Prototypes, UK - Sand Hutton Light Railway

This article was published May 17, 2012.

Sir Arthur Heywood's attempts to gain commercial acceptance for 15in gauge estate railways were to end in failure, and there was to be one solitary 18in gauge steam railway of a purely functional type for estate use, constructed under the auspices of the 1896-1912 Light Railway Acts during the pre-preservation era.

Major sir Robert J.M. Walker (1890-1930) was the fourth Baronet of Sand Hutton in Yorkshire and he had a virtual lifelong interest in railways. In addition to being a member of the Institute of Transport, he laid out a 15in gauge line in the grounds of Sand Hutton Estate in 1912 which was worked by a Bassett-Lowke 4-4-2 locomotive, Synolda, an engine which still exist as part of the musem at Ravenglass.

By the End of 1920 progress on the laying of the line had reached Sand Hutton and the Claxton branch. More powerful locos was needed due to gradient of 8%. There was at this time a fair amount of 18in gauge equipment available from the Ministry of Munitions and it was decided that the Deptford Special Reserve Depot offered the most suitable locomotives and rolling stock for Sand Hutton needs.

4 Hunslet locos (but not at the same time) and some 75 of the four-wheeled wagons were purchased for use on the SHLR. Except for these, only a new bogie coach and a small goods van was bought.

(from the book "18in gauge steam railways")