Industrial Diesel Locos at the East Somerset Railway
SENTINEL DIESEL PRESERVATION GROUP
Our small group was formed in November 2005 to restore recently acquired 0-4-0 Sentinel locomotive 10165 ‘Joan’. Our collection has since expanded with the kind donation to us of 0-4-0 Sentinel 10199 and Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 D1373 by Esso Petroleum Ltd, and 0-6-0 Sentinel 10221 by Lafarge Cement UK. We also assist the ESR with the maintenance of their Sentinel 10218 and have Sentinel 10175 transferred from the West Somerset Railway in 2015. We constructed a two road shed at Cranmore to house our collection, which was completed in 2013.
We are open every Tuesday and some weekends where work permits! so come and say hello
Built in 1963, 10165 was a lightweight version of the 40 ton 0-4-0 Side Rod (SR) drive Sentinel diesel. As with all Sentinels the loco is powered by a Rolls Royce C Range diesel engine, in this case the 311 hp 16.2 litre 8 cylinder supercharged version. Power is transmitted through a Rolls Royce Twin Disc torque converter to a Self Changing Gears RF11 reduction and reversing gearbox on the rear axle, with the wheels connected by side rods. Initially 10165 was used by Rolls Royce Sentinel as a demonstration loco, but was sold in July 1964 to the Oxfordshire Ironstone Co. of Banbury as part of an order for this and ten new locos. 10165 was refurbished and travelled to Banbury in September of that year, carrying the name Joan from her steam predecessor. She formed a part of a total fleet of 13 locos, 8 30 ton 0-4-0SR’s with girls names for iron ore quarry work around the company’s Wroxton base, and 5 standard 40 ton 0-4-0SR’s for working the 5-mile branch to the main line at Banbury. When the OI Co. system closed in 1968, Joan was moved to Stewarts and Lloyds iron ore quarry at Harlaxton near Grantham, gaining the plant no. 8411/07, and worked there until shortly before this too closed in 1974. She then moved with former OI Co. sister Maud to BSC Stainless Division’s Panteg works near Pontypool in South Wales. The two locos soldiered on here until rail traffic ceased at the works in 1989, both rather battered Sentinels then being bought for preservation at the Dean Forest Railway. This proved to be short lived as the locos soon became disused and vandalised, languishing at various sites on the DFR and later at the former MOD site at Long Marston in Warwickshire. In 2005 the loco was bought and moved down to Cranmore, where the mammoth task of restoration began. This has turned into a major rebuild with the loco being stripped down to its frames and wheels and all damage and corrosion painstakingly repaired. Once this had been done the superstructure was gradually reassembled, the control desk rebuilt and a complete electrical rewire done. All the air, fuel and vacuum pipework runs were either refitted or replaced, further cleaning up, priming and painting, Cab glazing refitted with new sliding windows and finally the gloss coats of the original OI Co. maroon livery with yellow and black lining and red buffer beams, side rods and fly cranks. Completion is not far off now and hopefully will be by the end of 2016.
"Click here for more photos and information on the restoration of Joan">
10199 represents the most numerous Sentinel type, the 34 ton 0-4-0 Chain Drive (CD) or Class LB. 119 of these were built, 10199 being one of four for Esso, one each for Hull, Trafford Park, and 10199 for Bowling near Glasgow. The fourth went to Marseille in the south of France and was later joined by an 0-6-0SR. 10199 arrived in Glasgow in November 1964 and worked there until moving to the company’s Plymouth bitumen plant in 1995. The loco was soon joined by a larger Hudswell Clarke and was kept as standby but little used. On a visit to the plant in 2007 the loco was found disused and rusty, suffering from the salty atmosphere! A tentative enquiry to Esso was made and to our delight they offered to donate the loco to us. 10199 was moved up to Cranmore in July ’07 and with a set of batteries connected she fired up first turn. After a few weeks work the loco was made to move again under her own power and work was set about on the restoration. This was completed in about 9 months with the loco turned out in red livery with yellow and black lining similar to the original. As it had never carried any identity, the name Cattewater was chosen after the stretch of water at Cattedown Wharf where the loco spent her last years in industry at Plymouth. The livery was also embellished with “ESSO Bitumen, Plymouth” on the cabside. Strangely this made-up livery of ours was chosen to be immortalised by Hornby in their 00 gauge Sentinel model, even though it only ever ran like this in Cranmore! 10199 is fitted with the 12.7 litre six cylinder 230 hp supercharged C6 engine with Twin Disc transmission. Sprockets on the RF11 gearbox drive the axles via duplex roller chains, each link being 2 ½ inches long. The loco suffered from engine trouble in 2014 is currently awaiting its turn for attention. This is planned for 2017, once Joan is completed. At the same time the loco will be repainted, possibly in a new colour scheme, along with attention to the brake rigging and air tank.
We also have an identical 0-4-0CD transferred up Cranmore from Williton on the WSR in 2015. Ex Manchester Ship Canal DH16 (works no. 10175 of Feb 1964) was one of 18 of this type that once worked on the MSC railway system around Manchester Docks and along the banks of the Canal to Warrington. This system contained 230 miles of track and was once Britain’s largest private railway. When the docks went into decline in the early 1970’s DH16 was sold to Bowaters paper mill in Ellesmere Port where it worked until 1980. Bowater’s donated the loco to the then fledgling East Lancashire Railway and the loco was used extensively on the reconstruction of their line. In 1999 the loco was found disused and looking quite sorry for itself, so enquiries were made and the loco bought for its then scrap price of £700. The initial restoration was carried out on a siding next to the rail shed at Merehead Quarry by kind permission of Mendip Rail, and moved to Williton on the West Somerset Railway 18 months later. (the Diesel and Electric Preservation Group’s website is: depg.org ) During her time at Williton attention was given to an axle bearing, the engine given a top end overhaul and new drive chains and brake blocks fitted – in between times as depot shunter. In 2015 DH16 was invited to an event at the former Rolls-Royce factory in Shrewsbury, just across the railway from her birthplace. The opportunity was taken on the return journey to move the loco to Cranmore to join the rest of the fleet and enjoy the benefit of covered storage in our shed. Below is a photo of DH16 after a trip to Minehead in 2012
PBA 42 was new to the Port of Bristol Authority’s Avonmouth docks in July 1965 (works no. 10221) and was the last of a fleet of 8 Sentinel locos (PBA 34-42). Rail traffic ceased in 1983 and the loco was sold through Sparrows Equipment Sales in 1985, eventually ending up at the Rover Plant in Longbridge, after an overhaul including fitting with train air brakes. In 1999 10221 moved to Blue Circle Cement’s Westbury works, later gaining an unusual livery and the name ‘Eric’ as a result of a competition to design it by local primary school children. In 2005 the loco suffered a severe electrical fire, burning out all the wiring and damaging the control desk and air control system. The other resident loco at Westbury had a transmission failure about this time too so 10221’s unit was robbed to replace it. The air brake donkey engine compressor was also taken off for the other loco. The loco was dumped at the end of the sidings for many months so we arranged a visit just out of curiosity to see what condition it was in. Luckily Lafarge Cement (successors to Blue Circle) offered to donate the loco to us, and although in bit of a sorry state, it had very definite potential and we were very happy to accept it. Lafarge Cement up in Dunbar very kindly donated a large quantity of spares from scrap locos and their stores which contain most of what we will need for 10221’s restoration, and to keep the two Chain Drive locos working too. We hope to eventually start on 10221 once 10199 is completed. This loco also has the 8 cylinder 311 hp engine, Twin Disc Transmission and RF11 final drive, with the drive to the centre axle, and weighs in at 48 tons. The second four of the PBA locos unusually have rubber suspension, 42 being one of these.
Also at Cranmore is privately owned sister Port of Bristol Sentinel PBA 39 (10218 of May 1965), this is currently in working order and restored to its original Oxford Blue livery with yellow and black lining and red and white buffer beams. (PBA 42 will be restored to the later style with yellow and black chevron buffer beams and skirts). PBA 39 was one of the last operational locos at Avonmouth Docks, going from there into preservation at the Dean Forest Railway in 1984, and coming to Cranmore in 1999. About 90 of these 0-6-0SR class LBS were built.
MD & HB 45, Hudswell Clarke D1373
Our ‘odd man out’ is one of Hudswell Clarke’s most modern designs, and one of the last locos to be built by the company. One of only 8 of this 36 ton 0-6-0 type made for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, 45 was in the second batch of four (arriving Jan ’66), all of which were built with flameproof electrics for working into the various oil installations on the Liverpool docks system. The loco is powered by the classic 8 cylinder Gardner in its final development as the 8L3B at 260hp. This 26 litre normally aspirated engine was developed for marine and rail traction use and first appeared in a loco as long ago as 1932. The same engine in its 204hp version was used in BR class 03/04/05/06 etc. as well as many industrial loco designs. The engine drives through a larger version of the Twin Disc torque converter hydraulic transmission to the familiar SCG RF11 reversing final drive. This is mounted on the jackshaft at the rear under the fuel tank, with drive to the axles via side rods
The rail system at Liverpool Docks closed in 1973 and 45 was sold to Esso, staying on the system at Dingle Oil Jetty. Esso later moved the loco to its Milford Haven, Hull and Purfleet sites. In 1997 45 moved again, this time down to join 10199 at the bitumen plant at Cattedown Wharf in Plymouth. In a surprise move however, Esso closed the plant in 2008, having only just carried out a £17,000 overhaul on 45! We received a call from the staff at Plymouth advising us that Esso would like us to have the loco rather than it being scrapped or going back into industry. We were honoured to accept this very generous donation and the loco arrived at Cranmore in August ’08. Work began immediately to fit vacuum brakes and repaint the loco in its original green MD&HB livery in time for Santa Specials in December. This was completed just in time with the cabside transfers being applied the same morning as it took up duties! 45 has proved a regular and reliable performer on the ESR, probably working harder here than it did for Esso. Indeed the first test run resulted in a Deltic style exhaust fire, such was the carbon build up from so many years of gentle industrial service! We are very fortunate to have our Hudswell, as it is now a unique loco in this country, all remaining classmates here have long since been scrapped. One loco was rumoured to be in existence in Italy though, and the former MD&HB 42 (HC D1268) worked for many years as D11 for Tate and Lyle at Brechin Castle on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. D11 is still in existence on the island and moves are afoot by local activists to try and preserve it along with the four 1956 Hunslet locos which were saved in November 2012. Some nice film of the Hunslets by Glen Beadon (with a still photo of D11) is available on youtube, see Trinidad’s lost railways 1990 parts 1 and 2.
"Click here for more photos of the Diesels at the East Somerset Railway">