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  • Midland Railway Yard Crane

    Status: Ongoing restoration

    Location: Wansford: Next to education building



    Map of Castle Bytham in relation to WansfordThis 5 ton goods crane came from Castle Bytham on the Midland and Great Northern Railway Joint line about 20 miles north of Wansford.

    The station was a single platform on the line between Bourne and Melton Mowbray. It did however have a siding for the unloading of wagons. The crane would have been hand operated for the removal of goods from railway wagons onto an adjacent horse and cart, or latterly truck. The ‘5 Tons’ refers to the amount the crane could safely lift, though without any form of weighing system this was left purely to the skill and experience of the operator to judge the load. The line and station, along with most of the M&GN was closed in 1959.

    The Crane in situ at Castle BythamWhen the crane was removed it took two days to dig the concrete base out before it was put into store at Railworld. It was put on long term loan to IRPS and the Nene Valley Railway for errection by the new education centre in 2012. 

  • Diesel Shunter no. 2896 ‘Frank’

    Status: Ongoing restoration to working order
    Location: Wansford: In restoration shed

    Builder: F.Hibberd and Son Ltd in 1944

    Engine: Perkins D3.152: 35BHP

    Weight: 5 Tonnes

    Original Owner: BOCM (Silcocks) Ltd, Selby, Yorkshire.

    frank2012 originalfrank

    This locomotive was purchased by Peterborough Railway Society in 1972, who subsequently sold it to Mr John Cooper who donated it to the 'Night Mail' museum project at Ferry Meadows in 2008.

    The first restoration of this locomotive in 1976 was carried out by the apprentice school at Perkins Engines Ltd, Peterborough. The locomotive saw light duty at the Nene Valley Railway until suffering a broken buffer beam and subsequently being taken out of service.

    Rail Mail International not only intend to build its museum at Ferry Meadows, but also involve the community in the project, especially educational establishments. With this in mind, some students from Oundle School have been enlisted over the past years to help with large amounts of the restoration on this vehicle.

    Although the chassis and mechanical drive, along with the buffer beams and buffers are original, the bodywork is entirely new having been manufactured in 1976. However this had been extensively corroded and required a new cab to be manufactured. The new cab is be 12" longer at the front end to help balance the locomotive (overhang at the rear end tended to cause loss of traction to the front wheels).

    The design of the bodywork is similar to the existing, but of single skin. The opportunity to design the new bodywork was taken up by another student as part of his diploma course.

    The locomotive is not intended as a museum exhibit, but rather as a working engine for light shunting around the museum complex and also weed killing along the line following the fitting of a high pressure pump.

    Work commenced on this project in september 2008 with the buffers being removed, stripped down, shot blasted and painted prior to re-assembly.