Ruston & Hornsby of Lincoln first started to build Diesel locomotives in the early 1930s. The 48DL class was introduced in 1943 and continued in production until 1967. A total of 1127 of the type of machine were built, although over the years major changes did take place to the design of the body and even the type of engine used.
Ruston locomotives are very robust machines and many have survived years of use and abuse in quarries, brick works, coal mines and other industrial locations. Another reason for their popularity is that there is no separate clutch mechanism. Each gear in the three-speed gearbox has its own clutch, making these locomotives very easy to drive.
This particular locomotive, Ruston Works No. 370555, was built in 1953 and worked for the Hoveringham Gravels at Holme Pierrepoint Quarry (now the National Watersports Centre), Nottinghamshire. It is the only locomotive to survive from Hoveringham and is in working order. All the rest were scrapped. It now bears its original livery: bright orange with block lettering 'Hoveringham' on each side.