Hunslet   Works No 1540 Picton 2-6-2T

Hunslet 1540 Middleton Railway July 2015.jpg

This locomotive was built in 1927 by the Hunslet Engine Company for export and was very different from the design of the locomotives built for use in Britain.

The locomotives for export were built for a variety of wheel arrangements and gauges. Whilst this locomotive was built to the standard gauge of 4 feet 8½ inch it is significantly wider than a standard gauge locomotive that would be used in Britain.

It was one of a batch of three locomotives built for use at a sugar mill in Trinidad, where it spent all of its working life.

A former chairman of the Middleton Railway Trust (David Monckton) recognised the significance of these locomotives and chose the best one to take to the Middleton Railway where it arrived in 2002.

When Picton first arrived at the Middleton Railway there was some suggestions that it should be restored to working order. It was soon realised that the locomotive’s bufferbeams are so wide that they would demolish the railway’s platforms.  Also, once the locomotive was inspected carefully it quickly became apparent that so much of it would have to be replaced that this would be more a matter of building a replica than restoring the original.  Indeed, this inspection revealed that the tanks and cab were so badly corroded that they were actually dangerous, and they had to be taken off the locomotive.

As it is not feasible to restore the locomotive to working order a project to construct a shelter in which to house the locomotive.

In 2003 the Middleton Railway Trust was awarded £70,650 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to acquire and conserve the David Monckton collection which consisted of two locomotives. The locomotives were Picton and Brookes No 1 (Hunslet Works No 2387)

Hunslet 1540 Middleton Railway July 2015.jpg 1540 at the Middleton Railway – July 2015

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