Moseley Railway Trust accepts Woodhead Tunnel locomotive from National Grid

A battery powered electric locomotive is back on the rails following it’s donation by National Grid to The Moseley Railway Trust.

The locomotive, which weighs four tonnes, was built in 1998 by Clayton Equipment.  It has been used at the National Grid’s cable tunnels at Woodhead, high in the Pennines.  The Woodhead tunnels were originally built to carry mainline trains from Sheffield to Manchester. Following closure of the railway, the tunnels were converted to carry high-voltage cables to avoid the need for above-ground pylons through one of the UK’s most dramatic landscapes. National Grid use a 2’ 0” gauge narrow gauge railway for maintenance purposes.  A recent review of operations at Woodhead concluded that the Clayton locomotive was surplus to requirements.  The Moseley Railway Trust already had in its collection two locomotives which had worked in the Woodhead cable tunnels – a Hudson diesel locomotive and an older Clayton electric locomotive.  Both National Grid and the Trust wished to complete the Woodhead story in the Trust’s collection, and this led to arrival of the 1998 built Clayton at the Moseley Railway Trust’s Apedale site earlier this month.

Phil Robinson, MRT Chairman said “We are absolutely delighted with this new locomotive, and we wish to acknowledge National Grid’s support to our work at Apedale.  The locomotive not only fills an important part in the museum collection – but it is also in full working order. Most locomotives which arrive at Apedale need years of restoration work!”

David Smith, who is looking after the Woodhead Tunnels for National Grid said: “We are happy to have been able to donate the locomotive to the Railway Trust and we are delighted to learn that it will see active service on their line for years to come.”

The National Grid locomotive will now be used on general duties on the Moseley Railway Trust’s Apedale Valley Light Railway.