It is a pleasure to take a break from mass-produced EMU ‘platform’ designs and see loco building from scratch in a UK factory. With a full order book to 2023 and enquiries far beyond that, Clayton Equipment in Burton-upon-Trent is in a good place, and I don’t mean just off the roundabout opposite Hobbycraft.
When I looked in detail at the company’s Bo-Bo hybrid loco (‘Pan Up’, April 2019 issue), I couldn’t reveal the customer was Tata Steel at Port Talbot. Today the two locos in the workshop are liveried up and were due to be ready to join the three already there in July. Another two are on order for 2023, the earliest production slot available. To save you looking it up, the design is a heavy steel underframe, on which sits a cab, a socking big lead acid battery bank, a fuel tank, another socking…, a battery charger and a relatively small engine. If we talk crashworthiness, there are few things which would come off best in a close encounter.