THE Bowes Railway received two Ruston & Hornsby diesel-electric locos from the Port of Sunderland Authority, South Docks on March 21.
These were the last two locos of a one-time significant fleet of steam and diesel locos serving the once extensive rail system of Hudson and Hendon Docks, collectively known as South Docks.
The port is still quite busy with general cargo, but has lost shipbuilding activities and only minor ship repair is now undertaken. The docks were also well-known for their coal shipping staiths and
coal-loading conveyors, with lines of 21t hoppers filled at the local collieries and brought to the docks for shipment. Sadly, this activity ceased in 1986.
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The two 165DE class 0-4-0DEs were briefly associated with a coal import contract involving the loading of merry-go-round wagons in the mid-1990s.
However, they have languished more or less out of use since 2001 and Sunderland Council decided to secure their future at the Bowes Railway, thereby ensuring they remain within the city’s boundaries.
The locos are Port of Sunderland No. 21 Pinky (Ruston & Hornsby 395294 of 1956) and No. 22 Perky (416210 of 1957).
They were on display during the Bowes Railway’s April 1-2 open weekend and restoration of No. 21, received in near-running order, has begun.
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