I do like Industrial locomotives, they come in such a variety of shapes and sizes, not to mention a fine array of liveries. However, the sight of former industrial locomotives dragging a few old BR MKI coaches, or even pre-grouping stock, doesn’t seem quite right. One of the reasons I so enjoy the atmosphere at the Tanfield and Middleton Railways, is they’ve come up with a rolling stock solution which matches their motive power, in scale. Tanfield’s attempt to re-create a colliery railway is particularly pleasing and the old wooden bodied Ex-NER coaches, whilst being main line stock – still seem ‘in scale’.
The preservation of our ‘industrial’ heritage has been a fantastic effort, both in scope and ambition, from narrow gauge slate railways or quarry lines to standard gauge mine and colliery railways; and that’s not to mention the many items of goods and non-passenger rolling stock which survive, along with goods dock cranes, water towers and columns – there’s even a preserved cast iron Gents urinal.
I know that many a heritage line, which now boasts a fine selection of former BR motive power, began with little more than an old Hunslet or Barclay as the mainstay of the MPD, this is only to be expected. What is less expected, is that 50 years into railway preservation, and with quite a number of ‘Ex-Barry’ locomotives still in that condition, some lines are still using Ex-Industrials as their regular motive power. I’m sure they all have their reasons, and I doubt the general public even notice, but it does seem sad that so many former BR locos are still ‘hors de combat’ – 50+ years on.