44 ”Chaumont” HU LX1002/1968

This loco came to be built following a dispute between two of the narrow gauge world giants! The well known loco builder Hunslet, based in Leeds, had a long standing agreement with there fellow Leeds company, Robert Hudson. Essentially, Hudson supplied complete light railways, but not any locos; any locos were built by Hunslet, and branded as the Hudson Hunslet locos. By the 1960s, the Hudson Hunslet design had become very outdated, and Hudson was dissatisfied that Hunslet were not working fast enough to develop a replacement design.

Consequently, Hudson secretly developed an independent design.Only 2 of these Hudson locos were built, and Chaumont was one of this pair. The locos were quite advanced, being fitted with a hydraulic transmission. Unfortunately, by the time the loco was finished, the market for such products had all but disappeared – hence Hunslet’s original reluctance to develop a new loco. The loco went on hire for a while at the CEGB’s cable tunnel at Woodhead, where the very low top speed must have been a real embarrassment in the 3 mile long tunnel. The loco was returned to Hudson. Eventually Hudson sold the loco to Ashton under Lyne corporation in July 1971, and it went to Dukinfield sewage works, where it replaced a Hibberd loco. The railway at Dukinfield finished in 1993, and the loco moved to join the MRT collection on 22/7/1994. The name Chaumont is taken from Ashton under Lyne’s French twin town.

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