Chemical and Insulating

Unusually, we head away from Apedale for (some) of this post. The Chemical and Insulating Company was loacted in the Faverdale area of Darlington. It was operational between 1928 and 1994; it’s not entirely clear (can you help?) what they actually made, although – and rather sadly – a Google search shows a strong association with the word Asbestos, and its tragic effects on the health of those exposed to that material. The works had railways on three gauges; an electric loco handled traffic on the standard gauge connection. A 24″ gauge railway operated in part of the factory using a Greenbat battery loco; the loco was used to move wagons in and out of large autoclaves. The third system was 20″ gauge, and moved material to and from a tipping area.

It may be recalled that the Moseley School tramway was initially 20″ gauge and used a Ruston loco, number 354013; when the decision was taken to change to the more common 2’0″ gauge, Ruston 354013 was sold from the School to C&I – a rare case of a loco being “de-preserved” and returned to industrial use. After C&I closed, Ruston 354013 was again preserved by the Darlington RPS; as the “Moseley First Loco”, it has always had a special place in the MRT story, and we were delighted when DRPS placed the loco on loan to us at Apedale for the MRT50 event in September 2019. The loco was cosmetically restored, but work has now started in earnest to make the loco fully operational.

Another C&I loco has now joined the collection at Apedale; Ruston 375360 arrived at Apedale on 18 June. C&I No.1, it is a Ruston type LAT. It is the further loco in the second photo. As will be seen, considerable work will be needed before this one operates again – but we’ve seen a lot worse!

Of the C&I loco fleet, most were preserved; the DRPS have the standard gauge electric and one of the 20″ Rustons (RH476124) plus Ruston 354013 at Apedale. The 24″ gauge Greenbat was initially preserved at the much-missed Abbey Light Railway in Leeds, and is now in the care of the Ripon and District Light Railway.