Sunday, 13 November 2011

Maisel Oil Company Number 6 : "Cinn Tìre" - Background Information

This locomotive was created primarily for the Permanent Way's locomotive building competition. Whilst there is still time left in it, I thought I'd allow you to read about it even if you aren't a forum member, although I'd suggest joining.

Please note that the following writing is fictional, and based upon an alternate timeline where the Maisel Oil Company's venture into coal-based oil had been succesful, and as such kept the railway going well into nationilisation. Whilst in the realm of fiction, the ideas and backstory are based upon real practise, in an aim to create a realistic tale of one particular locomotive.

Maisel Oil Company Number 6 : "Cinn Tìre"

 Parts used during build:
  • Tri-Ang Class 08 locomotive body (TT scale)
  • Graham Farish Class 08 locomotive chassis (N scale)
  • Milliput (Standard Grade)
  • Wilko's Fine and Coarse Sandpaper (400 grit)
  • Halford's Wet & Dry Sandpaper (1500 grit)

The Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway was a 2 ft 3 in (686 mm) narrow gauge railway in Kintyre, Scotland, between the towns of Campbeltown and Machrihanish. Only three other passenger-carrying lines in the UK operated on the same gauge, all of them in Wales - the Corris Railway, the short-lived Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway and the Talyllyn Railway.

In 1929, both the railway and the colliery were purchased by the Maisel Oil Company, which had a patent for a process to produce oil from coal. This concern proved successful for the company, keeping the line running until 1939, where it was used by the military. In 1945, the line reopened for both Passenger and Freight traffic, until it's closure in 1973.

In 1931, the company realised it needed more locomotives and stock to cope with the line. Two more Andrew Barclay tank engines, made to the same design as the existing Argyl and Atlantic, were purchased and put to work. One was briefly converted to oil firing, but was later reverted to run on coal.

After the war, the company were looking into new locomotives to replace the older, smaller designs. One of the company's directors had seen Diesel shunters used under trial whilst visiting family, and spoke only of how they were the future. Many manufacturers were busy with orders, but English Electric were pleased to take on an order for a trial locomotive, based upon a design they had used with the London Midland and Scottish railway.

The company later found out the loco was to be narrow gauge, and immediately decided they'd build it regardless. Scaling down parts to suit the line, they were able to create a locomotive showing similarities to their flagship shunter. Within 6 months, the loco was ready to go to Scotland, and perform service with the company.

Entering service in 1950, it was popular with all the crews, mainly due to it's enclosed cab and ease of operation. Whilst it spent most of it's time shunting, the crews did use it for light goods work when no other engines would be available.

With the company deciding to use roads to transport the oil, the railway closed down in the summer of 1973. Passenger services had gone the previous year, and three of the line's tank engines had gone for preservation, with the fourth going as spare parts. The diesel shunter was sold to a private enthusiast in Australia.

It arrived at the Puffing Billy Railway in 1974, and was regauged to suit the line. A light overhaul and a lick of paint was all it needed, being pressed into service for maintenance work.

In the winter of 2009, the railway sold the locomotive to a group of enthusiasts who were rebuilding the Campbeltown and Machrihanish Railway. Happy to see the locomotive had survived, it was shipped back to a private site in England for restoration work.

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