On the Narrow Gauge – ‘Z’ is for… ZM32

From my last post’s ‘A’ for ‘Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd.’ all the way to the other end of the alphabet today!

Sorting through many years worth of digital images at the moment and I came across pics from two visits (in 2009 and 2011) to the Steeple Grange Light Railway (SGLR) near Wirksworth in Derbyshire.

RH 4wDM ZM32 'HORWICH' (works no.416214 of 1957)-20090531Ruston & Hornsby Ltd 18in gauge 4wDM ZM32 ‘HORWICH’ (works no.416214 of 1957)
Steeple Grange Light Railway, May 2009

ZM32 has called the SGLR home since 1997 and is one of a very small number of narrow gauge locomotives that were owned and operated by British Railway (BR).

The Ruston & Hornsby Ltd. 20hp LAT class diesel loco (works no.416214 of 1957) was supplied new to the former Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway’s (L&YR) Horwich Locomotive Works for use on the extensive 18in gauge system there (where eight 0-4-0ST steam locos had previously been employed). It worked there until 1965 after which it went into store (following a failed attempt to export it to British Honduras).

Purchased by R.P. Morris in 1971, ZM32 was restored and re-gauged (to 2ft) and operated at Gloddfa Ganol, a working quarry and tourist attraction in Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales before finally moving to the SGLR where it has been re-gauged (again) to 18in, named ‘HORWICH’ and painted into BR lined green livery.

RH 4wDM ZM32 'HORWICH' (works no.416214 of 1957)-20110710Ruston & Hornsby Ltd 18in gauge 4wDM ZM32 ‘HORWICH’ (works no.416214 of 1957)
Steeple Grange Light Railway, July 2011

‘HORWICH’ is often in charge of passenger trains on the 1 in 27 gradient ‘Killer’s Branch’ at the SGLR.

Industrial Action – Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. 0-4-0DH No.482 of 1963

Flicking through the June 2020 issue of Railways Illustrated magazine I was saddened to read of the planned closure of Wabtec® Rail Scotland’s Kilmarnock Works.

The history of Wabtec® Rail Scotland can be traced all the way back to 1840 when Andrew Barclay (born in 1814) went into business with Thomas McCulloch to manufacture mill shafts in Kilmarnock. Further business ventures followed (including locomotive building on a limited scale) and in 1892 Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. set up shop at Caledonia Works in the town.

Andrew Barclay was acquired by the Hunslet Group in 1972 and became Hunslet-Barclay. The company changed hands in 2007, becoming Brush-Barclay as part of the FKI Group, and in 2011 Brush-Barclay and Brush Traction and were acquired by the American Wabtec Corporation.

I visited Kilmarnock in October 2019 and was pleased to spot Wabtec’s resident diesel shunter as my train from Stranraer arrived, the works now being located beside Kilmarnock station on the site of the old goods yard.

Knowing (after consulting the Industrial Railway Society’s 18EL book) that the locomotive was in fact a product of Caledonia Works, an 0-4-0 diesel hydraulic dating from 1963 (works no.482) I was keen to get a photograph but that proved impossible from any public vantage point so I cheekily paid a call to Wabtec’s office and asked if it was possible to visit the site.

AB 0-4-0DH (works no.482 of 1963)-20191031aAndrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. 0-4-0DH (works no.482 of 1963)
Wabtec® Rail Scotland, Kilmarnock, October 2019

I was pleasantly surprised to be granted brief access and was escorted over to the locomotive by a member of staff (whose name I sadly didn’t make a note of) and allowed to take a few photos.

AB worksplate (no.482 of 1963)-20191031Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. worksplate (no.482 of 1963)
Wabtec® Rail Scotland, Kilmarnock, October 2019

AB 0-4-0DH (works no.482 of 1963)-20191031bAndrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. 0-4-0DH (works no.482 of 1963)
Wabtec® Rail Scotland, Kilmarnock, October 2019

No.482 was supplied new to the Scottish Gas Board’s Granton Works near Edinburgh where it became ‘GRANTON No.1’ but by 1971 it had ‘joined up’ and moved to the Ministry of Defence Air Force Department’s depot at Chilmark in Wiltshire where there was an extensive railway system, both standard and narrow gauge.

By January 1986 No.482 had moved the short distance to the M.o.D. depot at Dinton but in 1989, due to the winding down of activities at both Dinton and Chilmark, it had returned north of the border, to Hunslet-Barclay Ltd.

Upon leaving Wabtec’s site I spotted this across the road…

Caledonia Works offices-20191031Caledonia Works offices

Part of the original ‘Caledonia Works’ now converted to rather swish-looking apartments and also home to another Andrew Barclay product, an 0-4-0 saddle tank named ‘DRAKE’ (works no.2086 of 1940) displayed inside the offices on the ground floor.

AB 0-4-0ST 'DRAKE' (works no.2086 of 1940)-20191031Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. 0-4-0ST ‘DRAKE’ (works no.2086 of 1940)
The Klin Group, Kilmarnock

I’m sure I’ve got a better image of ‘DRAKE’ somewhere, taken a few years ago… I must dig it out!

An introduction…

Like many, my interest in railways began in childhood. That interest has waxed and waned over the years and although I’m not as able to get out and about as I once was I still enjoy travelling by train whenever possible, on both the national network and heritage lines.

I’m interested in pretty much anything rail-related and enjoy piecing together small snippets of information from all manner of sources to (hopefully) create posts that someone, somewhere, might find interesting…

A lot of my posts will be historical in nature, especially with the current travel restrictions in place and many will feature the less glamorous aspects of the railway scene as that tends to be what interests me most of all…