Shelagh of Eskdale

From Ratty

Shelagh of Eskdale
Shelagh of Eskdale
Wheel Arrangement 4-6-4
Year of Origin 1881
Designer David Curwen
Builder Severn-Lamb
Length 17' 7"
Livery Two-Tone Green
Status In Traffic

Incorporating the crankwebs and sliding centre-axle of the Heywood locomotive, Ella, Shelagh of Eskdale was constructed in 1969 by Severn-Lamb of Stratford-on-Avon. Construction began in 1955 when Heathcotes of Cleator Moor built the chassis. As the railway's future was in doubt at the time, the diesel was not completed, despite the fact that both Quarryman and the Passenger Tractor were ageing and wearing.

Ella was built in 1881 by Sir Arthur Heywood for use on his Duffield Bank Railway. When he died, it, along with Muriel went to the Gretna Munitions Factory and then came to Ravenglass. It was in use on granite trains for several years until it was decided to convert it into an internal combustion locomotive, creating ICL No. 2 in 1927. This ran on petrol and the frames of Ella were extended to add pony trucks at both ends, and a teak hut like the one onICL No. 1 was fitted on top. A Lancheser Model 38 touring car chassis was mounted on the frames, and the engine and gearbox were retained, and the teak hut was constructed on the top of this.

ICL No. 2 was reasonably fast and could haul fairly heavy loads - a good investment for the company. In 1928, however, she collided with ICL No. 1, and the frame was distorted. In the spring of the following year, she pushed a big-end through the crank case. Finding spare parts was nearly impossible, and so was quickly retired once the standard gauge line to Murthwaite was constructed.

When the new company took over in 1960, the frames were still lying at Murthwaite, and they sent the chassis to Severn-Lamb to be completed, where David Curwen designed a twin-cab diesel with a Ford 4D engine and Linde Hydrostatic transmission, creating a Diesel Hydraulic locomotive. These were upgraded in 1975 with a Perkins 6/354 engine, and replaced altogether in 1998, when it gained a Ford industrial engine with Spicer Compact Shuttle transmission, making it a Diesel Mechanical engine.

She visited both the Liverpool and Gateshead Garden Festivals, and pulled the Royal Train at the former, and now carries a plaque commemorating this. The engine carries a two-tone green livery and is a general user engine.

Your Ad Here
Personal tools