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Simplex Locomotives at Work

Simplex Locomotives at Work

Alan M. Keef

96 pages. 275x215mm. Printed in full colour throughout on gloss art paper, perfect bound with laminated card covers.

ISBN13 : 9781911038559


contents and extra information for this book »

The locomotives built by Motor Rail Ltd and its successors over a period of some seventy years were sold across the world and many of them are in regular use to this day. The design was based around the development of an equal speed forward and reverse gearbox for the petrol tramcars on the East India Tramways in Karachi in 1910, of which John Dixon Abbott was Chief Engineer. It was not until 1916 that the first locomotives were built for use behind the trenches of the First World War and to which some 1,200 were eventually supplied. This book demonstrates all this in pictures, many of which have not been seen before, with captions detailing their history and where they are operating at the time. The brand name of Simplex became synonymous with a design which was very much mass produced before that concept became the norm but the product has stood the test of time with many putting in fifty years of service before changed circumstances and other methods of materials handling overtook them.

Simplex Locomotives at Work - Sample Images

cover illustration
Cattybrook Brickworks, Almonsbury, on the outskirts of  Bristol operated a line in their clay pit at the unusual gauge of 2ft 10½ins. The track was made up from mainline bull head rail in GWR chairs and included stub points where required. The two locomotives are MR 5342 and 9215 of 1931 and 1946 respectively. Both were originally built at 3ft gauge for Dinmor Quarries in Anglesey. Some sources quote Cattybrook as 3ft gauge so maybe it depended on where the gauge was measured! The wagons were reputed to be at least fifty years old. The railway closed in 1975 when the pair passed through Alan Keef Ltd’s hands and, converted to 2ft gauge, went to Boothby Peat Co. Ltd near Carlisle (see page 31), where they were no doubt scrapped after serving another turn of duty. Courtesy Neil Parkhouse collection
cover illustration
We have a number of pictures with people precariously balanced on locomotives travelling to or from their work. This one is a 20/28 belonging to Yeng Ho Hong Co Ltd on that company’s operation at Lamag. The man in the white shirt is the logging camp manager who had worked for Yeng Ho Hong for more than thirty years. This company bought considerable numbers of new 60S locos but there is no record of 20/28’s, so this 3½ ton version must have been acquired second hand. Note the crowbar in use as a coupling pin – or just stored there. Courtesy Nicolas Tan collection, per Ross Ibbotson