As part of the war effort a standard easily constructed tank engine was designed and built many different manufacturers. 118 was built by the Hudswell Clarke Company of Leeds in 1945 and spent all of its working life in military service, being based at Longmoor Military Railway which was the Army’s training railway. Many military railway personnel were ‘passed out’ for firing and driving on ‘Brussels’.
ln 1970 the Ministry of Defence announced its intention to discontinue railway operational training and thus the Longmoor site was to close. Earmarked for a possible preservation centre on the military railway, a local supporter of the project purchased No. 118 but once this scheme failed to materialise, ‘Brussels’ was offered to the KWVR and arrived at Haworth in September 1971.
When first steamed in 1972, it was found to be underpowered in comparison to a sister locomotive on the Railway at the time. Conversion to oil firing and testing with modifications the engine at last became efficient for the steeply graded KWVR line and it found useful service on the Railway.
The locomotive is now on static exhibition at Oxenhope will no plans to return it to steam.
Featured image: Robin Lush