Andrew Briddon Locos

Andrew Briddon Locos

preserved railway vehicles

GEC Industrial Locomotive: Ludwig Mond

 IMG 1602 abl

The latterday firm of GEC Industrial locomotives can trace its lineage back through such famous names as Vulcan Works, EE and Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn to the very beginnings of the industrial locomotive industry, and indeed the early days of steam locos in general. In consequence, the brand name “Stephenson” was adopted for its later diesel electric and hydraulic ranges of shunters.

In the 1970s, GECIL developed a large 6 wheeled DE shunter, selling 25 to the Lackenby steelworks alone. These were 750bhp/75ton locos, but others were produced, such as for the NCB, with reduced weights (65tons).

The last in the line, and indeed reputedly the last loco to emerge from Vulcan Works, Newton-le-Willows,  was works number 5578 of 1980, a 'lightweight' version of 50tons/500bhp for ICI at Northwich. As the Tunstead-Northwich traffic was the last vacuum braked freight flow in the UK (using the famous ICI bogie hoppers) the loco was fitted with air and vac braking. Ironically therefore, at the Tunstead end these wagons were loaded by locos including “Cheedale” and in earlier times “RS8”, giving Andrew a unique combination of locos from both ends of the traffic.

As rail traffic through Northwich reduced, 5578 was sold, and after passing through several locations, was acquired by a member of the then Rutland Railway Museum. After carrying out much internal and external restoration, the loco was offered to Andrew, who was pleased to take it on. It has yet to leave Cottesmore.

Works Number 5578
Year of manufacture


Weight in working order 50 tonnes
Wheel arrangement 6wDE
Power Unit Dorman 6QT, rating 500bhp at 1500rpm
Transmission Traction generator feeding three traction motors (one per axle) No mechanical coupling between axles.
Braking Vacuum and air
Top speed 15mph

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