The Diesel Collection
Not to be outdone by their Steam sisters; our Diesel Locomotives are a varied bunch with a wealth of history between them. This page is dedicated to their hard work and capacity to keep on going no matter what we throw at them:
Built in 1955 and numbered 400 by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow, River Eden’s claim to fame is having been built to the same Technical Drawings as a British Rail Class D2/1. She is a relatively svelte 32 tonnes, with 200bhp to her name. A Diesel Hydraulic, she can achieve a lofty 14.5mph
At the beginning of her life she worked for the Department at RAF Leuchars; shunting ammunition and provision wagons around the base Sold to Lochty Private Railway at the end of her working life, she was then employed in similar work; shunting rolling stock around and occasionally hauling passenger trains.
When Lochty Private Railway closed in 1992, River Eden moved along with other rolling stock into storage at Methil Power Station, whilst Kingdom of Fife Railway Preservation Society looked for suitable premises to establish a heritage railway.
As described in the FHR history section , in 2001 the rolling stock was moved to Kirkland Sidings. Thankfully at this time she remained in good mechanical working order; but was in real need of a cosmetic makeover. After being given the TLC she deserved; the Commander of RAF Leuchars kindly attended the yard and participated in a re-naming ceremony for her.
Since 2001, River Eden has been the mainstay of Fife Heritage Railway, providing rides for the public and taking on any of the heavy shunting duties. Since the restoration of Steam Locomotive “Forth”, River Eden took a back seat on Open Days, but she is now shining brightly once more as our star attraction “Driver for a Fiver” where customers are invited to take the reins themselves as the name suggests!
Built in 1958 by Ruston and Hornsby of Lincoln, she was given the Locomotive number 4 and the name North British. Producing 88 bhp, the engine employs a 4 speed mechanical gear-box with chain drive. She has a top speed of a sprightly 32mph, thanks in part to her rather diminutive 20 tonnes in weight. She is affectionately known as “Wee Ruston” within the yard thanks to the presence of her bigger sister.
“Wee Ruston” spent a short working life shunting stock around the North British Distillery in Edinburgh before it was purchased in by Lochty Private Railway. Again at Lochty the intention was to use her for light shunting duties and moving stock around the yard. When Lochty closed in 1992, “Wee Ruston” joined the pilgrimage to Methil Power Plant to await her permanent home which was thankfully eventually found in Kirkland Sidings. She continues her shunting duties here with grace and style, but a certain finesse is required to drive her to her fullest potential.
“Wee Ruston” also has a party trick in the form of the fact that she does not require batteries to start the engine. A second “donkey” engine is installed in the locomotive which is started first to build air pressure. Once enough air has built up it is released in a concentrated stream, forcing the main flywheel to rotate which in turn fires up the main engine.
Our “Big Ruston” was built in 1952 by Ruston and Hornsby of Lincoln. Designated as Locomotive Number 7, she has a very healthy 165 bhp to help her along, and is driven using a 4 speed mechanical gearbox with driving jackshaft. She is one of our larger ladies, coming in at 28 tonnes, and can achieve a steady top speed of 17mph.
We don’t have a lot of history for this rather special blue lady but what we do know is that she was sent straight from the production line to work for the War Department at Rosyth Naval Dockyard.