1918 World War1 Motor Rail in 1-hour prime-time television programme.

The Channel 4 television program, Salvage Squad, in association with the Moseley Railway Trust have fully restored former World War 1 Motor Rail loco – LR3090 in just 3 months.

In what is thought to be a first for television, the Moseley Railway Trust & Salvage Squad, have undertaken the full restoration of former WW1 & Knostrop Sewage Works narrow gauge ‘Protected’ Motor Rail (MR1369 of 1918) locomotive. The hour-long programme, due to be screened in early 2003, will follow the full restoration process over a 3-month period at the premises of Dorothea Restorations in Derbyshire.

The petrol-engined machine (commonly known as a ‘Tin Turtle’), on permanent loan from Leeds Industrial Museum, had not operated since the early 1960’s when it was withdrawn from service. In 1980 this loco, in remarkably original condition, passed to Leeds Museum where it was to spend a further 15 years on static display. Acquired for eventual restoration by the Moseley Railway Trust, the machine arrived in 1995 in time for display at its Military Gala. Following the Moseley Railway Trust’s removal from the Cheadle site, this project was classed as low priority. The Trust’s current Buxworth restoration base is tackling more practical equipment in preparation for developing a railway at a new permanent home.

In early 2002 the Moseley Railway Trust were approached by Wall-to-Wall Television, makers of the Salvage Squad programme, to provide a suitable project. This resulted in the former WW1 locomotive being selected over 2 other Trust engines.

Although in substantially original condition, the locomotive was robbed for spares to keep its sister running whilst at Knostrop Sewage works. Amongst other things, this has resulted in the whole of the ignition system (carburettor, magneto, etc) having to be replaced with the correct pattern parts. Thanks are due to Mike Hart of the Ffestiniog Railway Heritage group, for provision of a very valuable source of engine spares.

Restored to original WW1 condition, this locomotive took part in a special Memorial Day on 11th November 2002, on one of the few surviving remnants of the WW1 light railway system in France; CF Cappy-Froissy-Dompierre (APPEVA).

Having arrived back in the UK again, the locomotive has returned to its berth in the Moseley Railway Trust’s Buxworth workshops. Hopes are high that the restored locomotive will make several working visits to UK Heritage railways in 2003.

For further information please visit either the Moseley Railway Trust homepage (www.mrt.org.uk) or the dedicated website for the ‘Tin Turtle’ (www.tinturtle.info)