A Bale of Turtles

During the mega-shunt which took place on Monday after Tracks to the Trenches, the Organisers decided we would set-up the photos you see. We think it is the first time, in the preservation era, that one of each type of the 40HP Motor Rail locos – known as Tin Turtles – have been together. From left, 2182 is an Armoured type – based at Leighton Buzzard. Then we see our own Protected loco, and finally two Opens – Mike Hart’s MR435, usually to be found at the Ffestiniog Railway, and Amberley’s MR1381. Lurking out of sight in the shed is the “Forgotten Turtle” – MR1320 – also known as The Block of Flats. This one doesn’t get out much, largely due to the scary condition of the wheels, engine and most of the rest of it. It is probably worth just reviewing the other Tin Turtles which survive. LR3098 belongs to the NRM and is the twin of our own LR3090 – both being ex-Knostrop sewage works. This loco VERY nearly came to the event, but last minute problems sadly meant that this was not to be. The Ffestiniog is also host to “Mary Ann”; this was on the event wish-list, but has wheels to FR specs, not ours. A failure to pass our back-to-back gauge meant trouble with check rails was almost guaranteed, so a no-go. Duxford museum hosts MR1364, entombed in the Land Warfare Hall. Finally is the enigmatic Hibberd 2914. This standard gauge loco, once at Chasewater and now somewhere in Staffordshire, almost certainly incorporates the frames of a 40HP Turtle. So, we make that five of the nine survivors at Apedale for the weekend, which isn’t bad, is it? The collective noun for Turtles is a Bale, by the way.