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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 20 - Summer 1974

Hibberd 0-4-0DM No. 3765 Tarmac


The 20th April, 1974 was a happy day for our members Stephen Joseph and Nigel Halliday. It was the day their own diesel locomotive arrived safely at Quainton and it was also Stephen's birthday! Furthermore, it was the day they both said, 'Thank goodness that's over!', because the transfer of your own locomotive by road over quite a long distance is a worrying job, and yet it is, of course, only the end of the beginning.

The story started last February when Stephen was in a train speeding along the main line from Paddington to see a Shakespeare play at Oxford. Passing Hayes he spied a little diesel locomotive in some sidings and the locomotive looked uncared for and wanting to be saved. 'To be or not to be!' was the question. So he contacted the owners, Tarmac Roadstone Holdings, and was happy to be told, 'We'll be glad to sell it to you'.

At this stage Nigel was informed by Stephen that he was likely to have a diesel locomotive to contend with. Dave Dunbar of Osram fame and expertise was called in to inspect the prize and he pronounced it to be a very good buy. So an offer was made to Tarmac and after an agonisingly long wait the reply came, 'lt's yours!'

The next problem to consider was how to move the locomotive from its position and get it onto a low loader. Picture the engine against some buffer stops at the end of a siding on an embankment. This was not the most convenient point for loading and a number of ideas and arrangements were considered and debated but the scheme finally adopted was to remove the buffer stops, make a ramp from old tarmacadam (available on the site!) and end load the vehicle. After two days of hard work in preparing for the operation in which the owners were kindly assisted by Graham Backing, all was ready and the actual job was completed in 1½ hours. The journey to Quainton was, fortunately, without incident and the 11 ton 'Planet' has joined the other three diesels at the depot. The new arrival was built in 1955 for Crow Catchpole & Co. Ltd., at Hayes, Middlesex, Makers No. 3765. It has a three cylinder Dorman '3D L' engine with electric starting and a dynamo for battery charging. The box shaped body is 14ft long, 9ft wide and the overall height is 12ft. The locomotive is carried on four wheels which are on a 6ft wheelbase. Air brakes are fitted and are operated at 80 psi from an air compressor. Sanding equipment is provided. The engine transmission is through a three speed and reverse gearbox and the drive is by sprockets. Front and rear headlights permit after dark operation which should be useful on the October 'steaming' Sundays!

The original colour scheme was Brunswick green with black and white lining, while the frames were painted black and the wheels were lined in white. The cab interior is finished in a yellow hue while the engine proper is green and the gearbox is grey. These colours will be perpetuated although the green will be of an olive tint to conform with the firm's livery. Nameplates Tarmac will be fitted in recognition of the generosity of the former owners. Nigel reckons that the result of Stephen's excursion should be a Shakespearian quotation and he suggests we end this article with something like, Friends, Quaintonians and locomen, lend us a hand!' (Ugh!)

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1974 and so does not reflect events in the 40+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Tarmac - Quainton News No. 20 - Summer 1974

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 04 November 2017