Locomotives of the Royal Gunpowder Mills from 1917 to the 1950s.

Up until January 1917 all rolling stock was moved by manual labour, but with the demands of the First World War, locomotives were introduced to move explosives and propellants around the site, plus bring in raw materials from the standard gauge railway at the Royal Small Arms Factory which lay to the south of the Royal Gunpowder Mills.

Photo 1 shows the first type of loco, which is a Ruston Proctor of Lincoln, Petrol/Paraffin Loco with a single cylinder engine.

The photo shows the women who would be driving the engine under instruction. Petrol/Paraffin engines are started on Petrol, and once running are switched to Paraffin. The Chimney is a hopper for the cooling system. The first of this type were introduced on 30th January 1917 with 4 being purchased; soon to be followed by Battery locos.

Photo 2 shows an Edison Battery powered loco, believed to have been built by the Automatic Transportation CO. OF Buffalo, USA. Only one of which was purchased.

Photo 3 shows a Battery Loco by Greenwood & Batley, Liverpool, at the works loco before delivery in 1940.

In total 17 Battery Electric locos were purchased, 2 on 30th July 1918, 5 purchased on in 1937, 6 in 1940 and the final 4 in 1942.

All were built by British companies such as British Electric Vehicles of Southport, Wingrove & Rogers of Liverpool and of course Greenwood & Batley of Leeds.

Credit for text above goes to J.M Jenkins