Sunday, 4 September 2011

'Thomas' visits MOSI

Thomas waits patiently as passengers board the train.

The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester (MOSI) first ran 'A Day Out with Thomas' event in 2010. On that occasion, I was overseas so was unable to participate. However, when the event was repeated in 2011, I managed a day driving 'Thomas' on 1st September 2011, the first day of the four-day event.

The locomotive was the East Lancashire Railway's 'Gothenburg' in disguise. I'd driven this 'Thomas' at Shackerstone back in 2007 (see article) and, before that, I'd known the locomotive on the East Lancashire Railway in its handsome dark green livery over twenty years ago.

'Gothenburg' was numbered '32' by the Manchester Ship Canal. She was built by Hudswell Clarke (works number 680) in Leeds back in 1903 - I hope I'm as lively at the age of 108! It's one of a batch of 0-6-0 side tank locomotives with 15.5 x 20 inch inside cylinders and 3 foot 1 inch coupled wheels built for the Manchester Ship Canal which operated an extensive railway system. To facilitate operation on the tight curves of the dock railway, the centre pair of wheels are flangeless and the coupling rods have articulated joints.

Don Thorpe's book 'The Railways of the Manchester Ship Canal' (ISBN 0 86093 288 5) is an interesting history of Manchester's dock railway system.

My pictures of Thomas at MOSI are here.