Whitworth Bolts for Rail Locomotive Restoration

  • 6 June 2024
  • case studies
Whitworth Bolts for Rail Locomotive Restoration

Thomas Smith Fasteners recently supplied a set of 1/2″ x 2.1/2″ BSW bolts to a customer who is restoring a rail locomotive. The bolts were used for the direction lever quadrant of a Ruston & Hornsby narrow gauge diesel locomotive originally built in 1946.

Phil Robinson, part of Moseley Railway Trust, is restoring the locomotive. Moseley Railway Trust operates the Apedale Valley Light Railway near Newcastle-Under-Lyme in Staffordshire.

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The locomotive, originally built for a limestone quarry in South Wales, played a crucial role in limestone production for the blast furnaces at Guest Keen and Baldwin's Margam Steelworks (later part of the Steel Company of Wales). After relocating to Derbyshire in 1950, it continued its service, transporting material to the Derbyshire Silica Firebrick Company at Hartington near Matlock. Its active service spanned until 1982, after which it was preserved until it was stripped in Herefordshire.


(Image courtesy of John Quentin)

The locomotive was sold to Phil in 1996, who has been trying to restore it to the condition it left the factory at Lincoln in 1946 and has been determined not to use any modern fittings or metric fasteners.
Bought as a pile of parts, it's been reassembled in Phil's ownership, initially to a rolling chassis before 1998, after which it went into storage for a few years, and since 2008, has had all of the bodywork re-worked, rebuilt or replaced as needed.

Our dedication to quality and authenticity has made Thomas Smith Fasteners a trusted choice for heritage restoration projects. By guaranteeing that every fastener not only fulfils its functional role but also enhances the historical integrity of the project.

Contact sales today to discuss your own restoration project. You can also buy BSW Bolts from our online shop.


With thanks to Apedale Valley Light Railway and Moseley Railway Trust.