The last few days have seen something of an influx of new locomotives to the Apedale site. Over the next few days we’ll tell you a little about each one. First up is a Motor Rail. Not a manufacturer under-represented in the collection, but no. 7522 is Different. It’s a 8/12hp loco, powered by an Ailsa Craig diesel. These seem to have been built as lightweight locos, perhaps with a view to breaking into the segment of the market which was dominated by Lister locos in the years immediately after WW2. It left MR’s Bedford works on 6/4/1948 and was delivered to the River Great Ouse Cathchment Board, Cuckoo Bridge, Ely. It would have been used on works relating to flood defences and the like. It didn’t last long, because on 24/6/1954, it went to Geo.W.Bungey Ltd, who were a plant dealer. They sold it to the Lancashire Moss Litter Company at Astley, where it stayed until March 1976 when it entered preservation at the Moseley School Railway, Cheadle Hulme. It underwent a complex restoration, and became one of the iconic locos at the School. It has a special place in the history of the Moseley organisation as it was used on the last passenger train at the School, as shown in the photo.
The cab also became a Special Place, as it was used to cover the toilet facilities at the School – this is why it isn’t on the loco in the photo.
Unfortunately, the intervening years have been very unkind to the loco, and it has suffered major damage to the engine block. Nothing is beyond repair, but we would be very interested to hear from anyone who has – or knows of – a compatible Ailsa-Craig block. Fairly obviously, the loco won’t be operating at the Diesel Delights events of October 7 & 8, but it will be on display.