R1 Motor Rail Dumper MR 8389/1947

Latest arrival is Motor Rail 8389, delivered ex works from Bedford on 28th March 1947 and supplied to W.G. Turriff Ltd at Leamington Spa as part of an order for three. However, in this case the order was not for the usual 20/28HP Simplex locos, but for 4 ton capacity dumpers, to a design which had much in common with the locomotive, but which was hoped would sustain the company in a world where narrow gauge railways were looking increasingly old fashioned. These early dumpers were fitted with the rugged and reliable Dorman 2DWD engine with standard Simplex clutch and a special gearbox with three forward and one reverse gear in addition to high and low range selection. The Davies detachable tube radiator was also employed, together with the standard Simplex fuel tank. Dumpers were available in both “forward control” and “rear control”, the latter being the configuration normally adopted on modern dumpers today. Braking is mechanical, operated by levers and acting on large diameter brake drums on the front wheels.

This particular dumper ended up working at a Stone Quarry at Blakeney-on-Severn, before being withdrawn from service in the 1970s. It first came to the attention of Moseley member Jim Hay in an article in “Classic Plant and Machinery” magazine. When we discovered there was one of these rare machines left, we decided it had to be preserved.


2 Responses to R1 Motor Rail Dumper MR 8389/1947

  1. michael fitzgerald says:

    great to see one of these running, my father had four of them, two of which ran.they were
    the twin steer type . just the one left now is it worth saving will get chassis no. and pictures over
    the next few days

    • edwardsholto says:

      definitly worth saving, get in touch with a narrow gauge railway such as leighton buzzard and see if they are interested, as their line was mainly operated with motor rail locomotives and would complement their Ruston Bucyrus dragline well.

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