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Tracked Hovercraft Ruston | by Kingmoor Klickr
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Tracked Hovercraft Ruston

A locomotive curiosity is this ex-BR 3-ft gauge 'ED10', a Ruston and Hornsby-built class '48DS' 4-wheel diesel mechanical (works No.411322 of 1958) employed as a 'guided prime mover' maintenance vehicle at Tracked Hovercraft Ltd. Earith, along with two Rolls Royce-engined Austin Champ jeeps, on 17th September 1972. Tracked Hovercraft was an experimental high speed train developed in the United Kingdom during the 1960s. It combined two British inventions, the hovercraft and linear induction motor, in an effort to produce a train system that would provide 250 mph inter-city service with lowered capital costs compared to other high-speed solutions. Substantially similar to the French Aérotrain,Tracked Hovercraft suffered a similar fate when it was cancelled as a part of wide budget cuts in 1973.


As for the Ruston, in BR departmental service 'ED10' was utilised to push narrow gauge bolsters, loaded with new sleepers, around the Beeston Sleeper Works and into the creosote pressure impregnation chambers. It arrived new at Beeston in 1958 and survived until the depot closed in February 1965. It then went to Thos. Ward who resold it on to Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Co. for use during their contract for Tinsley Viaduct on the M1 near Sheffield. ED10 subsequently went to Messrs Shephard, Hill, another firm of contractors, for use on the construction of the 3-mile length 'hover train' track. where it was photographed. After completion of this contract it was acquired for preservation and is now used conventionally at the Irchester Narrow Gauge Railway Trust in Northamptonshire, coverted to 1-metre gauge and named 'Edward Charles Hampton'.


© Gordon Edgar - All rights reserved. Please do not use my images without my explicit permission

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Taken on September 17, 1972