LMS-built shunters in Italy: Could UK preservationists bid to bring them home?

IN 1939 the first of a batch of 40 0-6-0 diesel locos ordered by the LMS appeared from Derby Works.

Unusually, they featured an English Electric 6K 350HP diesel engine and the single-motor jackshaft drive developed by Armstrong Whitworth.

Former WD 70055 (LMS 7106) 700.003 at Arezzo-Pescaiola in September 2012. Since then the loco has had a repaint. MARCO CACOZZA

Both manufacturers had previously built prototypes for the LMS earlier in the 1930s and the new design sought to mix the successful EE engine with the Armstrong Whitworth drive, at the time een as better performing than the EE twin traction motor design – which suffered from overheating – until modifications in 1940 resolved this.

The LMS order for 40 locos (to be numbered 7080-7119) was completed between 1939 and 1942, although 10 (7100 – 7109) never worked for the LMS and were taken into War Department ownership. They were shipped overseas to support the British Army in North Africa, and later some were moved to Italy after the Allied invasion in 1943.

Read more in the December issue of The RM

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