Scottish Railway Preservation Society Collections pages

4w diesel mechanical shunting locomotive,
J.& A.Weir, Forth Paper Mills, Kilbagie, Clackmannanshire

The locomotive in SRPS use, two pictures

SRPS Core Collection, acquired 1967. Operational.
Built 1949, Ruston & Hornsby, Lincoln. Works.No.262998. 88DS type.

When Britain had industries, many factories had private railway networks, or at least private sidings. Steam locomotives were never economical for use on small industrial systems, and so once diesel shunting locomotives became available in the 1930s, a thriving market developed.

Ruston & Hornsby built diesel locomotives from 1931 to 1967. This 88bhp type was in production from 1938 to 1967, 271 being built for industrial use, mostly for the home market.

This locomotive was supplied new to J. & A.Weir Ltd. at Forth Paper Mills, Kilbagie, Clackmannanshire (near to Kincardine-on-Forth) in February 1949. It worked there until donated to SRPS in 1967. At the (now closed) SRPS Falkirk Depot it became the first working SRPS locomotive. The engine drive is taken through a mechanical gearbox operated hydraulically and then by chains to both axles. The limit to the haulage power of small diesels like this can be the traction force at the rails, and in the case of this locomotive the available force is increased by fitting cast iron weights on both sides under the footplate, and massive cast iron bufferbeams. The "cow catcher" bars, fitted below both bufferbeams, serve the dual purpose of removing railhead obstructions and also of supporting the locomotive in the event of a derailment.

Both pictures show the vacuum brake equipment which SRPS fitted to this locomotive shortly after acquisition, to assist shunting vacuum braked stock. The housing on the front left hand side of the locomotive hides the vacuum exhauster which is driven from the front end of the engine.

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Back to Diesel Locomotives List