Rolling Stock

The Society has a long-term aim to build a passenger train hauled by Sharp, Stewart 2-4-0T “Halesworth”, and ideally including one of the iconic balconied 6-wheeled coaches that could be seen in Halesworth station.

However, with our warmer, drier summers – and the much-increased risk of lineside fires (as well as the inevitable increase in the environmental regulation of coal-firing in the medium-term future), there is a need for other motive power. Thus, two members of the Society have purchased RFS diesel-hydraulic locomotive No. RS 106, which will become Halesworth Southwold Railway (HSR) No. 6 “Holton”. This classic British locomotive, built in Kilnhurst (South Yorkshire) in 1989, was used in the Channel Tunnel surface works, and is substantially complete, though requiring some restoration.

The loco has a widely-used Cummins low-emissions turbo-diesel engine rated at 150hp (similar to that which powered the iconic Dodge Ram), which is more than adequate for future heavy trains, and it already has fail-safe locomotive and train air-brakes fitted (these are a legal requirement for passenger trains). “Holton” can also provide braking power so that a steam locomotive that lacks continuous brakes can still be used, with the two locos coupled together, on a passenger train. “Holton” is fitted with extensive modern safety features to protect its crews, as well as the public.

The Society is also researching battery-powered railcars, a technology which is rapidly maturing. A modern battery railcar set was recently trialled on the Harwich branch, and proved to be highly practicable. This type of provision would be ideal for off-season trains, or for those provided purely for local transport, rather than for tourists.

The Society owns a rare three-foot-gauge Hudson tipper wagon, ideal for permanent way and civil engineering work and has recently purchased a 2 foot 6 inches gauge Royal Naval Armament Depot flatbed wagon. This will be re-gauged to 3 foot using our Co-Chairman James’s unique tried and tested technique. The Society is actively looking for further wagons and underframes to build up the fleet.

RNAD Wagon