Baldwin Beginnings

A project which hasn’t been seen on these pages for a little while is the Baldwin tractor. You may recall that this is a First World War loco, but it had subsequently been converted to standard gauge by a French company. Most of its history after 1918 is unknown, but it ended up in a quarry near the Swiss border, and then a scrapyard in Switzerland itself. This has been progressing as a low priority project at Apedale. Most current activity has been dismantling the loco; the key issues are re-gauging, fitting a replacement engine (as the current engine will foul the wheels when set to 2’0″ gauge) and general restoration. The general condition has been surprisingly good – the gearbox looked in as-new condition when it was un-sealed – but there’s an awfully long way to go! A recent milestone was passed when the standard gauge wheelsets were removed, making the loco look altogether more narrow gauge. The wheelsets will need to be dismantled, as the flycranks and axlexboxes need to be recovered for re-use, and hopefully the axles themselves. This is typical of projects which Apedale volunteers get involved – new recruits always welcomed!