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Handforth Model Engineering Society

Engines and Carriages

This page is a short guide to the trains and carriages commonly seen at Handforth Model Engineering Society. Some are owned by the society, while others are owned by members.


Type:Petrol Locomotive
Class:Brush Sulzer Type 4 (British Rail Type 47) Diesel Locomotive
Owner:Handforth Model Engineering Society

Gordon is the diesel-electric locomotive you are likely to see running every Sunday at HMES during the summer.

Gordon was the first loco acquired by HMES and was the first to run on our track. Gordon was bought from the Brookside Railway when it was deemed surplus to their requirements.

After running for ten years on our railway, we decided that a facelift and refit was much needed. In October 2019, Gordon was taken out of service for refurbishment.

October 2019
Body removed from chassis.
November 2019
Body reconfigured with a driver access door and high sides to replace the lowered sides.
Seat and seating position removed.
December 2019
Body sent away for shot-blasting.
Body filled and undercoated.
Engine serviced.
January - March 2020
Rebuild of body and bogies completed.
Modification of brakes to air brakes.
Re-wire all systems
June-July 2020 (post-COVID interruption)
Re-painting and system debugging.
October 2020
Final finishing touches.
Gordon re-enters service.


Type:Steam Locomotive

"Lostock" is an 0-4-0 ST (saddle tank) narrow-gauge locomotive based on an original designed and built by W.G. Bagnall in their Castle Engine Works in Castletown, Stafford.

Bagnall were founded in 1875 and continued trading, making many steam locomotives of both narrow and standard gauge until 1962, when they were taken over by English Electric.


Type:Steam Locomotive
Class:Narrow-gauge Engine

Romulus is an 0-4-0 narrow-gauge locomotive of the "Romulus" design, originally designed by Roger Marsh.

The original was designed as a well-tank loco, i.e. water tanks in a "well" between the frames, but over the years many variations of this design have been made.

This loco has its water tank in the tender, but is otherwise quite close to the original design.

Unfortunately, while still present on several photos on the website, Romulus has since been sold, and is no longer at HMES.


Type:Petrol Shunter
Owner:Handforth Model Engineering Society

Rusty is a small petrol-driven shunting engine. You won't see Rusty pulling passengers very often, but it can often be found hard at work on maintenance days.


Type:Steam Locomotive
Class:Sweet Pea 0-4-2 ST
Owner:Handforth Model Engieering Society - Donated by Bernard Green

Bernard is a "Sweet Pea" - a 5" gauge version of the larger "Sweet William" (7¼") Saddle Tank engine in the style of a narrow-gauge loco.

It is built with hackworth valve gear and marine type boiler. The protorype was designed and built by Jack Buckler of Leeds around 1980. Hundreds of these locomotives have been built by enthusiasts all over the world.


Type:Battery-Electric Locomotive
Class:Diesel Locomotive, 0-6-0
Owner:Handforth Model Engieering Society - Donated by Tony Duffy
Victoria is a 24v electric model of a diesel shunting engine.

Millie 2

Type:Steam Locomotive
Class:Sweet William 2-4-2 (modified)

Much modified Sweet William 2-4-2, formerly known as "Jim". The Sweet William is a larger version of the Sweet Pea, with a steel marine-type boiler, copper tubes and hackworth valve gear.

The present owner bought the loco from another club member in 2018, and took the opportunity afforded by the COVID lockdown to significantly modify the loco into its present form. The frames were extended and a pony truck added, converting the loco from an 0-4-2 to a 2-4-2. The large stainless steel tank was replaced by a pair of side tanks, and the whole loco was repainted in caledonian blue and renamed after the owner's granddaughter.

The owner has been experimenting with fuelling the loco on LPG with some success.


Type:Electric Locomotive
Class:BR 08
Owner:Handforth Model Engineering Society

Ken is a British Rail Class 8 shunting locomotive, diesel-electric powered, and was a familiar site at major stations and freight yards. 996 examples were built between 1952 and 1962, of which 82 are preserved, 10 were converted to class 9, 6 converted to class 13, 5 exported to Liberia, 100 remain in service, and the rest have been scrapped.

7¼" Carriages

Type:Passenger Carriage
Owner:Handforth Model Engieering Society

Our four 7¼" carriages, which run on the ground-level track, were constructed in our workshops by our maintenance team during the winter of 2016-17.

Each is capable of taking up to six passengers on a thrilling lap of our track.

5" Carriages

Type:Passenger Carriage
Owner:Handforth Model Engieering Society

New for 2023, we have four newly built 5" carriages, built by our maintenance team in our own workshop. They can be pulled by both 5" and 3½" gauge engines on the raised track.

Wheelchair Carriage

Type:Passenger Carriage
Owner:Handforth Model Engieering Society

Handforth Model Engineering Society has a flatbed carriage suitable for carrying a single wheelchair, which can be strapped to the carriage. There are two seats for family members and/or carers.

It has recently been restored and is available for use. If this carriage isn't already out, please ask one of the members, who will be happy to put it on the track for you. If you plan to come along, please feel free to contact us in advance and we will endeavour to get it on the track for the day.