33/40hp loco 198297 - 

All photos by Dave Hall unless stated otherwise.

 This loco was delivered new in 1939 to contractors' Charles Brand for use on a contract to enlarge the King Edward dock at Avonmouth. The loco passed into the ownership of the Ministry of Supply circa 1942 and was employed in the former Croesor slate mine in North Wales, which was in use as an explosives store. Here, an exhaust conditioner was fitted to enable the loco to work underground.

Photo: Peter Nicholson.

 The loco and  mine later passed into the ownership of Cookes Explosives Ltd, a part of the Imperial Chemical Industries empire and worked until around 1971. In 1979 it was acquired for preservation at the now defunct Gloddfa Ganol narrow gauge museum near Blaenau Ffestiniog. No work was carried out here and the loco stayed in the condition it had been received in from industry until the closure of Gloddfa Ganol.  I bought it from the closing down sale of GG and it is seen arriving at its temporary(!) home in Whaley Bridge, Derbys. in March 1998.
This photo shows the first stages of reassembly. What at first appeared to be a straightforward job became more complicated as more and more faults had to be rectified. Among these were fitting of new gearbox primary shaft, new gearbox spider joint, replacement of all engine mounting bolts since the old ones had worked loose and the threads had been destroyed, cleaning out of exhaust system and decarbonisation of No. 3 cylinder head. Another job was the replacement of the leaking oil seal at the flywheel end of the engine and whilst the flywheel was removed, the opportunity was taken to fit a ring gear to it to permit the fitting of electric start in the future.


Left: May 2000. 198297 with bodywork fitted and painted. At this point, the oil was yet to be changed and the fuel system needed to be bled. attention was still required on the brakes.
The sump contained pieces of wood and string in addition to the very sludgy oil. The sump was thoroughly washed out before refilling. 
The finished loco, painted and hand-lined and working at the Moseley railway Trust open day, 22nd July 2000.