By Barry Reynolds

Hudswell, Clarke 0-6-0ST w/No. 1700Wissington (off site)

Wissington has been the ‘Middy’s’ resident locomotive since 2012 and will be based at Brockford again in 2016. The engine was successfully run-in at the MSLR following completion of its restoration and it was the star guest at our first Light Railway Gala, also in 2012. It is a very similar engine to our own w/No. 1604 and as such will give a taste of things to come in future years.

Wissington was built in 1938 and spent its life at the British Sugar factory in the village of the same name. It was the last working steam locomotive in East Anglia making it an important part of the region’s heritage. It is owned by the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Society, based at the North Norfolk Railway. You can find out more about Wissington on the M&GNJRS website.

Bagnall 0-4-0ST w/no. 2565 at the 2914 Light Railway Gala

Bagnall 0-4-0ST w/No. 2565 at the 2014 Light Railway Gala

Bagnall 0-4-0ST w/No. 2565 (operational)

This engine arrived for our second Light Railway Gala in 2014 from the Northampton and Lamport Railway. It is now based at the MSLR for the foreseeable future and will be a welcome addition to our growing fleet of locos.

W/No. 2565, built in 1936, spent its working life in industrial service with the Central Electricity Generating Board in Northampton before being acquired for preservation. It’s current owner has spent many years restoring it to working order, a project completed in 2014.

Cockerill no. 2525

Cockerill 0-4-0VBWT w/No. 2525 after being unloaded

Cockerill 0-4-0VBWT tram w/No. 2525 (operational)

This locomotive is a rarity in the UK because it is a Belgian engine. It is different to most conventional British engines in that the boiler is mounted vertically instead of horizontally. The alternative design style means it raises steam a lot quicker than our other engines – less than an hour compared to three or four. As a well tank it carries most of its water under the footplate and frames rather than over the boiler or in a tender. It is being based at the MSLR for the foreseeable future.

The tram was built in 1906 and after its working life was over it was moved to the UK for preservation. Having been restored to working order last year in its owner’s yard it was run in on the Mid-Norfolk Railway before joining the MSLR’s fleet.

The frames and wheelsets for MSLR No.4 in the Works

The frames and wheelsets for MSLR w/No. 1604 in the Works

Hudswell, Clarke 0-6-0ST w/No. 1604 (under restoration)

No. 1604 is currently undergoing a major restoration to enable it to steam for the first time in preservation.

The locomotive has been on-site at Brockford for several years but work to restore the locomotive in earnest started with its move into the Works a few years ago.

Many of the original parts are re-usable and the restoration will be based around an education scheme which will allow members of the public to learn about steam locomotives and the techniques and skills used to restore and maintain them.

It was built by Hudswell, Clarke of Leeds, who built the original MSLR engines, and it is also of a similar design. As such it is a very important part of our collection. It spent its entire life at the Bardney sugar beet factory in Lincolnshire, but will be restored as the next locomotive in line in the original MSLR numbering system.