Tag Archives: F C Hibberd

Early RPS Diesel Locos

With the present new and late model diesel locomotive activity at Chasewater Railway, it seems a good time to go back to the Railway’s early engines.

This article is from the ‘Mercian’ of April 1969

By S. Allsopp

The locos described were three of the first diesel engines at Chasewater.

Railway Preservation Society                Diesel Locomotives

The 0-4-0 ‘Planet’ Type Numbers 1, 20 & 21

Number One was manufactured by F.C.Hibberd & Co.Ltd. in 1944, works number 2914, and was supplied new to Weston-Super-Mare Gas Works.  Until 1966, when it was acquired by the Society, it was owned by a succession of firms, finally coming into the hands of Messrs. Pitsteel Ltd. of Aldridge, Staffs.

This locomotive, weighing only six tons, is a very diminutive machine.  The four driving wheels are only 1’ 8” in diameter, and the top of the roof comes well below the height of a normal railway coach.  It is powered by a National 3DL diesel engine of 29 BHP.  The transmission system consists of an 18½ inch diameter cone-type clutch, operated by a foot pedal, driving to a two speed gear-box of the ‘crash’ variety and thence by way of a single roller, chains to both axles.  The gear-box is of the reversing type also.

No electrical system is fitted, engine starting being accomplished by hand.  A handbrake acting on four cast iron brake blocks, one to each wheel, is fitted.

This was the first locomotive to arrive at Chasewater and was of great assistance in the removal and relaying of track, though since the arrival of numbers 20 and 21 it has gone into semi-retirement.  Although only 29 BHP it has shown itself capable of moving, on several occasions, six times and more, its own weight.

A new gear-box has recently been fitted as the original box had the distressing tendency of shedding teeth from one of the first gear pinions, the last time with disastrous results.  There has only been one complete failure with this locomotive, this being caused by a blocked fuel pipe.  Another loco had to be used to haul No.1 back, British Railways fashion.

Number 20 was manufactured by the Kent Construction Company at Ashford in 1926 fro Worthington & Company Ltd., Brewers, of Burton-upon-Trent as their No.10.  This locomotive is reputed to be the only surviving standard gauge locomotive built by the Kent Construction Company.

Number 21 was manufactured by F.C.Hibberd & Co. Ltd. in 1929 for the same brewers as their No.11.  Both of these locomotives are very similar in outward appearance but differ greatly in minor details as we have found out to our cost.

They were both built with Dorman 4J0 petrol engines of 40 brake horse-power, being re-engined with Dorman 4DWD diesel engines of 54 brake horse-power during the 1950s.  They are fitted with a simple electrical system including a twelve volt starter motor, a great improvement on No.1, the clutches and gear boxes being inter-changeable between all three locomotives.  A handbrake only is fitted operating four brake blocks, one to each wheel, through a compensating arrangement.  Standard buffering and draw gear are fitted using three link couplings, although ‘instanter’ and screw couplings are used at times.

Nos. 20 and 21 with the Maryport & Carlisle Railway Coach on the causeway – Photo D.Bathurst collection.

Both locomotives gained their present numbers when the firms of Worthington Ltd. and Bass, Ratcliffe & Gretton Ltd. were merged.  They were purchased by the Society in 1967 after the closure of the Bass railway system at Burton-upon-Trent.  The remaining four Planet diesels belonging to the Company were purchased by Messrs. Albert looms Ltd., the railway rolling stock dismantling engineers of Spondon, near Derby.  The four engines and gear boxes and many other spares from these four were donated to the Society by Messrs. Looms, therefore ensuring a long active life for numbers 20 and 21.

General dimensions of these two are:  length 13’ 6”, width 7’ 6”, height 9’ 9”, wheelbase 5’ 6”, wheel diameter 3’ 1”, weight 8 tons 5cwt approximately, fuel capacity 20 gallons, maximum speed 15 mph approx.


No.1 – This locomotive has been painted all colours of the rainbow, and others as well, it would appear, since it was new.  When acquired by the Society it bore the remains of a yellow livery with the previous ones showing through.  It was then painted green, but is now in maroon with straw lining and yellow buffer beams, looking very respectable for the first time in years.  This locomotive was sold by the Society and is still believed to be working.

Nos. 20 and 21 – Both locomotives were painted Worthington black with red and gold lining when new, but both have acquired the standard Bass blue livery with red lining.  There is the possibility that one or both may revert to the original livery, but this would mean renumbering them.  No. 20 is at the Coors Museum of Brewing at Burton-upon-Trent on a long term loan, and No.21 is in the Heritage Centre at Chasewater.

No.21 at Chasewater

Stock List – 1968

With so many new additions, it was decided to publish a stocklist in the 1968 Mercian, Vol.1 No.3

I hope you can read it ok, it’s interesting to see what’s still here after 40-odd years, and what’s gone.

Chasewater Railway Museum 1966 May-June Vol.5 No.3 Bits & Pieces 35

From the ‘Mercian’ May – June 1966 Vo.5 No.3

From the Editorial

The past few weeks have seen a number of developments both at Hednesford and at Chasewater.  Much effort by Melvyn Balance, Brian Hames, Frank Craddock and Ken Martin has transformed a large number of our collection of iron and brass into gleaming exhibits for open days, and I thank the lads for this useful contribution. 

Further items to arrive have been some LNWR destination clocks and finger boards from Walsall Station, some roof vents and other parts for the GER Brake from our good friend Mr. Plyer and his colleagues of the GE Society, and a load of wooden rail keys for Chasewater from the Severn Valley Society for which we sent our grateful thanks.  Other work at Hednesford has involved a general tidying up of the site for Open Day at Easter which attracted a fair number of visitors, among them two or three new members.  Particular thanks to our attractive salesgirls, Penny, Pat, Pauline, Dorothy and Jean for their help in raising just over £20 for the funds.

The work on tracklaying at Chasewater has progressed slowly but surely and has now reached the point where it becomes double track up to the museum building.  Work has been speeded up considerably no doubt because of the acquisition of our first loco – albeit a diesel – which is working up at Chasewater and is proving a boon in moving the NSR wagon and heavily laden platelayers’ trucks.

The loco has cost £50 – all subscribed for by about a dozen members – to save the general funds, and it is being recorded here for all to see that we are deeply grateful for this fine gesture.  This is only the start; we have more offers to consider.  The next one is a small saddle-tank in full working order at about £75.  How about a few advance donations??  Offers to me in the first instance, please.  More details will be given when these are to hand.  Continuing the money matters section, we have three steam locos to move from Warrington to Chasewater at an approximate cost of £250.  The Treasurer has already received a few donations as a result of the appeal made in the January edition.  However this is far from enough and we MUST move the locos within two months or we shall have to forfeit them completely.  Please, PLEASE help us to raise the ‘lolly’ before the end of May.  Contact either the Treasurer or myself as soon as possible, donations (or interest-free loans) desperately wanted.

The weekly Tote has now been launched and is going very well thanks to the faithful few who are selling tickets each week.  To date over £20 has been raised for the funds; this could be trebled if we can sell more tickets.  I do appeal to all members within range of the Depot to call and collect books of tickets for sale among their workmates and other contacts, please contact Albert Holden at your earliest convenience for tickets and full details of the Tote.

A.A.Chatfield – Hon. Editor

The Tote was run successfully for a number of years, bringing in much needed funds for the Society.

Hon. Treasurer’s Report

Planet Diesel Loco.  Members will be interested to hear that we have now acquired a Planet four wheel diesel locomotive. It was built by F. C. Hibberd around 1930, the exact date and history of the loco is, as yet, unknown.  It is powered by a Paxman 50 hp 3 cyl. Engine, and is capable of pulling several wagons.Laurence Hodgkinson

The loco has been delivered to Chasewater where it is in regular use on P. Way trains.  Members are now at work on repainting and repairing the body where necessary.  This has to be done on weekday evenings as the loco is on duty every weekend.  Any members willing to assist should contact me so that definite working times can be arranged.

It is important to complete restoration work as soon as possible as the loco is on show to the general public to a greater extent than any other item of rolling stock at the present time.

We would like to express our thanks to members Roger Hateley of Lichfield who has done all the negotiating for this valuable item of equipment.