R & H 44/48

Ruston & Hornsby 44/48 Diesel Locomotive

Ruston & Hornsby No. 203031, built 1942, is one of Ruston's 44/48 class of locomotive, the predecessor of the 48DL class. This machine used to work at RAF Fauld, Staffordshire. The base was an underground bomb and ammunition store housed in former gypsum workings. A narrow gauge railway connected the underground stores dug into the hillside with the trans-shipment sidings alongside the Derby to Stoke railway line and served various workshops around the site.

In 1981, after the closure of the depot, the narrow gauge railway equipment was sold by tender. The Welsh Highland Railway managed to acquire a batch of Hudson bogie wagons, the mines rescue vehicle and a collection of spare parts for Ruston locomotives but were outbid on the locos, which were  sold to Rheilffordd Llyn Padarn Cyf (the Llanberis Lake Railway). No. 203031 became No. 10 in the Llanberis locomotive fleet and given the name 'Braich'. In recent years it has been out of use and various parts, including its original engine, have been removed for use on other locomotives.

When No. 203031 was offered for sale by Rheilffordd Llyn Padarn Cyf it was purchased by a WHR member as a source of valuable spare parts for 'Hoveringham' (wheels and gearbox) and the 48DLG (engine). The locomotive is now a static exhibit in the museum. It is boarded to make it easy for children to climb in and out safely. The cab has been fitted with lights and sound effects to appeal to children under 90.

Specifications

Builder Ruston & Hornsby, Lincoln
Built 1942
Works number 203031
Type 44/48
Wheel arrangement 4-coupled
Engine 4VRH
Transmission Mechanical
Final drive Chain
Weight 7 Ton
Arrived W.H.R. June 1998
Owners W.H.R. Member
Previous owners Rheilffordd Llyn Padarn (originally RAF Fauld)