Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by SpudUk, Jun 30, 2015.
How many WDLR Armoured Simplex locomotives survived WW1? Were any re-gauged out of 2'?
I can't recall ever seeing a published figure for how many survived the conflict itself but they were scattered far and wide when "demobbed".
An update on the Moseley Trust website last year (16/9/14) identified nine WW1 40hp Simplex survivors currently in the UK. (Not all are strictly the "armoured" version however)
One that was missing from that list however is the one preserved at the Irchester NG museum which was re-gauged to 3ft and I believe worked locally on one of the ironstone lines.
I'm not sure if any of the overseas exports/survivors were re-gauged?
Fascinating little machines. Pictures enclosed of the 5" guage one I have built and occasionally take out for a run at the club. Its has 6mm thick steel chassis, steel body which is welded and rivetted construction and four motors (two directly driving each axle through a delrin gear. Controllers are 4QD and it has a 120db vintage claxon horn which is stuffed tightly with a rag to muffle it a bit. Paint is synthetic enamel. Power is 12 volts from a gel battery. It goes like a rocket and will pull at least half a dozen adults (or five pie munchers)!
Unbelievably there is one that has been converted to standard gauge (wouldn't have believed it unless I saw the pictures with my own eyes) But it was and has a buffer beam with buffers half way up its front. I found it on google when I was researching the build. Its not my picture so I won't copy it here otherwise the photo police will come knocking. i also saw another picture of one turned into a gun turrett on a merchant ship.
Phwa! What a bit of kit that is!
Possibly you are referring to RS12 now at Midland Railway Trust. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dc-7c/7697496906 this was rebuilt from MR 460 of 1916. More pictures of it amongst others in its working days at ICI http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/in...ci-buxton-tunstead-etc-railways-in-the-1960s/ there is another similar loco pictured as well, RS9, but that was post war (MR 2024 of 1921) and I'm not sure what gauge it started life as.
Another one that was converted to standard gauge was MR 1364 of 1918. Motor Rail regauged it from 2ft gauge to standard gauge for Washington Chemical Co, Sandyford, Renfrewshire. In the early 1970's it went into preservation, winding up at Duxford Airfield in 1981. In 1990 they had it regauged back to 2ft for display in a diorama. Picture attached taken by me in 1983.
I know the one to which you referring and it's not either of the surviving ones at the M.R. Trust. It still had the curved front plating with the new buffer beam mounted about half way up. There was an article on building a 7mm scale model of it in Model Railway Journal, a few years ago and the builder described how he went about replicating all the holes and dents in it!
The greensand trust (owners of 778) are currently restoring a armoured simplex LR2182. the only one in original mechanical condition.
I found a picture of a std guage one on google and it says it was at Beamish in 08/01/2011, no works number given.
Wasnt there on at lakside and haverthaite railway that came from croppers papermill burneside near kendal .
image of simplex at leighton buzzard
Google search on 'Tin Turtle' , selecting images, shows one in Russia with what appears to be a field gun installed. Also shows a standard gauge modified machine. Production only started in 1917 and some/many didn't get to see action in France. Of the first batch, most were of the 'Open' type with just 6 of the 'Protected' versions ( from Roy Link's 'WDLR Album') According to an entry on one of the modelling websites, some of them made it as far as Vietnam.
Leighton Buzzard's '2182' is one of the 'Armoured' versions. The exhibit at IWM Duxford appears to be a hybrid between an 'Open' and 'Protected'
'Rachel' is, and always was, a standard gauge petrol engined loco. She was dismantled for restoration many years ago but never put back into operation although she mostly in one piece and on display. She was demoted to spare on the acquisition by Croppers' of a 48DS Ruston, which also survives in the MacAlpine Collection at Fawley Hill.
The similar heavy cast ends on Rachel were though used on some post WW1 40hp narrow gauge locos.
Keith Davies' book on the Early Years of the Motor Rail & Tramcar Company, published by Plateway Press, is an excellent work on the subject.
Four photos of Rachel and the Ruston at work in 1960 on Croppers' Burneside tramway can be seen on the Cumbrian Railway Association's photo site:
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