A diesel locomotive, which worked in an Anglesey factory for almost 50 years, has found a new home in an Anglesey museum. It was accompanied on its journey across the island from Octel’s former site at Amlwch by a flatbed truck and a chemical tanker.
A new length of track was laid at the Tacla Taid museum near Newborough to house the short train before the engine was hoisted from an articulated lorry by a huge crane drafted especially for the work.
Tacla Taid mechanics and enthusiasts hope to restore the locomotive to working order at some point in the future.
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Built by the Hunslett Company at its factories near Leeds in 1951, the locomotive has spent its entire life in Anglesey. The locomotive was used in the works to shun and place carriages for collection by British Rail trains. It was last used in the 1990s when the plant’s liquid bromine movement changed from rail to road.
It was one of three locomotives used at the plant. The other two were removed from site and initially stored at the former Anglesey Aluminum factory in Holyhead, then moved to the Lein Amlwch site in Llannerchymedd.
Chris Davies, spokesperson for Tacla Taid, wrote on the museum’s Facebook page: “I think this is Anglesey’s first diesel powered locomotive. It was used at the Octel factory in Amlwch. factory tank.
“The flatbed trailer which should in future be fitted with a small coffee hut for events at the museum. The motor last ran in the 70s so we don’t know if it is financially viable to get it up and running again, but we will revise it over the coming years, all is well, and will be looking for volunteers who may wish to work on it.”
The chemical plant opened in 1951 and was connected to the rail network by a half-mile light railway called the “Amlwch Light Railway” and was owned by Associated Octel.
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Diesel shunters worked the line from the works to the interchange branches near Amlwch station, which was the end of a former LNWR branch from Gaerwen Junction. When passenger service on the branch ceased in December 1964, the entire line became freight only. From 1972, Associated Octel locomotives ceased to operate on the light rail section of the route, with BR taking over operations until the works themselves.
Rail traffic from the plant was chlorine to the port of Ellesmere and bromine to destinations in mainland Europe via the Dover Train Ferry. Incoming traffic was ethylene dibromide from Ellesmere Port and occasional flows of raw sulfur from Mostyn Docks.
Tacla Taid, the Anglesey Transport Museum, houses a collection of over 120 vehicles ranging from classic cars to farm implements. It also houses a collection of military vehicles and a Hawker Hunter jet fighter that was once the RAF’s Gatekeeper to the Valley.