As we head towards the Diesel Delight event on October 7 & 8, various projects on the IC loco front continue to progress. The big Motor Rail, 1320, is continuing in ites PRISM-funded restoration project. The frame is now sitting upside down on a wagon, rather dominating the workshop. The frame has been shotblasted and primed. A few repairs were needed, and various castings were somewhat past their best. Since they were fitted in 1918 and probably not touched in 99 years, there isn’t really room to complain. Also, the Motor Rail Warranty Department doesn’t work on a Sunday.
At the opposite end of the Motor Rail spectrum is the tiny Autin-engined 12/20hp loco number 6031, known as Lord Austin. The loco was ordered for use by the Midhurst Whites brickworks, and they specified that it was for use in a low-height application; hence the cut down brake stand, and an unusual configuration of the gearbox controls. The loco has been finally fitted with its cab to complete the restoration – predictably, a low height cab. Getting in and out is interesting, to say the least, but the photo proves that the owner can manage it. How much vaseline was need to accomplish this feat is not known. The remains of the original cab are, as can be seen, at the “pattern use only” stage.
Finally, it’s been an interesting few days in railway preservation in the UK, and not in a good way. We particularly think of friends and colleagues affected at Felin Fawr, and we sincerely hope that the future works out. It is only a few months since “Stanhope” was operating on that railway, and the future seemed so bright.