No. 44 - p295-298

© OCTOBER 1972


    Details of the early 2ft 6in gauge locomotives used on this Indian system are very scanty. There were four types, and the known particulars are as follows:-

  1. Three 4-coupled tank engines supplied by Kerr Stuart in 1885, two of which are believed to have carried Kerr Stuart works numbers 522 and 525.

  2. One 4-coupled tank engine of 1885 for the personal use of the Ruler. This had larger wheels (4ft) than the three above-mentioned locos, and is believed to have been Kerr Stuart 527.

  3. Five 0-6-0 tender engines supplied by Kerr Stuart (528 and 529 of 1885 and 534-536 of 1888).

  4. Two small engines supplied in 1887 -possibly also by Kerr Stuart, but further information is lacking.

    As Kerr Stuart were only agents at this time it would be most interesting if any reader could suggest possible builders for the above engines (Falcon perhaps?) or indeed provide any further information at all.




    RECORD 32 contained a fascinating article on page 306 featuring the Lisbon steam tramway engines. There would seem to be little of the original frames left in the final version of these locomotives. I should not be surprised if both the new plate frames, wheels and axles came from a locomotive builder, perhaps even Sharp, Stewart & Co Ltd! In my collection I have a photograph of one of these taken when owned by Samuel Williams & Sons at Dagenham dock. It was reputed to have come from a contract at Rainham about 1890.


(This letter was received shortly before George Alliez's death, and our friends in the Industrial Locomotive Society have been unable to trace the photograph mentioned. Does any reader have a copy? — TJL)


    Since writing the letter published on page 88 of RECORD 37 I have been informed that Penney 1012-1014 of 1903 were narrow gauge locos for a Mauritius sugar estate. This suggests that North Borneo ENTERPRISE and ADVANCE were in fact Penney 1010 and 1011. Moreover, Krauss 4897-4900 are recorded as 2ft 6in gauge 0-4-0 "tank" locos supplied in 1903 to A. Penney & Co, London. Perhaps these were delivered as Penney 1012-1015. It now seems clear that the three metre gauge Morvi engines must have come after Penney 1016, and there are still three locos to find for the 1894 to 1897 period.




    I was interested in Mr Goldsmith's letter in RECORD 38 and the information on Belgian SNCV 1001-1020. Their need in Belgium in 1915 is explained by the fact that during the 1914-18 War all local Belgian traffic was handled by the SNCV as the Germans had commandeered the main line railways; this information is contained in "Light Railways" by W. J. K. Davies. I spent two short holidays in Belgium in 1946 and 1947 and although I saw some 45 tram engines, none were of this Alco batch. The ones I noted were by various makers, ranging from 301 (Tubize 702 of 1888) to 1076 (Hornu 45 of 1920). A great many seem to have been built in the 1914-1915 period. One mystery was 443 which was lying out of use at Waremme, near Liege, in June 1947. This was an orthodox 0-6-0 tank with outside cylinders (not tram type) and a single side window cab. It was stated to have been British built. I have never seen a list of SNCV steam locomotives although I presume one exists. Any further information would be welcome.




    With reference to this article on page 93 of RECORD 38, readers maybe interested to know that there is a wagon from the Fordell Railway in the Museum of Science and Engineering in Newcastle upon Tyne. It carries the number 33 and resembles a small chaldron wagon. On one of the cast iron wheels is marked "Miller & Co Ltd, Edinburgh, 5 March 1914". The wagon has dumb buffers, side couplings, a horizontal screw brake, and an end door. Why this wagon is preserved at Newcastle puzzles me because as far as I know Tyneside has no connection with the Fordell Railway.




    This very interesting metre gauge line, described in RECORD 38 (page 104), was officially opened by Baron Ampthill, Governor of Madras, in October 1905. The incline machinery, rails, locomotives and rolling stock were all supplied by Orenstein & Koppel. Most of the locomotives were 0-6-0 side tanks with 2ft 2in wheels, 8¼in x 12in cylinders, and had fuel tenders attached. The rolling stock consisted mainly of bogie timber trucks of 12 tons capacity. Unfortunately I have not been able to ascertain exactly how many locomotives were used, nor the date when this fascinating railway ceased to function.




    A minor omission in my article on page 110 of RECORD 38 has led to the noting of an intriguing discrepancy in our records. According to the Canal Company's account books Manning Wardle 672 was renamed UXBRIDGE by its new owners. Society records indicate that Manning Wardle 663 was renamed MAGGIE (source of information not known), but do not show the name UXBRIDGE for 672. Confusion arises when the original Manning Wardle "Engine Book" is consulted, for only one change of name is recorded therein for each locomotiveand in each case not whilst in the ownership of the Canal Company. And 672 is shown as MAGGIEnot 663!



     (The sequence of ownership, according to the "Engine Book"; was: 663 new T. J. Waller, Gisburn, RIBBLESDALE; then Slough Canal Co [sic], Uxbridge, no name or name unchanged; then Kirk & Randall, [contractors], Tilbury, ANT, then East & West India Dock Co, ANT. 672 new T. J. Waller, Chatburn, CLITHEROE; Slough Canal Co [sic], Uxbridge; Kirk & Randall, Tilbury; J. Wilson & Sons, Edge Hill, J. J. Lee, Manchester; R. Finnegan, —, MAGGIE. With the intermediate owners 672 either had no name, or the name was unrecorded. I feel inclined to accept Manning Wardle's version of the names, rather than the Canal Company's, for there seems to be little doubt that 663, the larger engine, was named ANT at both Tilbury Docks and Bank Hall Colliery, Burnley. — KPP)


    I have given some thought to Erik Sundström's letter which appears on page 141 of RECORD 39, and as a result I would like to put forward a theory which fits the circumstances. The fact that the locomotives were exported from Hull would suggest to me that they were built in Leeds. If this is so then we may assume - unless evidence to the contrary comes to light -that the locomotives were part of the batch built in 1871 by Manning Wardle for the Yaroslav & Vologda Railway in Russia, which carried works numbers 354-365. A study of the geography of the area reveals that Riga would be a logical port to consign these Russian locos to, bearing in mind the problems in transporting railway engines across country in those days. Indeed, if the line was being built from the Yaroslav end it would be the only way the engines could be sent. This theory also explains the presence of tenders recovered from the wreck, as Manning Wardle 354-365 are said to have been tender engines of 3ft 6in gauge. The incident referred to is not without other interest, as very few locomotives lost at sea have ever been recovered. One other case I know of personally was a batch of Stanier 2-8-0 tender engines which were sunk off North Africa. These were subsequently recovered and gave good service both overseas and at home.



     (Ray Fox may be correct in his assumptions, but Eric Sundstöm's letter mentions two sizes of locomotives recovered. Those supplied by Manning Wardle (to the Yaroslaw & Volagda Railway, per Manning's "Engine Book") were all one size — being 060 tender engines with 11 in by 17in cylinders. Our Hon Records Officer remarks that further 0-6-0 tender were supplied to Russia, this time by Sharp, Stewart & Co (Manchester) for the Dunaberg & Witepsk Railway. Built in 1870 (works numbers 19892000) with 18in by 24in cylinders, it is possible that some of the batch were not shipped until 1871 although December of that year (when the ship was wrecked) does seem a little late. Similarly, the Yorkshire Engine Company (Sheffield) built several locomotives for Russia; in particular a batch of 0-6-0 tender engines in 1869 for the Moscow & Ryazan Railway. Riga would seem to be the logical port to consign all these locos to. One may speculate further but it is unlikely that the full story will ever be known, — TJL)


    I was most interested to see the engraving of MIDGE on page 148 of RECORD 39. My immediate reaction was to assume that this was the same as the Dick Kerr "Midge" locomotive. However, a comparison of the RECORD engraving with an engraving of "Midge" which appears in a Dick Kerr catalogue dated 1891 shows there to be no similarity between the two. My guess is that the Kerr Stuart MIDGE would have been built by Hartley, Arnoux & Fanning of Stoke-on-Trent.

The discovery that Kerr Stuart had a MIDGE is however most significant to me for it strengthens the case for assuming that there must have been some sort of relationship between James Kerr of Kerr Stuart, and John Kerr of Dick Kerr. The exact relationship has so far eluded me, and I shall be pleased if readers can throw some light on this problem.


(Maurice Billington has written to say that MIDGE may have been the fore-runner of Kerr Stuart's standard "Skylark" class. — KPP)


    The engravings which recently adorned the RECORD are both interesting and attractive. Is it certain that Kerr Stuart ever supplied any of these locomotives, however? It seems to me that they are merely engravings taken from photographs of locomotives which they hoped to sell, particularly in the case of FAIR LIE illustrated on page 170 of RECORD 40. Were this to appear today it would be a blatant breach of the Trades Description Act, for it is not a double-bogie locomotive at all but a perfectly standard Mallet and almost certainly built on the other side of the Channel. It is doubtful that the original ever carried such a name! To add insult to injury the description under the illustration describes a somewhat different machine; presumably the reference to Joy's valve gear implies that were such a locomotive ever built for them it would have this gear fitted. I don't think Anatole Mallet would have approved of the description of his system of articulation either. Does this again refer to the locomotives that would have been built for Kerr Stuart? Mention of Joy's gear brings us back to MIDGE, illustrated on page 148 of RECORD 39. This has the original version of Joy's gear, used mainly by Dick Kerr and Fowler. I would suggest Dick Kerr as the builder of MIDGE, which again may have been built under a different name from "Kerr Stuart". It seems possible that the description of FAIRLIE actually refers to a Dick Kerr design of similar size prepared for Kerr Stuart, but in view of the spurious illustration, I doubt that an example was ever built.



    On page 229 of RECORD 42 my letter has been misprinted to read that all the Bass Thornewill & Warham engines were originally saddle tanks. This should have read that all Bass Thornewill & Warham engines rebuilt by Hunslet were originally saddle tanks.