Ruston & Hornsby Diesel Electric 0-4-0 Shunter 'James'

Born in Lincoln for the Stewart & Lloyds steel company

Rebuilt for sale and bought for preservation.

Saved, refurbished and resold

After its life was over in industry, the locomotive was rebuilt for resale but eventually offered to the preservation movement at a knockdown price.

Information

Data File

Built: 1959 Lincoln
Engine: Ruston & Hornsby 165h.p. diesel coupled to a DC generator
Transmission: Single traction motor.
Weight: 28 Tons
Tractive Effort: 16,700 lbf.
Max Speed: 17½, mph

A life in steel

‘James’ is a 4-coupled locomotive, built by Ruston & Hornsby of Lincoln under their works number 431763 to their type ‘165DE’. The locomotive incorporates a 6 Cylinder, Ruston & Hornsby, 165 h.p. diesel engine coupled to a DC generator feeding onto a single traction motor.

Speed control is by engine speed and excitation on the generator. Speed and air-brake controls are duplicated on each side of the driving cab allowing the locomotive to be driven from either side. A more unusual feature of this engine is that it does not require batteries for starting. The engine is started by a hand cranked petrol engine (housed in the engine compartment) which then creates air pressure from which the diesel engine is turned into life.

When new, the locomotive was delivered to the steel company Stewarts & Lloyd, Ltd. of Bilston, Staffordshire. It was here that the engine was named ‘James’ and it continued in service until being sold in the mid-1980’s for scrap. Like many preserved steam and diesel locomotives, fate played its part in the saving of this locomotive. The purchaser of the engine was a company that specialised in the renovation of diesel locomotives. Their intention was to fully overhaul the engine and sell it back into industrial use at a profit.

No takers, so an overhauled diesel at a bargain price

When no buyer could be found, however, the company offered ‘James’ to the heritage railway sector at a fraction of the cost it took to return it to full working order.

The locomotive was purchased by a private member of the Bahamas Locomotive Society and arrived at Ingrow on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in 1990.

At its new home, ‘James’ sees little use, but is brought out when the need arises to shunt BLS and VCT stock around Ingrow yard.