Eds.)


    In my last letter which appeared on page 115 of RECORD 15 I mentioned two Fowler 4−6−2 side tanks which became Mashonaland railway 5 and 6. I have since acquired a photograph which shows there to be a distinct family resemblance to the 4−6−0 tank shown on page 18 of RECORD 13. The main difference apart from the larger bunker and the change of gauge is that the coupled wheelbase is equally spaced. This leads me to believe that the Mashonaland locomotives were based on the Nitrate Railways 2−6−2 tanks (50−61) which followed the 4−6−0 tanks in 1886, as their wheelbase was 11ft 8in against 12ft 8in of the 4−6−0 tanks. The 4ft 8½in gauge Nitrate locos had inside frames but the Mashonaland locos, being for the 3ft 6in gauge, had their frames outside the driving wheels.

Yours etc.,




    I visited the depot at Longmoor in 1955 and noted 100 AHWAZ, 107 FOGGIA, 108 JULLUNDUR, 114 LISIEUX, 157 CONSTANTINE and 181 INSEIN (all Austerity 0−6−0 saddle tanks). Also present were 0−6−0 side tank 300 FRANK S. ROSS, 2−8−0 400 SIR GUY WILLIAMS and 401 MAJOR GENERAL McMULLEN, 0−6−0 diesels 878 BASRA and 890 TOBRUK and LMS 2−8−0’s numbered 508, 511 and 512. This last later became British Railways 48775, and I saw it as such at Eastleigh Works in August 1957. In April 1950 I noted the two somewhat rusty LBSCR 4−4−2 side tanks, 72400 and 72401, stored in a siding at the north end of Guildford station by the junction with the Aldershot line.

    There is an interesting museum at Longmoor which contains many relics, including photographs of bygone locomotives. Outside stands a railway wrecking wagon used by the German Army during the retreat in Italy. This is a robust four-wheeled steel flat truck fitted with a long J−shaped girder which can be extended beyond the wagon. Behind each of the rear wheels is a chute from the floor to within a few inches of the rails. In use, a hole was dug between two sleepers and the hook of the girder lowered into it. A powerful locomotive hauled the wagon, dragging the hook through the ballast and breaking every sleeper as it went. Restoration of the line required only the fitting of tie−bars, so to complete the job small explosive charges were dropped down the chutes every twenty yards or so.

    Longmoor being Longmoor, the wagon was subsequently tried out there. Photographs of its work in Italy and at Longmoor are shown side by side in the museum and are almost indistinguishable.

Yours etc.,



    I have recently had an opportunity of going through Nos.1 to 14 of the RECORD and would like to congratulate all concerned on its excellence. In particular I was much impressed with the high standard of the article on the Kerr Stuart "Wren" class (RECORD 5/6) which was so full of interest that I have already read it about half-a-dozen times. Although I am not a member, I would like to comment on the mention, on page 288 of RECORD 12, of the 0−4−2 side tank named NICHOLSON (Fowler 10978) for which I note you stated the date is 1907.

    This is probably correct but so far as I know Fowler’s did not put dates on their works plates. I enclose a photo of this engine which previously I had not been able to identify. Unfortunately I do not know where or when it was taken, or by whom, so I am not able to give credit where it is due.

Yours etc.,


(Thank you, Mr Wheeler, for your kind remarks. Further details of this locomotive will be most welcome. – Hon. Eds.)


    Only one of the many locomotives to have run on the 891mm (2ft 111/16in) gauge in Sweden remains unidentified. It was not built in Sweden, and there is a possibility that it came from either Britain or Germany whose locomotive builders were favoured with several orders in the nineteenth century.

    This mystery tank locomotive was acquired in 1877 by the private railway, Hjo−Stenstorp (HSJ), who named it HJO and gave it the number 5. It was a very bad runner because of its exceptionally short wheelbase which made it liable to jump the track. It is not surprising that in 1884 HJO was replaced by a 2−4−0 side tank built in Sweden by Nydqvist & Holm (205 of 1884), also HSJ 5 but named GULLKROKEN. (The name HJO was used later on HSJ 7, a Swedish built 0−6−0 side tank by Kristinehamns, 61 of 1898).

    In the same year (1884) that HSJ 5 disappeared, a locomotive was acquired by another 891mm railway nearby. This was the Akersund-Skyllberg-Lerbäck railway (ASLJ : owned by Skyllbergs Bruk) which was more of an industrial railway with many industrial sidings. The locomotive, which was numbered 3 and carried the name LERBÄCK, was scrapped quite early on and no records exist except for one sale notice. This shows that LERBÄCK was an inside-framed 0−6−0 side tank with outside cylinders 214mm by 380.16mm (8.7/16in by 15in) and 816.75mm (2ft 8.5/32in) wheels. Other dimensions were:- wheelbase 2375.2mm (7ft 9½in); weight 11.6 metric tons; heating surface 21.55 sq m (231 sq ft); pressure 10 kg/sq m (142 lbs/ sq in).

    It seems probable that HSJ 5 and ASLJ 3 were one and the same locomotive. If it was supplied new to the HSJ via agents, the name "Posse" or "Sparre" might appear in the builder’s list. Any information which will help solve this mystery will be most welcome.

Yours etc.,




    I enjoyed this article but notice that No.3 of the Cowie Harbour Coal Co. Ltd., illustrated on page 46 of RECORD 14, is quite definitely a side tank although described on page 47 as a saddle tank.

Yours etc.,


    (Nos. 1, 2 and 3 of this Company were all side tanks, and not saddle tanks as stated on page 47. No.4 was correctly described as a well tank. We regret these errors which seem to have crept in at the proof stage. – Hon. Eds.)

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    I thought this article in RECORD 14 was excellent. On the Sarawak Government Railway (page 52) the loco named IDIOT would be Bagnall 1756, ordered in December 1904 by Bowes, Scott & Western who were acting as agents for an unspecified purchaser. IDIOT was a standard Bagnall 0−4−0 saddle tank with 6in by 9in cylinders, 1ft 67/8in wheels and 3ft 0in wheelbase; the gauge was 3ft 0in and Bagnall-Price valve gear was fitted. Mr Garry mentions that tracklaying did not commence until 1911, so IDIOT must have worked elsewhere previously.

    Perhaps Mr Garry knows the destination of Bagnall 2005 which was ordered in January 1914 by the Borneo Co.Ltd.. Named PIONEER this was a 2ft 0in gauge 0−4−2 tender engine with 7in by 12in outside cylinders and 1ft 9½in driving wheels; the fixed wheelbase was 3ft 6in and once again Bagnall-Price valve gear was fitted.

Yours etc.,


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    Many thanks for this interesting article in RECORD 14 on which I have a little more information. On page 105 of Overbosch’s "De Stoomlocomotieven der Nederlandse Tramwegen" the works numbers of SNCV (Belgium) 1001-1020 are given a Alco 55227-55246. Nos.55241, 55239 and 55246 are said to have become 8, 7 and 9 of the Zeeuwsch-Vlaamsche Tramweg-Maatschappij, thereby placing some doubt on the statement on page 44 of RECORD 14 that 10 CELINE was 55241. In addition, a stock list supplied to the Stephenson Locomotive Society by the British North Borneo State railway some years ago, and now in their Library, gives the works numbers of 10 and 11 as 55232 and 55240 (although erroneously giving the builder as the Baldwin Locomotive Works).

Yours etc.,


*       *       *

    This article in RECORD 14 made fascinating reading. Quite frequently I come across details of a small locomotive in a maker’s list, very likely supplied to an agent, with an unusual gauge and a strange name, and I wonder to which remote corner of the globe it was delivered. Mr Garry has given some of the answers! Perhaps I may enjoy the use of your columns to add a few details about the systems described.

    Labuan Colliery (page 48) – Hudswell Clarke built an 0−4−2 saddle tank named BRUANG; this was their 367 of 1890, with 11in by 16in outside cylinders and 2ft 9½in wheels, ordered by the Central Borneo Company to 2ft 5in gauge. Two other engines ordered by this Company at the same time were also 2ft 5in gauge 0−4−2 saddle tanks, but with 7in by 12in outside cylinders and 2ft 0in wheels; these were Hudswell Clarke 366 of 1890 and 368 of 1891, named ANAK and RUSA respectively. SINGA, Hudswell Clarke 900 of 1909, ordered by the Labuan Coalfield Company, was an 0−4−2 saddle tank with the same size cylinders and wheels as BRUANG.

    Mr Elyard Brown tells me that BRUANG, SINGA and ASHLEY were at Sriraja in Thailand by 1946. The owners then were the Srimagiaraja Company (Sriraja Company under 1946) and the gauge 75cm. The Borneo Company worked a number of timber concessions in Siam (as it then was) and these locomotives probably moved to Siam under the Borneo Company’s auspices. Also at Sriraja was a Shay geared loco built by Lima in 1914, number 2808; this had been scrapped by 1946, but whether it was the 0−6−0+0−4−0 seen by Mr Garry at Bettotan River Camp I do not know.

    I have also heard the story recounted by Mr Garry on page 53 concerning the Sarawak Government Railway. It is also related that when the Consulting Engineers arrived at Kuching and enquired about the route for the railway, they were given horses and taken for a ride into the jungle. After about twenty miles they halted at nowhere in particular and were instructed to build the railway to that point! This may well be another tale to enliven evenings in the mess, but one wonders whether this has any connection with the name of the construction engine which, as Mr Garry says, was named IDIOT. This locomotive was built by Bagnall, 1756 of 1904, and the nameplates were still lying in the Public Works Department’s store at Kuching in 1954.

Yours etc.,


*       *       *

    (Mr Garry writes:- I am pleased to have the further information in these letters. As regards PIONEER, mentioned by Mr Baker, I never heard of it on any line in British Borneo but of course I may have missed it. More than likely it would be used I imagine on one of the Borneo Company’s operations in Malaya or Siam, as mentioned by Mr Alliez. PIONEER seems to have been rather minute! The identity of 10 CELINE, questioned by Mr Boot, has become a problem. The Alco numbers I quoted were given me at the time by the CME of the BNBSR, who must have got them by personal observation or knowledge; the fact that the SLS list contains an error in the builder’s name makes it less reliable. Far be it for me to query the accuracy of Overbosch’s book, but it would seem possible for 55241 to have been on the Z−V Tramway before it gravitated to Antwerp Docks (or wherever it was when the Crown Agents bought it and where it received its name). As CELINE is now no more it looks as though this must remain an unsolved mystery. I don’t think that Lima 2808 of 1914, mentioned by Mr Alliez, would be the Shay at Bettotan as this was not acquired until after 1918; also the agents for the British North Borneo Timber Company were Harrisons & Crosfield Ltd., and not the Borneo Company. I wonder whether IDIOT was perhaps originally bought for the Sarawak Public Works Department for some such task as the Kuching Harbour Works. In the absence of a Railway Department, the PWD would probably have constructed the metre gauge Government Railway; Mr Alliez mentions that the IDIOT nameplates were retained in the PWD store. I am delighted to hear that three of the Labuan Colliery locos finished up in Siam and lasted so long; ANAK, by the way, is "child" and RUSA "deer" – specifically, for natural history experts, a sambur deer. BRUANG, mentioned by Mr Alliez, is correctly spelled; BRUONG, on page 48, is incorrect).


    I was very interested in this article and can add a little, thanks to the recollections of my friend, Bert Creswell, who started work in 1919 as an engine cleaner for the Butterley Company at Ripley and went to Denby Ironworks as a shunter in 1925. By this time No.1, illustrated on page 257 of RECORD 11, had gone. I can’t confirm that No.1 was known as "Juddy Rust" but her driver up to about 1920 was George ("Juddy") Russell, a former sailor hailing from Yorkshire who always wore ear-rings. His son, Samuel, was also a driver at Denby in the 1920s when four loco drivers were employed; he had a spell as a driver at the Sheepbridge Ironworks, near Chesterfield, but returned to Denby where he was an engine cleaner at the time the works closed in 1930.

    Of the four collieries in the Denby district at this time, two (Salterwood and Ryefield) were owned by the Denby Iron & Coal Company, but Drury-Lowe and Denby Hall were not. Salterwood, lying to the north-east of the ironworks and to the north of both the Midland Railway Ripley branch and the Derby-Chesterfield main road, ceased coalwinding during the 1920s; latterly only the brickworks remained open. Ryefield, lying to the south-east of the Ironworks between the Derby-Chesterfield main road and the Roman road "Ryknild Street", was a deep mine many years ago. Latterly, however, coal was worked from a "footrail" (drift mine) which was shunted by any one of the DICC locos from the shed in the Ironworks yard.

    Today, owing to successive road-widening schemes, little remains of the horse-worked Little Eaton Tramroad. From 1795 to 1908 coal was carried on this tramroad from the Denby district collieries for some four miles from Smithy Houses to Little Eaton wharf on the Denby Canal. (Included in the parish register of St Mary’s Church at Denby are photographs of Drury-Lowe colliery, and also one depicting a horse and waggons on the Little Eaton Tramroad.) The Midland Railway Ripley branch, opened in 1855, has now been abandoned north of Denby Hall colliery and terminates immediately west of the former level crossing with the Derby-Chesterfield road (A 61). The old ironworks slag tips at Denby, however, are still clearly visible.

Yours etc.,




    The article on the Wallis & Steevens conversion in RECORD 14 (page 71) set me thinking and the more thought I gave it the more I am convinced that one or two details are not quite right.

    Was not the basis of the unit depicted the Wallis THREE Ton Tractor, rather than the 4.1/4 ton model as stated? Without something to scale the picture against it is difficult to distinguish the two models but the figures "2−19" painted on the manhole behind the rear wheel surely indicate the weight of the outfit. This exceeds the 2 ton 17 cwt of the standard three ton model by a couple of hundredweight which is probably taken up by the strengthening plates and that semi-circular device on the tender. I feel that the usage of the tractor was probably more specialised than Mr Mullett suggests. "Shunting" is surely out because the tractor would only steer itself when running in a forward direction, and even in "the good old days" how many pits and quarries would go to the trouble of inset track and a third rail just to avoid the handicap of steering?

    Two possibilities present themselves to my mind:

  1. Haulage duties around a factory yard or similar, working on some sort of "Merry-go-round" system, or (and more likely)
  2. Haulage of barges on a canal. That semi-circular "buffer" looks just right for tying a rope to, and the small size of the tractor (extreme width 4ft 10in) would enable it to work on a tow-path.

    These are only my own guesses and it would be interesting to hear from anyone who knows the true story behind this intriguing conversion.

Yours etc.,



    I knew this line well as I lived for many years close by in Sutton. Unfortunately there is an error on page 15 of RECORD 13 where HENDON is shown as having been built in 1935. This should of course be 1926 as is shown in the caption to the photo on page 13. A point not mentioned is that CROSSNESS carried the number 61 on a small plate on the back of the bunker (if you can call it that) when I first saw it. I heard also that a Hudswell Clarke 0−4−0 saddle tank named LORD MAYOR worked on the line for a while, but I never saw it.

Yours etc.,


    (Hudswell Clarke 402 of 1903, an 0−4−0 saddle tank owned by contractors Chas. Wall Ltd., Grays, Essex, in the 1930s, was named LORD MAYOR. – Hon. Eds.)


    I was delighted to see the photograph of GORDON on page 307 of RECORD 12. I had seen NCB 67 at Southall shed from passing trains several times earlier this year without realising it was the old Longmoor GORDON.

    In 1941 I did a firing and driving course at Longmoor. GORDON and MARLBOROUGH were the locomotives we tried to avoid. What we liked were the Great Eastern J69 0−6−0Ts or SELBORNE. I recall disgracing myself with Brighton 2013 after working a passenger train with the Westinghouse brake. On leaving the train to go to the shed we had to cross the road, the drill being that the fireman got off and flagged the crossing. I elected to use the vacuum brake without allowing for the decreased braking power, and we sailed solemnly over and stopped just the other side! "Shall I flag the crossing now, Sir?" the fireman sapper enquired, tongue in cheek. Great days. I was young enough, just, to go out once or twice in the evening to fire a locomotive just for fun.

Yours etc.,


    (GORDON was seen at Reading in December 1966 before turning up at Southall some time later. When did it leave Stratford? And just what is to happen to this loco? MARLBOROUGH, mentioned above, was an 0−6−2T built at Stoke in 1909, ex LMSR 2253. SELBORNE, Hawthorn Leslie 3531 of 1922, was an 0−6−0T. Brighton 2013 was a 4−4−2T built at Brighton in 1908, ex SR 2013, and latterly WD 72400 LORD ROBERTS.

    We should be interested to know the date when GORDON left Stratford as it was noted at Reading in December 1966 before turning up at Southall some time later. By 16th June 1967 GORDON was at the London end of Southall motive power depot sidings with the centre and rear pairs of driving wheels removed, these being loaded in a wagon on an adjoining siding. By the following Friday, 23rd June, both locomotive and wagon had disappeared – probably to Caerphilly for restoration and preservation. – Hon. Eds.)



1891 . . . . .

    "SOCIETY OF ENGINEERS. – Arrangements have been made … to visit the Nunhead and Shortlands Railway works (in progress) … on September 24. The party will travel by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. Messrs. Lucas & Aird will kindly supply a contractor’s train to convey the party over the railway works and back to Nunhead."

    ("Iron", 18th September 1891. A later issue states that construction work on the Nunhead and Shortlands Railway commenced in July 1890.)

. . and 1964

    "A party of about 45 … travelled in a special train over the N.C.B. system which radiates from Walkden Yard. The special train consisted of No.2 with three hired brake vans, and two open wagons."

    (Birmingham Locomotive Club – Industrial Locomotive Information Section Bulletin No.76, describing a visit to the Manchester area collieries on 3rd August 1964.)