Two for the price of one this week – the life and times of the Hudson MiniLocos. A long-standing agreement between Hudson and the Hunslet Engine Company mean that any sales made by Hudson of small narrow gauge diesels would be fulfilled by one of the chain-drive Hudson-Hunslet locos. By the late 1960s, this design was showing its age. It is possible that this is what prompted Hudson to dabble in loco design . Two locos were built in 1968, LX1001 and 1002. Both were fitted with Petter two-cylinder engines and a hydraulic transmission. They both went to the Central Electricity Generating Board cable tunnel railway at Woodhead. The locos clearly did not impress the CEGB; their haulage capacity is limited and they are painfully slow. The latter problem would be significant on a railway in a tunnel of three miles in length. Hudson found themselves with the two locos back on their hands very shortly after they first left the works – this would have been during 1969.
LX1001 was sold to The Dredging and Construction Co Ltd at Kings Lynn. 1975 or 1976 saw the loco move to a pleasure line at Pendine, Wales, which is (presumably) where the steam outline body seen in the commercial postcard was added. By 1985, the loco was in a Llanelli Borough Council store; it was “rebuilt” in 1986, which is probably when the current bodywork was added. The loco then moved to a pleasure railway at Pembrey Country Park. 1997 saw the loco move to the Devon Railway Centre, and thence to a private railway in Leicestershire in July 2001. April 2015 saw the loco joint the Trust collection. One immediate discovery was that, beneath the wooden bodywork, the original outline remains, still painted green.
LX1002 lived a very straightforward existence. July 1971 saw it sold to Dukinfield Sewage Works, where it was named Chaumont (after Ashton-under-Lyne’s French twin town). It was used to move a skip of “product” onto a loading gantry, where the skip could be tipped into a waiting lorry. Chaumont became part of the Trust collection in 1994.