2FT NARROW GAUGE LIGHT RAILWAY
Westonzoyland Light Railway
The two foot narrow gauge railway is not original to the station but was constructed partly to help moving heavy machinery around the site and partly to demonstrate a typical installation used for maintenance by river authorities, and also in peat works.
The railway has since developed and now offers rides on our bogie coach for our visitors included within the museum entry. The railway features three locomotives and a range of varying rolling stock.
1949 Lister Railtruck
The Lister Railtruck number 34758 was built in 1949 and was originally petrol engined. The locomotive was aquired from the Eclipse Peat Company Ltd based at Ashcott in Somerset (now Fisons) where it hauled peat wagons from the extraction sites to the processing plant at the Broomfield Works. The railway network was so extensive it even crossed the Glastonbury Canal and had a level crossing with the former Somerset and Dorset Railway!
During the year this lister was built a British Railways passenger train from Highbridge collided with an Eclipse narrow gauge diesel locomotive crossing on the level forcing it to leave the track and end up in the canal. The crossing was taken out soon after, and the the whole system ceased in 1983 after which all transport was undertaken by road.
1930's Planet Y Type
F.C.Hibberd & Co Ltd, Planet Y Type No. 1830 built in the 1930's. Supplied new to Edmund Rockford Ltd, Rochford's Nurseries, Stansted, Moutfitchet. Sold in 1956 to Cox & Banks Ltd and then to M.E.Engineering Ltd. 1830 then went to Boothby Peat Co. Bolton Fell, Cumberland in December of 1957. Purchased for preservation by P.Nicholson in the 1960's and stored until Trustee Jason Keswick took ownership in 2017 and fully restored to current running condition. Named 'Boothby' after its last industrial owner.
The locomotive is powered by a Ford side valve E93a petrol engine with car 3 speed gearbox driving a reversing box giving equal gears in both directions.
1968 Motorail Simplex
The Simplex Motor Rail locomotive was built in 1968 and is a type 40S 310 (Engine No. WE88752) and came from Severn-Trent Water Authority where it was used at the Minworth Sewage Treatment Works.
This type of locomotive was first introduced in 1958, the 'S' refering to its original "Simplex" design. Our loco is fitted with a Dorman Engine probably producing about 40 B.H.P.
The Minworth Sewage Treatment Plant near Birmingham had an extensive 2' system originally using horse and steam locomotive power. It took part processed sewage and laid it out in lagoons until the water evaporated, the 'mud' was then taken to large tips for further weathering. The railway had a series of public road crossings and so a second man was taken on the front to assist at these points.
1935 Lister Railtruck
Lister Railtruck number 6299 was delivered new to John Board & Co Ltd, Dunball Portland cement and lime works near Bridgwater, Somerset in 1935. Following closure of the narrow gauge system in 1954 it was sold to Trollope & Colls Ltd, Howick Whinstone Quarry, Northumberland. It saw very little use there and languished in the very exposed quarry until rescued for preservation by owner Peter Nicholson in early 1968. Having been stored in various locations it was restored to working order in 2017 by a Trust member and is now on long term loan to the museum. It has a 600cc single cylinder JAP petrol engine and is started by hand with a winding handle.
1974 Clayton 4Te/21hp/120v
Clayton SP88 (B0402A) Built 1974. This powerful battery locomotive has been purchased straight from industry. Originally owned by Specialist Plant of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. This locomotive would have been hired to various projects across the country and likely Europe for use in mine and tunneling contracts.
They operate with their original ‘camtactor’ controllers but have had upgrades including retrofitted driver protection, electromagnetic deadman brake, speedometer and additional lighting to comply with industry standards. The locos have 60 x 2 volt 390Ah cells giving 120v DC power to the 21hp electric motor.
Having just arrived on the 25th of August 2023 we are in the process of servicing and charging the batteries and hope to have the locomotive operation in the next couple of months!