Magic Merlin

The first of the Locos from Leeds for the May 16/17 Gala has arrived at Apedale. This one is Hudson LX1001. This loco was originally built as a twin to the Trust’s existing Hudson loco – Chaumont. Both are said to have been delivered to the CEGB at Woodhead cable tunnels, but were soon rejected due to their slow speed. LX1001 then seems to have been with a contractor in King’s Lynn, then a pleasure railway at Pendine in South Wales. One assumes that it gained the steam outline body at that point. It then spent a while at the Devon Railway Centre before moving to a private railway in Leicestershire. The owner told us he hadn’t run it for some years! Loading it proved to be slightly fraught due to very low ground clearance meaning the loco kept grounding on the rather steep ramp. We learnt from that at the other end of the operation, and used a very shallow angle at Apedale. Within twenty minutes of arrival, a new battery was found, and the oil and fuel checked. Crank the engine – a slight reluctance, but then it ran just fine. Checking the oil and fuel seems to involve dismantling a fair bit of the body, and the dome falling off onto the CME did little to endear the loco to him, but he seemed to relax after a drive. Quite how long the softwood body will survive remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a head turner at the moment. All being well, it will be in operation in May. Advance tickets are now on sale here. As ever, get in touch here.