If cost is everything then for an entry-level locomotive you need look no further than a battery powered machine. We inherited our first one in more or less ready-to-run condition and have since taken delivery of two more.
The latest additions — no less than four of them — will be much more of a challenge. Given the cost of the heavy duty batteries needed to power them, I doubt we shall ever see a run past of all of them working simultaneously.
Clayton 1¾ ton 4wBE w/no 5961C of 1972.
- Has no motor or brakes. Stored in Littledean. Bought from Ian Bendall, Wigston, Leics. Industrial identity ‘EL9’.
- History not yet known:
- One option is to fit two 24v lorry starter motors (one to each axle) and power with four 12v auto batteries.
- This loco is of same type as one brought to Lea Bailey open day in June by Gareth Rees.
Logan ¾ ton 4wBE, w/no LM 1066 of 1951.
- Complete apart from battery and battery boxes (but very corroded due to over 40 years stored OOU outdoors at Llechwedd, North Wales).
- To Edmund Nuttall, Sons & Co (London) Ltd, no location known. Sold to Mitchell Bros, Son & Co Ltd, Tickhill, Doncaster in 1965; given plant no MBS236. Employed on Mitchell’s Tilbury Power Station contract, before moving on to their LT Victoria Line, Vauxhall Park contract. By February 1972 the loco was at Mitchell’s Tickhill Plant Depot, Doncaster. Sold to Llechwedd Slate Quarry & Tourist Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog, moved by April 1972. Not used, put on static display. Sold to Alan Keef Sept 2014. Bought for LBLR and moved to storage in Littledean, 24th October 2014.
- Longish term restoration project (for dry weather)
- Needs two battery boxes making (there is a complete example in North Wales on which to measure the boxes). 96v so will need eight 12v auto batteries.
Wingrove & Rogers WR18 4wBE, w/no 7888R of 1977.
- Complete apart from battery and brakes (but battered and corroded from use and outdoor storage).
- New to Stanhopeburn mine. 6/1978 as No 3 moved to Cambokeels mine. By 16/10/1988 moved to Frazers Grove mine. C4/2004 moved to Broadwood Processing Plant for storage. Bought for LBLR and moved to Lea Bailey 27th October 2014.
- Wheels and motors rotate (but are stiff). 72v so will need six 12v auto batteries. Although handbrake, blocks and rigging are missing this loco appears to have a transmission brake.
- The WR18 is an upgraded version of W227 as used on the George & Charlotte mine tramway at Morwellham.
Wingrove & Rogers WR18 4wBE, w/no 7964 of 1977.
- Complete apart from battery and brakes (but battered and corroded from use and outdoor storage), battery box is not original (too small).
- New to Redburn mine. By 11/3/1978 to Stanhopeburn mine. After 7/1979, by 12/10/1980 moved to Cambokeels mine as No 4. By 16/10/1988 moved to Frazers Grove mine. By 19/12/1989 moved to Cambokeels mine. By 17/11/1990 moved to Frazers Grove mine as No 1. 12/1999 moved to Broadwood Processing Plant for storage. 8/7/2004 sold to I Hughes, Langwathby, Cumbria. Then sold to R Etherington, Shackerstone, Leics. Bought for LBLR and moved to Clearwell 24th October 2014 to be restored for use as shunter at the Caves.
- Wheels and motors rotate (easier than on 7888). 72v so will need six 12v auto batteries. Although handbrake, blocks and rigging are missing this loco hopefully has a transmission brake as on 7888.
N.B. Redburn, Stanhopeburn, Cambokeels and Frazers Grove mines and Broadwood Processing Plant were all parts of the (now defunct) Weardale fluorspar industry in County Durham.