Ainscough Crane Hire has helped Yorkshire’s Middleton Railway Trust start the next phase of the restoration of a historic steam locomotive which was discovered at a sugar mill in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean.
The Picton model engine has been owned by the Trust for over a decade when it was discovered by former chairman, David Monckton, while on holiday. At 10 feet wide, the gauge of the 1927 engine is too wide for UK specified track so a short section of wide-gauge track has been especially constructed to accommodate it.
Using Ainscough’s Liebherr LTM 1200-5.1, the locomotive is now safely in position and a shed will be constructed around the locomotive to protect it from the weather which will allow the painstaking task of restoration begin. Ainscough also lifted two steam cranes as part of the job.
Matt Rice, area sales manager from Ainscough’s Leeds depot said: “It was a wonderful moment to re-set the locomotive back on its track for the first time in over ten years. The people in the Trust are real enthusiasts and are doing a fantastic job of preserving this part of Yorkshire’s industrial manufacturing past.
“It was great to be able to support them in this way and we wish them well for the restoration of the engine.”
Middleton Railway Trust vice president Ian Smith said: “When it was fully operational, Picton would have weighed 52 tonnes. The team at Ainscough have been very good to us and we’re very grateful to them for their support.”
Picton forms an important part of the Leeds locomotive building story, having been produced for export in the city.
The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund in the form of a £70,650 grant which enabled the Trust to buy and conserve two locomotives from the David Monckton collection.