Fifteen years after arriving back in Hunslet, ‘Picton’ finally has a proper home where it can be conserved.
It may not look much more than a heap of rusted metal just now, but this an important part of Hunslet’s industrial heritage. ‘Picton’ was built by Hunslet’s in 1927, and spent its working life in the Caribbean. Like many of the thousands of locomotives built in Hunslet, Picton was designed for industrial rather than passenger use.
In this case the exotic location was a sugar plantation in Trinidad. It was in service there until 1957 after which it was left to rot.
Former Chair of the Trust David Monckton spotted it and brought it back to Middleton Railway in 2002.
It is too wide to run on normal tracks so the Trust has laid a special section of track and have built a shed around the engine. Now under cover, work can commence to conserve the loco , starting with shot blasting the rust and waxing the metal to prevent further deterioration.
Middleton Railway Trust secured a grant from the Lottery Heritage Fund, which will pay for the building and restoration work. Before that could start the loco had to be moved within the site. That involved a 200 ton crane generously sponsored by Anscough Crane Hire and BAM Nuttall.
Middleton Railway is currently closed for winter maintenance and will reopen on Saturday 25 March 2017.