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11th April 2016

Ainscough Crane Hire Lift Vintage Engine


The team from Ainscough’s Preston depot lifted a small piece of transport history when they were asked to help transport a vintage diesel engine.

The 80-tonne DELTIC diesel locomotive, which was built in 1955, was being moved from the Ribble Steam Railway in Preston, Lancashire, where it had been on loan.

The DELTIC was manufactured near Preston and first saw service on the London Midland Region of British Railways in 1955, generally operating fast London to Liverpool freight trains.

It was withdrawn and after modifications re-entered services in 1956. Tests were carried out on the Settle to Carlisle line in August/September 1956, after which it operated passenger trains, The Shamrock and The Merseyside Express, between London and Liverpool, followed by London-Carlisle trains, and in 1957, returning to London-Liverpool trains.

It was taken out of service because its engine was deemed unsuitable, partly because of the noise levels it generated.

Preston depot Contract Lift Manager Alex Schwarzer said: “It was the fastest diesel locomotive in its day and is a beautiful piece of engineering. We needed two cranes to lift it so the transporter could reverse underneath it for its journey to another museum.

“The irony is that the locomotive was actually built in Preston at what was then known as the Dick Kerr Works so our lift took place just a couple of miles away from where it was first built.”

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