On This Day… A couple of oddities at Ruddington

Nine years ago I visited the Great Central Railway – Nottingham (GCRN) at Ruddington and was intrigued by a couple of strange railway vehicles…

Laboratory 1, RDB 975000-20120715bLaboratory 1, RDB 975000
Ruddington, Great Central Railway – Nottingham, 15 July 2012

RDB 975000 (Laboratory 1) was converted from a British Railways Mk.1 Restaurant Second Open (RSO) in 1970 by the Research & Development Department at the Railway Technical Centre (RTC) at Derby for use as a high speed dynamics laboratory.

The lowered section of roof could be fitted with a pantograph (used to collect power from overhead lines) which could then be observed in operation through the windows in the roof visible in the image below.

Laboratory 1, RDB 975000-20120715aLaboratory 1, RDB 975000
Ruddington, Great Central Railway – Nottingham, 15 July 2012

After lying out of use at Derby for many years RDB 975000 entered preservation at Ruddington in May 2011 but was scrapped in November 2013.

Observation Saloon 6300 HEBRIDEAN-20120715Observation Saloon 6300 HEBRIDEAN
Ruddington, Great Central Railway – Nottingham, 15 July 2012

6300 HEBRIDEAN was built as Class 101 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory (DTCL) 56356 in 1958 but converted in 1987 for use as a locomotive-hauled observation saloon on the Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh ‘Hebridean’ services.

Withdrawn in 1994, 6300 was initially preserved at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway before moving to Ruddington but has since moved again, to the Barry Tourist Railway.

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.