Following on from research carried out by Roger Walton & Steve Roberts, we have now been able to establish that the mines loco at Middleton Railway is actually HE7274/73 and not HE6273/65. It seems the numbers got switched by mistake whilst at Caphouse. We have now amended our database records accordingly.
|A Leeds Engine Far Far Away|
Before being used as a filming location for many scenes of the new Star Wars film "The Last Jedi" the salt flats at Uyuni in Bolivia were best known for the "Train Cemetery" where several old steam locomotives are dumped. Included in the dump are a couple of Kitson locomotives and examples of the Kitson Meyer design built by other manufacturers. The town of Uyuni is also home to a Hunslet loco on static display. Our picture galleries contain photos of these engines contributed by people who have been there.External link
|Salamanca In Lights|
As part of Light Night in Leeds a giant image of Salamanca (the world's first commercially successful steam locomotive built in Leeds for the Middleton Railway) was displayed in light in City Square.External link
The Middleton Railway has just taken delivery of Mersey Docks and Harbour Board 0-6-0DH number 45 (Hudswell Clarke D1373/1965). This has arrived at the town of manufacture from East Somerset Railway.
|New UK Train Builder|
Spanish train builder CAF is to establish a works in Newport, South Wales. Though train production finished in Leeds in 1995 with the closure of the Hunslet Engine works a couple of Leeds firms have still been part of the supply chain of the UK train building industry. It had received criticism that new trains for the north of England are being built in Spain but the volume of orders CAF have received in the UK has led to the firm seeking to establish a UK works. Recently the order books of other UK train builders Bombardier at Derby and Hitachi at Newton Aycliffe have been full and the firms have been unable to bid for this work.External link
|Virgin Trains’ “steam team” lays new foundations at world’s first commercial railway|
Staff have taken time out from working on the transformation of Virgin Trains’ east coast route to volunteer at the world’s first commercial railway. As Virgin Trains prepares to revolutionise train travel with the introduction of its Azuma trains from next year, 29 volunteers from the company have helped to drive steam trains and worked as “navvies” at Middleton Railway in Leeds...External link
|The Grand National|
The 2017 Grand National takes place on 8th April. In 1893, 1912 and 1913 the races were won by Cloister, Covertcoat and Jerry M all owned by C Duff who also owned a major slate quarry. These winning horses are still represented by a trio of surviving quarry Hunslet locomotives. The external link describes one of these equestrian thoroughbreds.External link
|Immortalised in bricks and mortar|
In the next few weeks each of the Leeds engine builders will be permanently commemorated in the new running shed at Middleton Railway. One of the ideas during the fundraising was if you contributed a certain sum of money you could have an engraved brick placed into the wall with your name on. A personal donation was made have arranged for each of the builders to be represented. See Buy a Brick on the website link, included is a photo of the chairman laying the first named brick.External link
|Most In Depth Murray Book Yet|
Despite two intervening centuries the most in depth look in to Leeds' pioneering engineering firm of Fenton, Murray & Wood is available now in a book written by Paul Murray Thompson, one of Matthew Murray's descendants. Copies of the book are available in the Middleton Railway's shop, or click the link below to look on Amazon for the book.External link
|Leeds South Bank Regeneration|
The once industrial south bank of the River Aire in Leeds is to be regenerated to increase the size of Leeds' city centre area. The area was once the home to most of the city's engine works and a number of old works buildings such as the Round Foundry will be historic focal points of the scheme.External link
|Recognition for Leeds as 'Birthplace of Commercial Rail'|
A large plaque has been installed in the paving outside Leeds station's south entrance to tell visitors they are arriving at the birthplace of commercial railways. A short walk from the Round Foundry site that built the first commercially employed steam locos for the Middleton Railway, the first railway scheme to be granted an act of parliament, the plaque also mentions the names of many of the city's key locomotive manufacturers.
|Campaign for a memorial to Charles Roe|
Transport Yorkshire Preservation Group have started a campaign to have a plaque at the location of the former Charles Roe / Optare bus works in Crossgates, the site of which is now a housing development.External link
|Quarry Hunslet Lilla on the docks in Liverpool|
Hunslet built Lilla will be appearing at a steam rally on Liverpool's Albert Dock between the 6th and 8th May. The rally will feature steam boats, traction engines and Lilla running on a section of temporary track on the dock front.External link
|Hunslet Find, in England!|
Occasionally Hunslet locos thought to have been scrapped turn up in the furthest corners of the world. Recently one has been found locked up in a shed in England for almost 30 years and forgotten about. HE 1589 Newstead had been privately owned by a vintage vehicle collector since retirement from colliery work. It was found to be in remarkable condition and is now with the Small Loco Group at the Nene Valley Railway who are considering overhauling the engine when time and money permits.External link
|Another TV role for Sir Berkeley|
The Vintage Carriage Trust's Manning Wardle No 1210 'Sir Berkeley' will appear in the new ITV 8 part drama Jericho. This design of Manning Wardle loco was the must have plant equipment of its day and the type were used in the construction of many of the countries railway routes so 'Sir B' is ideal for this program, based on the shanty towns set up to construct the Settle & Carlisle Railway. For it's TV appearance the locomotive was repainted black. It will be seen in this livery at the Middleton Railway for its final months before coming out of traffic at the end of its current boiler 'ticket'. Sir B is something of a TV veteran having appeared in the BBC's first adaptation of The Railway Children and Dombey and Son in the 1970s. Jericho starts on ITV on 7th JanuaryExternal link
|Hunslet Steam on Metrolink Engineers Train|
The East Lancashire Railway occasionally provide engineers trains for Manchester's Metrolink tram system. With a serious engine problem on their class 03 diesel loco their only suitable loco for the tram route was a Hunslet built Austerity steam loco. One of the last types of industrial steam locomotive in service in the UK in to the 1980s this rare working sees the class in non passenger train use into the 21st Century.External link
|Leeds firm taken over|
Pickersgill Kaye produce train door lock components in the former Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co works in Pepper Road, Hunslet. The firm have supplied components to train builders in the UK and overseas including Hitachi, Siemens, Bombardier and EMD. The company has now been acquired by Scandinavian firm Assa Abloy joining a group of well known lock making firms including Chubb and Yale.External link
|North To Loose Last Leeds Built Trains?|
Hunslet TPL's 1990s built class 323 units will not be offered to the new franchisee of local rail services in the north of England and are expected to head to the Midlands to join the rest of the 323 fleet there. They look likely to be replaced by older BREL York built 319 units. Additional class 319 units were earmarked for newly electrified lines in the North but many of the electrification schemes in the north were put on hold following the general election. Alternatively German built class 350 units may be redeployed, these units offering better acceleration than the 319s. The 323 units were the last passenger vehicles built in Leeds before the Hunslet works closed in the mid 90s.External link
|German pioneer with Leeds roots steams again|
The first steam railway in Prussia was based on the Murray - Blenkinsop rack locomotive system introduced to the Middleton Colliery line in 1812. Just as the Murray Blenkinsop locomotives were overshadowed by the later success of Stephenson's Rocket in the UK, their German descendants were overshadowed by the later Adler. This piece of Germany's steam ancestry is to take it's rightful place in history as a replica is to be displayed in the DB Museum. The locos similarity to the Leeds built machines can be clearly seen.External link
The Middleton Railway will be celebrating 150 years since the first Hunslet Engine left the works in a gala on the 18th and 19th July. It is planned to have a couple of significant engines from the firm's history visiting and to have buses connecting the railway, the former works site and Armley Mills Museum. A length of narrow gauge track will be laid at the former works site and narrow gauge steam will be back at the former works. The railway is keen to hear from anyone who used to work for the Hunslet Engine CoExternal link
|Conway on holiday|
44 "Conway" 0-6-0ST Kitson 5469/1933 ex Stewarts & Lloyds was loaded onto a road wagon for it's travels to NRM at Shildon on 21/1/2015 where it will reside for 5 years. During this period of time a cosmetic restoration will be undertaken.External link
|Threat of closure for Snibston Discovery Centre|
The Snibston Discovery Centre in Coalville, Leicestershire is under threat of closure as council leaders look to sell off much of the site for redevelopment. The museum operates train rides using a Hunslet diesel and also has a Hunslet Austerity and a couple of Leeds built mine locos in its extensive collection of industrial exhibits. The pit head buildings on the site are listed so they could not be redeveloped however their future would be uncertain if the museum were to close. This is quite an alarming development for anyone interested in industrial heritage, with all councils looking to cut their budgets we will likely see many council run museums across the country also threatened with closure. Could an influx of museum exhibits with no museums to house them result in items being scrapped? A friends group has been set up to campaign to save the site and to look for solutions to keep the museum open.External link
|Moseley Railway Trust announces May 2015 Gala - Locos from Leeds|
The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to announce that the theme of the 2015 Apedale Valley Light Railway Gala will be Locos from Leeds. In a departure from previous practice, the event will be held in May 2015, May 16 and 17 to be exact. Phil Robinson, Moseley Railway Trust Chairman said When we reviewed the success of the September 2014 Tracks to the Trenches Gala, we identified that September was becoming saturated with events aimed at the railway enthusiast. We have therefore taken the decision to move the date of the 2015 Locos from Leeds Gala to May 16 and 17. We are hoping that this will increase the number of visitors, as there will be fewer competing railway events at that time of year. The Locos from Leeds theme has been chosen to showcase the Trusts newly restored Hudswell Clarke steam locomotive, and also the other Leeds-built items in the collection. Leeds was famous for being home to several locomotive builders, including Hunslet, Hudswell and John Fowler and various Leeds-built locos are held in the Trust collection. However, Leeds was also home to one of the most famous names in narrow gauge history Robert Hudson Ltd. Hudson did not build (many) locomotives, but manufactured just about everything else - track, wagons etc. which would be need to establish a narrow gauge railway system. Their catalogues have become legendary collectors items - a bit like an Argos catalogue covering railways! Hudson supplied locomotives which were built by others - for example, the Trust Hudswell steam locomotive was supplied to its original purchaser in Africa via Robert Hudson Ltd. As is traditional now at Apedale Galas, there will be a full complement of model railways and trade stands for the entertainment of visitors. The replica World War One Trench system - built for the Tracks to the Trenches event - will be open for visitors, with military re-enactor groups working to bring to life the experiences of soldiers in that conflict. The Trust would be delighted to hear from anyone with a Leeds-built item that they may wish to exhibit at the event. The event will be open from 1100 to 1700 on Saturday and Sunday 16 and 17 May. Entry prices are Adults £6 and Children £3. The popular Access All Areas passes will once again be available, priced at £15. These passes are made available in limited numbers and allow access to otherwise off-limits part of the site for the serious enthusiast photographer. All tickets will be available for purchase on the gate, or in advance. Details of advance ticket purchase release will be advised in due course.External link
|Fowler Blue Plaque|
The Pudsey Roller was built in 1921 by John Fowler & Co (Leeds) Ltd at the Steam Plough Works in Hunslet, Leeds and the Leeds Civic Trust, in conjunction with the Leeds and District Traction Engine Club, will be unveiling a Blue Plaque to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of John Fowler on that day in 1864.
|Former steam wagon works in Hunslet building parts for new Hitachi trains|
Leeds firm Pickersgill-Kaye are based in the former Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon works in Hunslet. They supply door locks to the train building industry and have won the order to supply components for Britain's new generation of high speed trains. "Pickersgill-Kaye Ltd has clinched its largest single order to manufacture emergency door handles for the Class 800 and 801 trains being supplied by Hitachi Rail Europe for the multi-billion pound Intercity Express Programme (IEP), one of the biggest rail projects in the world. Leeds-based lock maker Pickersgill-Kaye, part of the Joseph Kaye Holdings Group, will manufacture and supply the Emergency Egress Device (EED) and Emergency Access Device (EAD) for the passenger carriage doors of the trains, in the multi-million pound contract through to 2020. Work has already started in delivering the EEDs and EAD units for the first three trains being built in Japan, for services on the Great Western and East Coast main lines, with the majority of Pickersgill-Kaye products then being supplied from next year to Hitachi’s new UK Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham."External link
|Oldest Hunslet Loco Restored|
The oldest surviving Hunslet loco Hodbarrow, which was once plinthed outside the works offices, has been cosmetically restored at Statfold Barn. Previously dismantled at Armley Mills Industrial Museum in Leeds the engine was looking a sorry sight and a lot of work has been put in to restoring it to a condition any visitors to the Hunslet Engine Works might remember.External link
|Moseley Railway Trust announces the completion of restoration of Hudswell Clarke steam locomotive|
The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to report that the final hurdle in the restoration of the Trust’s Hudswell Clarke steam locomotive no. 1238 has now been overcome. On Tuesday 24 June 2014, the locomotive passed its steam test, and then moved under its own power for the first time in 66 years.
|Engineering Yorkshire's Biggest Event|
In the 1830s some of the first locomotives for the French railways departed from the Round Foundry in Holbeck. 180 years later and parts of the former works now house the offices of Welcome to Yorkshire where they have been busy preparing for the Grand Depart of the Tour De France on the 5th and 6th JulyExternal link
|Hudswell Clarke Loco Unearthed in New Zealand Mine|
The rusted remains of an old steam locomotive built in 1907 were unearthed when Solid Energy was working on a new coal-mining area at Ohai recently. The remains of the locomotive, belived to be a Hudswell Clarke, built in the United Kingdom, were uncovered at the site of Ohai's old Wairaki No1 underground mine while the state-owned coal miner was stripping the overburden in preparation for mining the coal. Solid Energy Southland mine manager Antony Stodart said the narrow-gauge engine was probably dumped and buried in the 1940s. Records showed the engine's boiler was inspected and originally registered in Canterbury, with the machine working at Glentunnel, Canterbury, for the Homebush Coal Co, Mr Stodart said. It was sold to the Nightcaps Coal Co in 1916, where it was used until the company's operations ended in 1923. It was then sent to the Black Lion Coal Co in Ohai in 1924 and was known to have worked into the early 1930s. No decision had been made about the machine's fate, he said. ''We have what we think is an original photograph of the machine, with the name Dunedin on it, so it would be good if a local organisation was interested in restoring it,'' Mr Stodart said. ''As far as we can tell, the only New Zealand example of a restored Hudswell Clarke is Oamaru Steam and Rail's 1924 engine. ''It would be good if someone was able to restore it because, as well as making steam engines, Hudswell Clarke made a lot of other mining equipment, so there's a strong industry connection.''External link
|Friends of Sierra Leone National Railway Museum Formed|
A friends organisation has been formed to promote Sierra Leone's National Railway Museum. A small booklet about the history of the SLR and the museum has been produced and is available at the museum and in the UK. Many of the exhibits in the museum are from the Leeds engine builders.External link
|Fijian High Commissioner names Hudswell Clarke steam locomotive|
On Friday May 2nd, His Excellency Mr Solo Mara, High Commissioner for the Republic of Fiji Islands, named a steam locomotive (Hudswell Clarke 972 of 1911) Fiji, reflecting its history when it worked in the sugar cane fields and mills of the Pacific Islands. "Our friends at the Statfold Barn Railway have repatriated and rebuilt the locomotive, now over 100 years old, and restored it to full working order. They are kindly making it available for use on the Welsh Highland Railway between Porthmadog and Caernarfon." The official naming ceremony took place at Porthmadog Harbour Station at 1630, followed by a demonstration of the locomotive in action on a shuttle service to Pont Croesor.External link
|Thomas Green Book Released|
Local historian John Pease's book about engineering firm Thomas Green & Son will be on sale from 8th March. Though possibly not one of Leeds best known firms the company built a number of locomotives (including the preserved 'Barber' and a few overseas survivors) steam trams and steam rollers. As well as these steam items they produced a vast range of products from lawnmowers and pub tables to diesel powered road rollers.External link
|Good News for Derby Can Be Good News For Leeds|
Though Leeds no longer has a train building works it does still have a couple of works that form a regular part of the supply chain to Bombardier in Derby so the announcement of a major order for the Derby works could be good news for local engineering firms,External link
|Ride a Greenbat Under The Streets of London?|
Plans are in progress to reopen part of the Post Office Railway to the public. The system closed in 2003 and employed a number of Leeds built Greenbat railcars to move mail across the city. It is planned to offer rides to the public as part of the Post Office's museum. If any of the Greenbats are adapted for passenger use it would give a rare chance for the public to ride on this maker's machinery as they specialised in electric vehicles.External link
|Ronald Nelson Redman|
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Ronald Redman on the 30th December 2013. He will be well known to many who are interested in our local engineering history as the author of a number of books including the definative history of Hudswell Clarke & Co Ltd having been employed as a draughtsman for the firm.
|Thomas Green History|
Following several years of research by John Pease, including much help from others, many within the Leeds & District Traction Engine club, a new book, THE HISTORY OF THOMAS GREEN AND SON, is to be published in the new year.
|O Scale Ixion Fowler 0-4-0DM|
Ixion Model Railways Ltd are delighted to announce that the 7mm Fowler 0-4-0DM is now on sale from Ixion stockists. I understand from customers that some are already running on layouts at exhibitions this weekend; I haven't seen them, as I live in Australia!
|Restoration of Joseph Booth's Chilean Monster Crane|
One of Leeds crane maker Joseph Booth's largest steam cranes, a 62t Travelling Steam Derrick (works number 2791 of 1913) is to be restored. For many years it has been a popular landmark on Vergara Pier, Vina del Mar but its condition has been deteriorating in recent years. "During his visit, the head of state stressed that 'the Government of Chile, as part of the Bicentennial Legacy has decided to recover the Muelle Vergara, from the point of view of safety and soundness, which will require strengthening its pillars, but also recover its surface, keeping the crane, which is a true Icon of Muella Vergara and city of Vina del Mar"External link
|Armley Mills movements|
One of the few surviving EB Wilson locos has been moved from the storage area at Armley Mills museum and is now on display. This loco was one of those built for the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway later taken into GWR stock. It was cut down from an 0-6-0 to an 0-4-0 and used for demonstrating inside cylinders and motion. When in storage this loco was a kit of parts it now comprises of wheels now in the frames.
|Complaint made about 'Railway Children' film 43 years after it was made|
Hudswell Clarke built 'Manchester Ship Canal No 67' made a surprising appearance in the newspapers while it is currently resting out of ticket in the Middleton Railway's engine house. 43 years ago it had a major role in the film 'the Railway Children', being the loco that worked daddy's train home. That film has now received its first complaint.External link
|Fowler Steam Roller Damaged in Collision With Dorset Pub|
John Fowler steamroller 9005 of 1901 "Lord Kitchener" has been damaged following a collision with a pub in Corfe Castle. The engine sustained damage including the front rollers being broken off but luckly no one was injured in the accident, the pub also escaped serious damage. Reports say that the collision occurred when the crew were avoiding a car coming out of a side road.External link
|"Fowler Diesel" plates sought.|
Restoration of Fowler 0-4-0DM 4210132 of 1957 continues at Swanage, with work on the engine rebuild going on in parallel with various more cosmetic tasks. One item the group are seeking is the pair of bonnet-nose maker's plates, "Fowler" on one side and "Diesel" on the other, as fitted to this class and several others. If anyone knows of any for sale, or has a pair and would be prepared to sell (or donate!) to the restoration, please get in touch via the website link below.External link
|Cheetal to be restored|
Restoration project aims to get historic Leeds locomotive back on track
|Leeds Horse tram 107|
Engineering expertise by Pickersgill Electroplating has played a major part in helping the Leeds Transport Historical Society (LTHS) to restore the city's sole surviving horse-drawn tram to its former glory.
|Acquisition of LH Group|
The acquisition of LH Group is complimentary to Wabtec Rail Group’s activities as one of the UK’s leading rail vehicle engineering companies. Through the Wabtec Rail Limited works at Doncaster, the Brush Traction facilities at Loughborough and Wabtec Rail Scotland’s works at Kilmarnock in Scotland the Group undertakes the refurbishment and maintenance of railway rolling stock, locomotives, passenger trains and freight wagons. In addition the Group also undertakes the overhaul of components such as wheels, bogies, braking systems, air conditioning modules, door systems, traction motors and electrical systems. These services are further supported through the range of electrical components available through Mors Smitt, following its recent acquisition by Wabtec Corporation. As such the combined resources of both Wabtec Rail Group and LH Group will result in an ability to provide an all-encompassing range of services to the UK rail industry.
|200 Jahre Dampfeisenbahn in Leeds|
The excellent German TV programme Eisenbahn-Romantik is showing on 26/8/2012 the coverage they filmed in Leeds of the 200 Years of Steam gala. It will be available online after broadcast on Germany TV.External link
|Two more Hunslets come to the UK|
It has recently been reported in Heritage Railway magazine the pair of Quarry Hunslet 0-4-0ST’s locos Michael (1709/1932) and King of the Scarlets (492/1889) are to return to the UK from Canada.
|Quarry Hunslet 0-4-0ST No. 364 of 1885 Winifred comes home|
Julian Birley, who already owns Bala Lake Railway-based Quarry Hunslet Alice has purchased three locos that were sold to a USA collector at the end of steam including Winifred. This arrived at Bala 28/4/2012.External link
|A new model|
Bachmann have announced thaey will produce a model of the LNER D11/2 "Improved Director" some of these were made by Kitsons.External link
|Newcastle to Newcastle|
Manning Wardle 0-6-0ST “Newcastle” has been purchased by and moved to Beamish museum near to Newcastle.External link
|Slough 3 returns home|
Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST Slough Estates No 3 has returned home to Leeds. It has moved from Swindon and Cricklade Railway to Middleton RailwayExternal link