Hudswell Clarke     Works No 1888 Elizabeth 0-4-0ST

Hudswell Clarke 1888 at Eshholt Sewerage Works.jpg

This locomotive was built by Hudswell Clarke in 1958 to work on the Esholt Sewage Works Railway in West Yorkshire.

It is interesting to know that the two locomotives (HC 1435 Nellie and HC 1888 Elizabeth) employed at Esholt Sewage Works were driven by two brothers – Nellie was driven by Albert Evans and his brother Charlie Evans drove Elizabeth.

When the works were being built, it carried excavated material, and thereafter coal and construction material, then coal and other materials until.

The works were built to remove wool-grease other wastes from effluent coming out of the many mills of the Bradford woollen district. At its peak (1931), the railway extended to 22 miles of track served by 11 locomotives, as well as a shorter section of narrow gauge served by three engines. Trains were employed to remove solid waste from the site; several of the engines were converted to run on oil derived from recovered wool-grease.

The sludge waste was pressed into cake and it was then gravity fed into the railway wagons for transfer to another part of the site. This would involve running into a siding, dumping the cake and leaving it to dry, before being sold as fertiliser and transhipped via the exchange sidings on the Midland line.

By 1957, the works was down to 6.5 miles of track and full employment for only two locomotives, Nellie and Elisabeth. Both were Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST and both have been preserved.

Diesel traction replaced steam in 1976 and the railway closed completely in 1977 although the sewage works continued to operate. Following the closure in 1977 the works engine shed was transported brick for brick to the Industrial Museum at Armley in Leeds where Elisabeth is on static display.

Hudswell Clarke 1888 at Esholt Sewage Works with a special train – May 1969
Hudswell Clarke 1888 at Eshholt Sewerage Works.jpg
1888 at Eshholt Sewerage Works
1888 at Esholt Sewage Works – circa 1970
Hudswell Clarke 1888 Leeds Industrial Museum November 2014.jpg
1888 in Leeds Industrial Museum – November 2014

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