Tom Rolt (locomotive)

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Tom Rolt
Tom Rolt at Tywyn Wharf - 2005-07-16.jpg
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Andrew Barclay Sons & Co.
Serial number 2263
Build date 1949
Total produced 3
Rebuilder Talyllyn Railway
Number rebuilt 1
Specifications
Configuration 0-4-0WT0-4-2T
Gauge 2 ft 3 in (686 mm)
Driver diameter 2 ft 0 in (610 mm)
Trailing wheel
diameter
1 ft 4 in (406 mm)
Wheelbase 9 ft 110 in (5.54 m)
Length 18 ft 8.5 in (5.70 m)
Locomotive weight 14.25 long tons 285 cwt (63,800 lb or 29 t)
Boiler pressure 180 lbf/in2 (1.24 MPa)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 8 12 in × 12 in (216 mm × 305 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 5,527 lbf (24.59 kN)
Career
Operator(s)
Number(s)
  • BnM: 1 → 43
  • TR: 7

Tom Rolt is a narrow gauge steam locomotive constructed by the Talyllyn Railway, using parts from an Andrew Barclay locomotive built in 1949 for Bord na Móna.

History[edit]

Bord na Móna[edit]

The engine began life working for the Bord na Móna. This is a semi-state company in Ireland, created in 1946 by the Turf Development Act 1946. The company is responsible for the mechanised harvesting of peat, primarily in the Midlands of Ireland. This company uses railways to carry vast amounts of peat.

It was one of three 3-foot (914 mm) gauge 0-4-0WT locomotives built by Andrew Barclay Sons & Co. in 1949; initially numbered 1 to 3; they were later renumbered 43 to 45.

Talyllyn Railway[edit]

As passenger numbers continued to grow during the late 1960s the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society realised that further motive power was needed, especially as the rebuilt No. 1, Talyllyn was not performing well. However as the gauge of the Talyllyn Railway was so unusual they could not buy an engine with the correct gauge, so would have to buy and re-gauge an engine or make a new engine. In 1969 the Talyllyn Railway purchased an 0-4-0 well tank engine from Bord na Móna unofficially named Irish Pete, in order to create the new locomotive they needed.

Tom Rolt at Nant Gwernol

The new engine was built at Pendre works on the Talyllyn Railway using the frames, boiler, driving wheels, cylinders and other parts of the 0-4-0 well tank engine from Bord na Móna. The new engine became an 0-4-2 side tank and was named Tom Rolt after the author L. T. C. Rolt who inspired the Talyllyn's preservation.

Tom Rolt is running in the standard Talyllyn Railway livery of deep bronze green lined with black borders and yellow lining.

In fiction[edit]

All the steam engines on the Talyllyn Railway (and diesel locomotive Midlander) appeared many times in The Railway Series books by the Rev. W. Awdry on the Skarloey Railway. Tom Rolt formed the basis for the character Ivo Hugh.

Unlike the rest of the Talyllyn Railway engines Ivo Hugh only appeared in one story in which he was the new engine to arrive. His name, Ivo Hugh, is a reference to his real name, Tom Rolt, with even the same amount of letters and words. Also in the book of Thomas The Tank Engine in which he appeared (New Little Engine) it was announced he was named after the former Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Skarloey Railway, Mr. Ivo Hugh. This is a reference to Tom Rolt being named after an L.T.C Rolt on the Talyllyn Railway.

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bate, J.H.L. (2001). The Chronicles of Pendre Sidings. RailRomances. ISBN 1-900622-05-X. 
  • Boyd, James I.C. (1965). Narrow Gauge Railways in Mid Wales. Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-024-X. 
  • Holmes, Alan (2009). Talyllyn Revived. The Talyllyn Railway. ISBN 978-0-900317-07-1. 
  • Potter, D. (1990). The Talyllyn Railway. David St John Thomas. ISBN 0-946537-50-X.