The Golden Valley Light railway

A 2ft (610mm) Narrow Gauge Railway in Derbyshire

Baguley Drewery 3703

This locomotive was purchased from the army in working order, although adapting the charger to run from a 13A plug rather than a heavy 3 phase supply required some ingenuity, and arrived on site on 16th December 1994. It had been rebuilt by Hunslet Barclay in 1986, and worked at RAF Chilmark until that depot closed. With the availability of an adequate 3 phase supply in the 2007 built running shed, the 3 phase charger has now been fully commissioned, with the single phase arrangements being kept as an emergency standby.

The two axles are separately powered, each having a 25 HP flameproof 100V DC motor driving through a worm gear reduction. Two completely separate sets of control and power electronics and reversing contactors are fitted. Control ranges from the exceedingly delicate to the totally brutal depending upon the whim of the driver.

Locomotive Specifications
1974 (rebuilt 1986)
900 amp/hrs
5 tons

The battery, consisting of 50 lead acid cells, had a capacity of approximately 750 Ampere hours when new, and comprises about half of the loco's 8 tons total weight. Having become rather tired, the battery was renewed in September 2019, and with the advance of technology, 900 Ah now fits in the space formerly occupied by 750 Ah. Currently, the possibility of equipping it with air braking is being explored so it can work passenger trains. Theoretically, it should be able to work a full day's timetabled trains between charges. During construction of the railway, it was used to haul trains of up to 20 tons from Newlands Inn.

image: Old battery before renewal
Old battery 750Ah
E Draper
image: New battery after renewal
New battery 900Ah
E Draper

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image: NG24 at Newlands Inn Station
NG24 at Newlands Inn
E Draper

image: 3phase battery charger
Battery Charger
E Draper